A CAR has demolished a canal bridge in a hit-and-run incident just yards from where a teenager from Burnley lost her life in a car accident three weeks ago.

Villagers in Hapton are now demanding action after the latest incident surrounding the humpback bridge in Manchester Road, close to where 17-year Estelle Thompson was killed.


Last night parish councillors were meeting to debate their latest move as part of their campaign to curb speeding traffic around the Leeds and Liverpool Canal crossing.

The Sunday afternoon collision, where a red Vauxhall Corsa which struck the wall and drove off, is at least the second time in three years that the bridge has been substantially damaged by a vehicle.

And a week before Estelle’s crash residents looked on in disbelief as a driver and three passengers in a red Vauxhall Corsa became airborne while trying to negotiate the bridge and bend.

Parish council chairman Coun Tim Birbeck said a number of possible solutions were under consideration and the authority was seeking the support of Lancashire Police for traffic-calming measures. He added: “Speed cameras do work to an extent but they cannot cover every inch of the road.

“My personal view would be that you could narrow the bridge down to one lane and install traffic lights at either end, to make it one way.”

But the councillor acknowledges that this may even prove difficult if motorists attempt to ‘beat the lights’ while driving along the straight road from Padiham.

Another potential measure could be improved signage, at both ends of the village, or even speed strips before and after the bridge – but people fear this may have a limited impact.

Coun Birbeck added: “Local people know what the score with the road is – it’s people who are driving through that are coming a cropper.

“You still get people coming through the village at 50 or 60mph and you can’t account for careless drivers.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman confirmed that the incident had been reported to the constabulary at around 2.40pm and the car is thought to have driven away.