Campaigners delight at road safety action in Scarborough's Old Town after woman seriously injured by runaway lorry crash

New road signs have been installed in Scarborough’s Old Town following a successful plea from campaigners after a woman suffered life-changing injuries in a runaway lorry crash earlier this year.

By George Buksmann
Thursday, 25th November 2021, 11:58 am
Cllr Janet Jefferson beside one of the new road safety signs she campaigned for on St Sepulchre Street.
Cllr Janet Jefferson beside one of the new road safety signs she campaigned for on St Sepulchre Street.

Two advisory signs have been installed at the start of Longwestgate and St Sepulchre Street with two more to be placed on East Sandgate and Castle Road, to help reduce the number of large delivery vehicles becoming stuck on the Old Town’s narrow streets.

The action was taken by North Yorkshire County Council after a woman was pinned and crushed by a runaway lorry in January.

Cllr Janet Jefferson, who lives in the Old Town and campaigned on behalf of residents, said: "It’s to prevent this happening again and to make drivers aware that the narrow streets of the Old Town are not capable of taking these very large vehicles, which are getting larger."

Earlier this year a woman was seriously injured when a runaway lorry crashed into a parked car, pinning her against a wall. (Photo: Dave Barry)

The signs are only advisory and do not explicitly ban drivers of large vehicles from driving down the narrow roads, but it is hoped that they will reduce the number who do.

Cllr Jefferson said a mandatory ban with sanctions could not be enforced as it is not covered by a Road Traffic Act without weight restrictions.

A new booking system has also been introduced, allowing residents to call North Yorkshire County Council’s Highways department to temporarily close a road and remove parked cars to

allow large delivery vehicles to safely navigate the narrow streets.

The four new signs aim to reduce the number of large delivery vehicles becoming stuck on the Old Town's narrow streets.

"It’s really a preventative method of having unnecessary, long vehicles in areas that aren’t suitable. The trouble is, they get started down the road and can’t get themselves out," Cllr Jefferson said.

The works were funded by Cllr Jefferson’s North Yorkshire County Council locality budget – a pot of money available to each county councillor to allow them to respond to local needs.

In North Yorkshire, councillors have a budget of £5,000 per year with the new signs costing roughly £2,500.

Cllr Jefferson said she was pleased to see the signs introduced after years of campaigning.

Residents said that the number of lorries getting stuck on the narrow roads is increasing and that houses and cars are repeatedly damaged by large vehicles.

"We’ve had a positive reaction from residents because hopefully we haven’t had any of the large wagons down, so that’s really made a difference," Cllr Jefferson said.

It is understood that the lorry driver was out of his cab when the HGV rolled forward, hitting a parked car and pinning the woman against a wall.

Woman Injured In Lorry Crush

A woman was seriously injured earlier this year after she was pinned and crushed by a runaway lorry which had crashed.

North Yorkshire Police were called to reports of a collision between a pedestrian, an HGV and parked cars opposite the junction of Longwestgate and Castlegate shortly after 10am on January 27.

The woman was taken to hospital by ambulance with "serious" injuries.

The multi-agency response also saw firefighters called to stabilise the lorry and structural engineers attend after significant damage was caused to steps at the front of a property.

The road was closed for several hours while emergency services dealt with the incident and later reopened around 1.15pm.