Plea for children to act safely around Halton’s roads
Police and the construction team behind the new Mersey Gateway bridge are appealing for youngsters to act safely around Halton’s roads.
Merseylink and Cheshire Police have issued the plea following reports that youngsters have been throwing logs, branches and stones onto some of the area’s busiest roads – putting motorists, workers and themselves at risk.
The incidents have occurred around the Southern, Central and Daresbury Expressways in Runcorn – with one report said to have taken place from an overhead bridge.
Hugh O’Connor, General Manager of Merseylink, appealed to parents to talk to their children about the dangers of throwing objects into roads.
“Youngsters probably don’t realise the impact they could have by throwing something as small or insignificant as a stone, but it could prove fatal,” said Hugh.
“They think they are just having fun, but the truth of the matter is that a small brick thrown from a bridge of 7m could weigh the same as a large car and could prove lethal to motorists passing underneath or contractors working nearby.
“It is vital that parents talk to their children to make them aware of the dangers and the consequences that could follow. I can’t believe anyone would wish to see such incidents and resulting injuries as a result of actions that can be so easily avoided.”
The Mersey Gateway bridge is scheduled to open in 2017, improving the links between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes across the River Mersey.
Work to construct the bridge is currently underway and the road network around the area is undergoing extensive improvements, with some major diversions and lane closures in place for motorists.
A Cheshire Police spokesperson said: “Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road is a distraction. We would urge young people to not throw objects such as stones, logs and branches into the road, because it has the potential to have a catastrophic impact on the driver and other road-users. These seemingly meaningless actions could result in someone losing their life.
“We would urge parents to reiterate safety messages to their children, reminding them of the dangers their actions could cause.”
Councillor Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council and Chairman of Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said he was grateful for the patience shown by both residents and motorists throughout the various stages of disruption during the construction work and said safety was the number one priority.
He said: “We urge everyone to play a role in safeguarding the people of Halton. We would be grateful if parents could make sure their children are aware of the dangers of throwing objects into the roads, and would urge anyone who sees such incidents to report them immediately.”
Anyone who sees incidents of this kind should call 999 immediately or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For more information on other ongoing road works, visit: www.merseygateway.co.uk/down-your-street/