Three pedestrians killed on same busy stretch of Northampton road in four years - but what are the authorities doing about it?
Two of the fatalities on the half-mile stretch of road have come in the last six months, with one involving a pregnant mother-of-four
There has been three deaths on the same stretch of road in Northampton over the last four years - so what are the authorities doing to make it safer?
Horse Market going into Broad Street, a busy half-mile stretch of road, has been the scene of three road fatalities between 2017 and 2021 - with two of them coming in the last six months.
Labourer Keith Matson was the first victim when he lost his life after being in collision with a truck in Horse Market, directly metres from the entrance to Sol Central.
An inquest into his death heard how Mr Matson had fallen from his mobility scooter into the road and under the wheels of a flatbed lorry at around 1pm on March 8 in 2017.
The next fatality was 39-year-old pregnant mother-of-four Dulce Lina Mendes Pereira, who was involved in a collision with a car at 2pm on Saturday, May 29 of this year.
Dulce was six months pregnant and left behind four children aged 21, 14, eight and one.
The third fatality came last week on Wednesday, November 3, at 1.45pm when a man was hit by a black Ford KA travelling north on Broad Street, towards the Barrack Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene and has not been named by police.
This newspaper asked West Northamptonshire Council' s (WNC) Highways department what it can do to make the road safer for pedestrians and motorists.
What would the council say about these incidents?
A WNC spokeswoman said: "The locations of the incidents referred to are part of a Red Route, which was last reviewed in late 2018 as part of a larger study.
"These are reviewed regularly based on accident statistics to allow prioritisation of any safety and improvement schemes that might be required.
"A further review is currently programmed to take place in January 2022."
What is the council doing to prevent these incidents from happening again?
A WNC spokeswoman added: "We haven’t received any details of the incident on Broad Street, however we are liaising with the police who haven’t raised any concerns with the highway network. We will therefore need to await further details to understand the causation and any contributory factors to the incident.
"None of the incidents are linked and from what we are aware of at present, there are no common factors.
"The outcome of a review to be undertaken in January will determine if there are any highway improvements which can be made to avoid any similar occurrences."
What does the council believe is the issue with that road?
The WNC spokeswoman continued: "Whilst it is extremely concerning that there should be any road deaths and in particular, on one stretch of road, the circumstances leading to the incidents will be reviewed to identify if there are any highway improvements that can be made to avoid similar instances in future.
"At the moment, it is not possible to identify any issues with the highway.
"We work very closely with the police who investigate all road deaths and should they feel that there is an obvious contributory factor relating to the highway asset which could be mitigated by improvement works, they would raise this with us.
"We are not aware of any concerns in this regard however, as mentioned, we are undertaking a review of this Red Route in January 2022."
What is the solution?
The WNC spokeswoman said: "Unfortunately, there is no solution that makes roads safe. Where there is an interface between non-motorised road users and vehicular traffic, there is always a risk of collision.
"Measures such as pedestrian crossings are provided to help pedestrians safely cross roads, however the safety of using these still relies on a number of factors, ie. cars stopping, people crossing when it is safe to do so, etc.
"The review that is due to take place in January will determine if there are any effective highway solutions to improve this situation."