Protesters demand safety measures at fatal accident hotspot in Penistone
Protesters gathered at a Penistone junction, which is notorious for accidents, to demand better safety meaures.
The Hazelhead crossroads at the junction of Bents Road and Whams road on the A616 has been the spot of a number of accidents – including a two vehicle collision which left a man with “life-changing” injuries on Monday, October 4.
Campaigners have long called for the 60mph speed limit to be reduced, following what one councillor estimates to be 25 to 30 accidents in the last 30 years.
Councillor Allen Pestell, chair of Dunford Bridge Parish Council, said that there is “no justification” for Barnsley Council to not implement safety measures.
Councillor Pestell, whose car was written off in an accident at the crossroads 35 years ago, said that he “defies anyone to find a crossroads with a higher death rate.”
“The whole road is a danger,” coun Pestell added.
“We’ve had enough.”
Numerous fatal accidents have been reported at the site; A man and woman were killed in 2010 when their black Rover 75 collided with a black Audi A5; two Rotherham men died in 2016 after their car was in a collision with a HGV; and further up the road at an s-bend, father and son Christopher Mellor, 57, and son Mackenzie Mellor, 23, died in 2019.
Councillor David Wood, of Penistone Town Council, has numerous concerns about the entire stretch of Whams Road, including overgrown buses forcing people to walk in the road, broken road signs, and debris from accidents not being cleaned up.
“There’s that many accidents that happen on this stretch of road,” said coun Wood.
“We know of probably 20 deaths in 20 years, and that doesn’t count the near misses and accidents.
“We’d like to see the speed limit reduced to 40, and through the village, some would like to see it at 20.
“The residents have had enough, and I’m sure the people that use this junction have had enough as well.”
The family of Sean Elvin and his uncle Raymond Elvin, who died at the crossroads following an accident in November 2005, say they can “feel the road shaking” from speeding vehicles as they tend to the roadside memorial.
Katrina Elvin, the daughter of Raymond and cousin of Sean, said that “more needs to be done” to prevent accidents at the site.
Protesters say a number of safety measures could be considered, including a mini-roundabout, warning signs, a lower speed limit, ruble strips or traffic lights – all of which would slow motorists down.
Helen Roberts, who has lived in the area for 20 years, says she feels she is “dicing with death” every time she uses the crossroads.
“Visibility to the left is absolutly zero,” she added.
“It should be 20mph at that crossroad.”
Councillor Pauline McCarthy, cabinet support member for environment and transport at Barnsley Council said: “We take every road collision seriously, and are committed to making our roads as safe as possible for all road users.
“We’re always looking at ways in which we can improve safety on roads in the borough.
“As part of this, we make sure to take into account any road safety concerns from our residents and road users, and we’ll continue to work with our partners at South Yorkshire Police to review all fatal and life threatening collisions on our network.”