Call for traffic calming after Brooke Bagley death

10-year-old Brooke Bagley who was knocked down and killed on West Main Street in West Calder. Picture: Contributed

10-year-old Brooke Bagley who was knocked down and killed on West Main Street in West Calder. Picture: Contributed

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A PENSIONER and motorcyclist have been injured in separate incidents on the same stretch of road which claimed the life of schoolgirl Brooke Bagley just days earlier.

Today, community leaders demanded urgent action to improve road safety on the A71 which runs through West Calder to prevent another death.

The A71 through West Calder has seen a spate of recent accidents. Picture: Julie Bull

The A71 through West Calder has seen a spate of recent accidents. Picture: Julie Bull

Tragic Brooke had been playing on her bike near her family home at Burngrange Cottages when she was struck by a car a week ago today.

The ten-year-old suffered serious head injuries and died at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Monday.

Just two days later, there were two more serious incidents on the road, within half a mile of Saturday’s fatal collision.

It is not known whether speed was a factor in any of the incidents. However residents have repeatedly raised concerns that motorists driving through the town are not adhering to the 30mph speed limit.

We have got to take steps to make sure the residents are safe. The status quo is not good enough

Peter Vincent

A petition calling on West Lothian Council and Police Scotland to take urgent action attracted more than 750 signatures in just a day.

Peter Vincent, vice-chairman of West Calder and Harburn community council, set up the online forum to demand traffic calming measures and improved speed limit enforcement.

He said: “Emotions are running high and people are fed-up with the high volume of traffic and the lack of action. As a resident and as a parent, now is the right time to get the residents of West Calder together and take a stand and say ‘enough is enough’. We have got to take steps to make sure the residents are safe. The status quo is not good enough.”

An 83-year-old man suffered head wounds after being hit by a Ford Focus on the town’s Main Street, near Gloag Place, at 8am on Wednesday.

The victim was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with “non life-threatening injuries”, while the 24-year-old driver was charged with careless driving.

Then at 4.15pm, a motorbike and car were involved in a collision at the junction between the A71 and Burngrange Cottages, near where Brooke was hit. The motorcyclist suffered “significant leg injuries” after being struck by a Kia Rio.

Mr Vincent added: “The village is a mile long – if you drive through ten miles above the speed limit, how much time do you save? A few seconds. But in that time you could hit someone.”

Lothian MSP Neil Findlay today vowed to support their campaign. He said: “The tragic death of little Brooke this week has shocked the West Calder community and the thoughts and prayers of the entire village will be with her family, friends and school mates at this awful time.

“Shockingly this terrible event was followed by two more accidents within a very short time period both also in West Calder. I know this area very well, my regional office is located on the Main Street; my staff and I see and experience the busy traffic every day.

“The reality is that the road through the village is getting more and more dangerous as the number of vehicles increases – something needs to be done.”

Roads policing Inspector Richard Latto said reducing road casualties was a “key priority” for Police Scotland.

He said: “The A71 through West Lothian is a busy arterial route, and road policing officers are regularly deployed there in an effort to positively influence driver behaviour.”

A spokesman for West Lothian Council said: “We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Brooke’s family and friends at this very sad and difficult time. West Lothian Council work with our partners in Police Scotland to reduce casualties on the road network. Police and council officers have assessed the 
accident site this week and we will look to see if any action can be taken to improve road safety.

“A police investigation is currently ongoing, and we will consider any road safety recommendations that arise from this investigation. Only a small number of accidents have occurred in this area in the last five years, with no relation between the incidents.”

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com