Plea for barriers to avoid repeat of Mold market day crash

Reporter:

Robert Doman

CALLS have intensified for crash barriers at Mold market.

A man whose grandson was pulled from the path of a car which careered into the open air market, wants Flintshire Council to reconsider installing barriers.

Shoppers and traders narrowly avoided tragic consequences last December when a car drove into the Saturday market, leaving 10 people injured.

Dementia sufferer Norman Jones, 81, had already surrendered his licence and vowed never to drive again after the incident, before Flintshire Magistrates’ Court banned him from getting behind the wheel last week until he retakes a driving test.

But Flintshire Council has resisted calls to install barriers on market days on the grounds they would be impractical.

“My daughter was one of those clipped by the car and my grandson was pulled to safety by a stallholder,” said Sychdyn resident Paul Glantz.

“It was more luck than judgement that nobody was killed. The council close the street on market days with a flimsy chain-link fence.

“I am surprised the council hasn’t taken steps to increase people’s safety on market days considering how serious the incident was. I feel it is time to highlight the total lack of response by Flintshire Council.

“It is plainly obvious to everyone who visits Mold that barriers need to be put in place to prevent another tragedy of this sort from happening again.”

During Thursday’s court proceedings, Mr Jones’ defence lawyer suggested barriers should be introduced at the town centre market to prevent any repetition of the December 7 crash.

Phillip Lloyd Jones argued stallholders and shoppers were at risk of a repetition and said he felt sure the local authority would consider the possibility of putting up a crash barrier.

The court heard how one woman, Sylvia McHarris, suffered serious injuries to her lower right leg after being injured in the crash involving Mr Jones’ Citroen Picasso. A section of bone below the knee was sheared off and seven pins and a metal plate have since been inserted.

Another woman broke her fibula and her ankle as a result of the accident, while another suffered broken ribs.

However, a council spokesman said: “A risk assessment, which was undertaken by staff from the council and North Wales Police following the incident in December, concluded the position of the market should not change and the provision of a barrier would not be practical.”

Mold and Flintshire councillor Hadyn Bateman suggested alternatives could be sought.

He said. “I would say it is certainly worth having another look at this to see whether crash barriers or a suitable alternative could be feasible."

See full story in the Leader

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