Distraught mum’s road safety plea

Road victim: Mitchell Mason, aged nine, who remains in a serious condition at the Sheffield Children's Hospital - pictured with mum Leasa Ward.
Road victim: Mitchell Mason, aged nine, who remains in a serious condition at the Sheffield Children's Hospital - pictured with mum Leasa Ward.
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THE distraught mum of a nine-year-old boy knocked down by a car on a Sheffield street has appealed to the council to act to stop more accidents in her area.

Mum-of-three Leasa Ward has maintained a daily vigil at Sheffield Children’s Hospital after son Mitchell ran into the path of a car near their home on the Manor.

Mitchell, a pupil at Woodthorpe Primary, will have to learn to walk again after suffering devastating injuries when he was hit at the junction of Harborough Avenue and Fretson Road.

The car, a blue Honda Civic, swerved but could not avoid the nine-year-old, who was crossing the road to a park.

Last night 40 parents, councillors, schoolteachers and community leaders met Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield and council road safety officers to discuss measures to make the Manor’s streets safer for children.

They said accidents are a regular occurrence on Harborough Avenue, where drivers gather speed along a straight section of road and where five streets meet to create a perilous intersection.

Leasa said: “I’ve lived here five years and I’ve seen six accidents. It’s a main walkway to school and the park - I really hope the council does something about it.”

Leasa, also mum to two other boys aged 13 and 18, added: “It has been an awful two weeks since the accident. Mitchell has now been moved off intensive care but he has a long way to go.

“He is on the neuroscience ward now. He is starting rehab but can’t respond or speak yet.”

Last night Sheffield Council promised to take action, after meeting anxious parents at the site and hearing suggestions about speed bumps, barriers to stop children running across the road, and crossing points.

Road Safety Manager Nigel Robson said some measures could be put in place within a month, as long as they are approved by the local community assembly, with more expensive measures such as speed bumps taking up to nine months.

Dave Smith, headteacher at Woodthorpe Primary, said: “This seems to be an accident blackspot. Sometimes the last thing children think of when they are crossing the road is looking out for cars.

“Mitchell is a fantastic, lively boy, who is very determined, which he is showing through his recovery at hospital.”

Father-of-two Kevan Smith, 54, who arranged the meeting, said: “We are not here to have a shouting match but to talk with the councillors, MP and council officers to see if we can make this a safer place.”