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Fresh call for pedestrian crossing at Newmarket’s Studlands Park as councillor’s son is hurt in accident

Ruth Allen and son Tom ANL-160211-104759001
Ruth Allen and son Tom ANL-160211-104759001

A fresh call has been made for a pedestrian crossing near a Newmarket housing estate after an accident left a teenager with broken ribs.

Fourteen-year-old Tom Allen was crossing Studlands Park Avenue from the Homebase car park on his BMX bicycle when he was involved in a collision with a car which had turned off at the nearby roundabout.

“Tom looked both ways from the footpath, which is enclosed by a hedge, waited for one car but then rode out into the path of another,” said his mother local councillor Ruth Allen who represents the estate on Forest Heath District Council.

“Fortunately, the car was not speeding or else it all might have been much worse. The driver was shaken up by it but he was a perfect gentleman and looked after Tom and came round later to see how he was.”

Tom was treated by ambulance medics who put him in a full body brace before taking him to Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he had X-rays and a CT scan which revealed two broken ribs.

“I think he was lucky to get off quite lightly as we think it was his shoulder which took the main impact and not, thank goodness, his head”, said his mother, who has spoken to the manager at Homebase, and been assured that the hedges around the car park will be cut back to improve visibility.

It was back in June that an on-line petition organised by another Studlands resident, Sarah Norton-Parr, was handed to Forest Heath and Newmarket county councillor Robin Millar calling for a crossing to be installed at a point near to the roundabout where, she claimed, the danger from speeding cars was at its worst.

At the time, Sarah told the Journal that she believed there was a real danger that someone could be killed unless action was taken. “It is an accident waiting to happen”, she said.

Cllr Millar said: “My heart sank when I heard this and I am pleased to hear the lad will recover. Residents have complained consistently since I was elected in February that a few careless people speed along Studlands Park Avenue, Hyperion Way and Brickfields Avenue.

“Working with the residents’ association I have got an agreement that the county council will be putting in place traffic calming at the Hyperion and Nimbus Way junction next spring.” He added that since concerns were first raised about the footpath over the summer he had asked Suffolk Highways engineers to look at what could be done.

“They recently finished collecting speed, traffic and pedestrian data,” he said. “The road is not busy compared to many, and the average speed is below 30 mph, but a few careless drivers are speeding. I will press to see what can be done about a crossing and what the landowner can do about the path and the bushes to improve visibility, but we all need to pay careful attention to the way we drive and think about the safety of pedestrians, riders, cyclists who share the road.”

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