Mum devastated by sign vandals

Harborough Avenue speed sign
Harborough Avenue speed sign
Have your say

THE mum of a nine-year-old boy knocked down by a car has been ‘devastated’ by the actions of mindless vandals who destroyed a flashing speed sign erected to improve road safety.

Residents on the Manor launched a vigorous campaign for better safety measures after schoolboy Mitchell Mason suffered terrible head injuries on Harborough Avenue in June.

The accident blackspot, next to the junction with Fretson Road and a popular park, had been the scene of several car smashes over the years.

The community campaign pushed the council to agree to put up a £3,000 speed-indicator device – known as a smiley SID –and the community assembly has allocated a further £5,000 for barriers, crossing points and other safety measures.

But the residents’ achievement received a massive knock-back when yobs destroyed the SID on Harborough Avenue, smashing the solar panel and pulling out the wiring.

A few days later yobs threw a vacuum cleaner at the sign.

And on Thursday night there were further attacks on two warning signs on nearby Hastilar Road.

Mitchell’s mum Leasa Ward, 36, said: “It’s really upset me, I’m devastated. I feel like they are directly targeting Mitchell. After everything we’ve been through, this is just awful.”

Father-of-three Kevan Smith, 54, of Fretson Road, who campaigned for the signs to be put up, said: “After all the work we put in, I can’t believe why anyone would do this.

“These people must have younger brothers and sisters – they need to think how they would feel if it was their family in Mitchell’s position.”

Mitchell, a pupil at Woodthorpe Primary, had to have life-saving surgery after the smash. He has made incredible progress since the accident, and has been taught how to walk again, but still needs further operations and has a long way to go.

Kevan added: “It will cost £900 to repair the SID on Harborough Avenue. The community assembly has allocated all the money they have, so we are going to have to raise the money ourselves.”

Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “There have been four attacks in three weeks.

“I am disgusted by this, and strongly condemn this vandalism. These devices were installed in direct response to community concerns about road safety, and evidence shows they have an impact in reducing speeds.

“I cannot believe that mindless vandals would do this. This incident has been reported to the police, and we would urge anyone who has knowledge of this crime to contact them.”

n Anyone with information about the vandalism should call 0114 2202020.