Glasgow & West Scotland

Girl's death in Motherwell stirs anger over 'ignored' road concerns

Abbie Mclaren Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Dalziel High pupil Abbie Mclaren died after being hit by a car in Motherwell.

A community in North Lanarkshire is demanding the introduction of traffic calming measures after the death of a 12-year-old girl who was hit by a car.

Abbie Mclaren was fatally injured on The Loaning in Motherwell on Tuesday.

A man was due to appear at Hamilton Sheriff Court in connection with alleged road traffic offences.

The Loaning is surrounded by three primary schools, a secondary school and a nursery, but the only measures in place are "20's plenty" signs.

A petition asking North Lanarkshire Council to introduce traffic control measures has gained more than 9,000 signatures in the 24 hours since the fatal incident.

One local resident has called the situation "a terrifying scenario waiting to happen".

Schoolteacher Ruth Quadrelli lives on The Loaning and is supporting the petition.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The Loaning is a long straight road and a main route to several schools in the area

She told the BBC News website: "I live on this street and I am terrified for my children's safety - and have been for years.

"The road is incredibly long and straight. There are no breaks in the road where there are any slow-down points.

"There are three primary schools attached to the area, one high school around the corner - and a nursery.

"There are no zebra crossings, no traffic lights at the junctions and no mini roundabouts to slow down the speed of oncoming traffic."

Another issue on the road is a local car dealership.

Image copyright Ruth Quadrelli
Image caption Ruth Quadrelli is concerned about car transporters unloading on the pavement

She said: "There is Park's Motors which has transporter lorries which unload their cars onto the pavement.

"It's a huge issue in the area and the roundabout at Hamilton Road is bottlenecked when these cars are offloaded onto the pedestrian pavement.

"I see this situation as grossly negligent. Children's safety on this road is of paramount importance.

"This wee girl's life must be fought for. "

'Totally numb'

Local man Scott Symington runs a community Facebook page called Motherwell's Community Group.

He said the events of Tuesday night were devastating for everyone in the area.

He said: "Everyone is totally numb. Sleeping on Tuesday night was a non-event due to this horrific tragedy.

"Only last year I spoke to a guy at the roads department of the council to highlight mine and the members' fears that this road was a tragedy waiting to happen.

"I was told was it wasn't justified to put speed reduction measures into place.

"The residents here are absolutely appalled by the lack of commitment and action taken when I highlighted this all last year.

"I just hope this tragic accident will wake them all up and take action."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Pupils and staff will be offered support at Dalziel High School

Abbie was a pupil at Dalziel High School where help and support is being made available to pupils and teachers as they return to lessons following the half-term.

Rector Robert Birch, said: "This is a terrible tragedy and I know I'm speaking on behalf of all pupils, staff and friends at Dalziel when I say that Abbie's death has been a devastating loss to the entire school community.

"She was a very popular, happy and talented girl who will be deeply missed by everyone at the school and her family is very much in all our thoughts.

"She had many friends here and came to school with a bright smile on her face, bringing joy to many.

"Staff and pupils will be fully supported as they come to terms with this extremely sad news."

'Appropriate action'

A North Lanarkshire Council spokeswoman said: "Following a tragedy such as this, it is understandable that people will raise concerns about road safety.

"The council's immediate focus is on supporting pupils, staff and the wider community who are deeply affected by this appalling tragedy and the condolences from everyone at the council are with Abbie's family and friends.

"We will work with Police Scotland throughout their investigation into the circumstances and will take appropriate action based on their findings.

"Against that backdrop and in light of ongoing criminal proceedings, it is entirely inappropriate to speculate on the causes and circumstances of Abbie's death."

Park's Motor Group was also approached for comment.

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