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Safety fears after Devizes crossing accident
3:00pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
Neighbours of 87-year-old George Beale are praying he will recover after he was seriously injured when he was knocked down on a pedestrian crossing a short distance from his home.
Mr Beale, a retired bus driver, was walking his dog when the collision happened at the crossing in Bath Road near the junction of Belle Vue Road and close to the former Artichoke pub shortly after 8pm on Monday.
Mr Beale, of Melbourne Place, has lived in the street for many years and is well liked and neighbours have called for action to make the crossing safer.
Neighbour Yvonne Barker said: “Everyone is so upset about George and angry. There needs to be lights put on the pedestrian crossing because cars whizz around the corner into Bath Road from the Melksham direction and before they know it there’s a crossing in front of them.”
Keith Fletcher, of nearby Farleigh Place, said residents had been concerned about the safety of the pedestrian crossing for some time.
Mr Fletcher, 62, who has lived there for 15 years, said: “An accident like this has been waiting to happen for a long time, traffic does not stop. It comes speeding up Bath Road.
“I have been using the crossing and been in the middle and had to jump back out of the way because a car hasn’t stopped.
“The number of times that people have nearly been knocked down is incredible. The crossing is used by elderly people and families with children. I would like the crossing to have traffic lights to stop the traffic to make it safer.”
Mr Beale, was in collision with a red Citroen Saxo, driven by a 63-year-old woman from the Devizes area. He suffered head injuries and was treated by paramedics at the scene before being flown by the Wiltshire Air Ambulance to Frenchay Hospital, Bristol.
Yesterday he remained in a critical condition.
Ms Barker said Mr Beale lived independently and looked younger than his 87 years.
Ms Barker said Mr Beale had been injured in an accident when he was riding his bike near to Gaigers yard, Northgate Street, when he was in collision with a bus about three years ago but he had recovered from that.
She said: “George is a fit man, he looks like a 55-year-old. He walks miles and uses the crossing twice a day when he walks his dog.
“He still rides a bike and does shopping. Everyone along here loves George and we are hoping and praying he can come through this.”
Wiltshire Police’s serious collision investigation team has appealed for witnesses to call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.