Grieving father’s road safety plea amid more deaths fears

Kate Whalley
Kate Whalley
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THE father of an 18-year-old student who died after she was struck a car near her home in north Leeds fears more lives could be lost unless road safety measures are introduced.

Kate Whalley was hit by a black Ford Fiesta on the A660 Leeds Road near the junction with Old Pool Bank at Pool-in Wharfedale in June.

Floral tributes left at the scene of the tragedy on Leeds Road at Pool-in-Wharfedale

Floral tributes left at the scene of the tragedy on Leeds Road at Pool-in-Wharfedale

Campaigning residents had been calling for speed cameras to be installed for around two years before the tragedy.

Kate’s father Michael had asked a Leeds City Council highway’s representative for traffic calming measures to be installed at a Pool-in-Wharfedale Parish Council meeting around a year before.

Now residents have launched the Old Pool Bank Road Safety Campaign group and are calling for a 30mph zone on the stretch of Leeds Road and for a speed camera to be installed.

Mr Whalley, of Cragg View, said: “After our daughter’s death and from the comments made from the highways authority in a council meeting prior to Kate being killed that speed cameras would only be considered after a fatality, I find it hard to comprehend that we are still in a situation where we are having to argue our case for traffic calming measures.

“A 30mph speed restriction, which should be extended beyond the corner towards Otley end, together with speed cameras should have been implemented before now.

“It is only a matter of time before another pedestrian or cyclist could receive the same fate as our daughter.

“The whole stretch of road leading up from Otley should be 50mph to make it safe for cyclists, families using the Chevin and pedestrians.”

Mr Whalley added: “With public support I hope that the highways authority will see sense to prevent anyone else experiencing the loss and heartache that my family are going through.”

Group spokesman Kathie Griffiths, said: “Kate’s horrible death shook our community but it has brought us closer together and we are determined through sheer people power to keep piling the pressure on those who have the ability to make the road safety changes we so desperately need.

“This isn’t just about keeping the people who live here safe. We are also thinking of all the walkers, cyclists, joggers, drivers and their passengers who pass our doors.”

The driver of the Fiesta, a 22-year-old man, from Harrogate, was arrested and released pending further police enquiries.

Leeds City Council spokesman said: “This was an absolutely tragic event and we offered our deepest condolences to Mr Whalley and all of Kate’s family and friends for their devastating loss.

“Leeds City Council officers have met with local residents and councillors to discuss a range of highways issues, including the junction of the A660 and Old Pool Bank Road.

“We take any issues around road safety in our communities extremely seriously and carry out regular, ongoing reviews across the city to identify any areas of concern.

“We are working with the police to understand the circumstances involved in this incident and await the outcome of their ongoing investigations.”

The Old Pool Bank Road Safety Campaign group is working on producing a Facebook page to post campaign updates and keep a log of people’s near misses or close encounters on the road.

Anyone interested in joining the group or giving support, can e-mail campaign@oldpoolbankroadsafety.com or call 07913 977665.

Kate Whalley gave the gift of life to others after donating nine of her organs.

Kate, who was in the final year of her A Levels at Harrogate Grammar School, carried a donor card and her family granted her wishes.

Her family said she donated nine organs, including her heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register.Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call the NHS Blood and Transplant 24-hour-a-day donor line on 0300 123 23 23.

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