Glasgow & West Scotland

Motherwell community's silent protest for accident victim Abbie Mclaren

Torchlight walk
Image caption The community turned out to support changes to the road and to give support to the family of Abbie Mclaren

Almost a thousand people turned out for a torchlight vigil to call for safer roads in Motherwell after the death of schoolgirl Abbie Mclaren.

The silent march lined the road where the 12-year-old died after being hit by a car almost a week ago.

The community wants North Lanarkshire Council to put traffic control measures on The Loaning following the tragedy.

A man has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving without a licence.

The Dalziel High School pupil was struck by a car on Tuesday 12 February after getting off a bus.

She died later at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

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

Martin McGuire, 38, appeared in private at Hamilton Sheriff Court on five driving charges. He made no plea.

The 38-year-old, from Hamilton, is a cousin of Abbie's father John Mclaren, who was a passenger in the Citroen at the time.

'Louder than words'

A petition asking North Lanarkshire Council to introduce traffic control measures has gained more than 12.600 signatures in less than a week since the fatal incident.

Community leaders decided to make their own statement by staging a walk along the road at the centre of local concerns.

Local man Scott Symington runs a community Facebook page called Motherwell's Community Group and he organised the march.

Image caption Hundreds of people lined both sides of the road

He said: "This road and surrounding roads are dangerous - no pelican crossings or markings for crossroads, double parking, parking on pavements.

"I've seen countless drivers going too fast. I've always said there will be somebody killed one of these days. The way I look at it is, it could have been my child.

"I hope the people who need to take notice really do take notice so that something can be done."

An estimated 800-900 people lined the road carrying candles, torches and pictures of Abbie.

'Pulling together'

Mr Symington said it was heartening to see them come together for a shared cause.

He said: "It was absolutely an amazing sight to behold.

"I am blown away with the way it went and for the amount of feet on the ground.

"This speaks louder than any words - this is what makes a community pull everyone and everything together in times like Abbie's tragedy.

"This - I hope - shows they need to change what we are asking to prevent this sort of thing happening again."

Image caption The road has been a concern for local people for many years

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

It is a long straight road that locals say can lead to speeding.

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

A North Lanarkshire Council has said it will work with Police Scotland throughout their investigation into the circumstances and will take appropriate action based on their findings.

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