Counselling for classmates, but no traffic calming measures on road where girl was hit by car

Smash in Leys Road, Bennetts End.
Smash in Leys Road, Bennetts End.

As her classmates are offered counselling, roads chiefs have refused to implement traffic calming measures on the road where a little girl was hit by a car yesterday afternoon.

The nine-year-old was left critically ill with serious head injuries after the collision in Leys Road, Bennetts End, at about 4.40pm.

She is now being treated in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, after being discovered unconscious at the roadside.

Her classmates at nearby Lime Walk Primary School are being offered counselling to help them through the trauma of seeing her carried away by air ambulance.

County Hall’s education spokesman Gemma McKelvey said: “Counselling will be available to any pupil who wants it.

“Herts County Council has an educational psychology unit that works with schools and can be called in for any crisis situation.”

The first person to help the girl yesterday said that Leys Road is often used for speeding and something needs to be done to make it safer for pedestrians

But Herts County Council’s transport spokesman Simon Hoggett said no traffic calming measures would be introduced there in the foreseeable future.

He said: “I have looked at the accident data for Leys Road for the last three years.

“Before yesterday’s incident there have been only three accidents over this period, all of them located at the junction of Leys Road and St Albans Hill.

“Speed does not appear to have been a factor in these accidents.”

He suggested people could contact Herts County Councillor for the Hemel Hempstead South East ward Anthony McKay about the issue. Like all of the authority’s councillors, he has an annual £90,000 highways locality budget to spend on roads in his ward, which covers Bennetts End.

Another option would be to report speeding to police, who could lobby the authority for a new speed camera on the road, Mr Hoggett suggested.

But he said the legal criteria for a static camera is that there must have been four fatal or serious collisions along a one-kilometre stretch of road within three years.

The figure falls to two fatal or serious collisions for a mobile camera.

Community police officers visited Lime Walk Primary School this morning and this afternoon to offer support to its parents and pupils.

Headteacher Angela Belgrove said: “The staff and pupils at Lime Walk school are saddened by the events that occurred yesterday. This was a tragic accident and our thoughts at this time are with our pupil and her family.”