Hilton youngster hit by car

A HILTON mother is calling for more road safety measures to be installed in the village after her 11-year-old son was hit by a car.

Jo Perez’s son, Felix, was knocked down on Potton Road after getting off his school bus on Wednesday evening last week (November 9).

He was taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital, suffering from cuts and grazes.

Mrs Perez, 43, of Tithe Close, said: “He’s got a really nasty bump and swelling to his head, grazes and bruises down the right side of his body. His elbow and right leg were badly cut.

“He’s in a sorry state and he’s really shaken up by it. He is very quiet and subdued.

“He just can’t remember what made him go. It’s a very hard lesson learned in a not-very-nice way.”

She continued: “This highlights how dangerous this road is. Felix came home from school on the late bus, which is provided by the school for children doing after-school activities. It stopped in a totally inappropriate place, not at the designated stop, and I am not happy about that.

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“He got off the bus and walked down the road to cross because the bus obscured his view. He can’t remember what happened or why he crossed. His friend shouted to him to run because they had spotted a car coming.

“We have cars and lorries that hurtle through the village. Luckily, this was a sensible car driver who had seen the school bus and was being cautious but, even so, still managed to hit Felix.”

Mrs Perez has spoken to Whippet Coaches, which operates the late bus service from Swavesey Village College, and the company has confirmed to her that drivers will no longer drop children off on Potton Road.

She said: “I don’t know what it is going to take to get something done about the road. It’s an accident waiting to happen.

“Ideally, there needs to be a proper crossing for the children using the bus for school. Most of them, either going to school or coming home, have to cross the road. Particularly at this time of year, it is really dangerous. There need to be some safety precautions in place.”

Ken Attwood, a retired police officer and Hilton resident, is a parish councillor and member of Hilton Action for Traffic.

He said: “It’s appalling that this has happened. How many times has this got to happen before the council does something? It’s a major concern to everyone.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council, which is responsible for the county’s roads, said: ““We are sorry to learn of this accident, and our best wishes and thoughts are with the young man who was injured.

“Two bids were received from Hilton for funding from a jointly-funded improvement scheme run by CCC and the district councils, one bid for Graveley Road and the other for Potton Road. Both bids were assessed for potential improvement work and ‘scored’ almost equally. Hilton Parish Council was asked to decide which scheme should be given priority and chose the work in Graveley Road.

“The jointly funded improvement programme has now ended and, based on its recent accident history, Potton Road is not currently a priority for any further highway safety improvements. However, if we receive representations from the local community, we would be happy to discuss what could be done and how the council could support the local community to achieve this.”

Whippet director Peter Lee said the company had amended the bus’s route to avoid dropping off in Potton Road, and would instead use Scott’s Crescent in future.

“We are concerned that it happened, but inevitably people have to cross the road. It was fortunate that the lady in the car was going slowly enough and there was no serious injury.”

He acknowledged that the new arrangements might not be popular with residents, and that parked car might make manoeuvring difficult, “but it’s only one bus a day”.

• A St Ives Area Speedwatch survey carried out between March 2 and 9 showed that more than half of all drivers heading out of Hilton towards Papworth qualified for prosecution using police guidelines.