COUNTY Hall have rejected plans to cut down a national speed limit on a public highway in the Ribble Valley where there have been ‘serious’ accidents.

Residents and councillors have called for a reduction in the speed that cars go from Painter Wood to York Village, on Whalley Old Road, Billington, where the speed varies from 30mph to 60mph.

An inspection, conducted by Lancashire County Council, of the collision history on the road shows that there were three incidents within the past five years, of which two were classed as ‘serious’.

The first incident involved a dazzled driver hitting a stone wall and the other involving loss of control whilst avoiding an on-coming car.

The third accident resulted from a parked car’s handbrake not being fully applied.

Cllr Ged Mirfin, who represents the area, and the community contacted Lancashire County Council to cut down the national speed limits on the busy carriageway to make the road safe for all users.

Phil Steed, the district lead officer for Lancashire County Council highways, said the group was not in support of a lower limit being implemented.

Mr Steed said the current speed is appropriate and in keeping with other rural roads throughout the county which is also frequented by ‘vulnerable’ road users.

He said it would be ‘difficult to justify’ the further extension of lowering the speed limit or the introduction of traffic calming measures because the road has a clear safety record, with no injury-related collisions in the last five years.

Helen McDowell, who has lived on Whalley Old Road for two years, said: “I’m extremely disappointed and saddened by the news.

“I worry we will end up being quite reactive to incidents and more people will have to die.

“In the last couple of weeks I have nearly been run over while walking the dog. It’s dangerous walking down the street.

“Some motorists speed up before they pass the national speed limit sign.

“We need to be more proactive to stop it.”

Cllr Mirfin said: “Residents of Painter Wood were really disappointed with the reply and expressed their dismay.

“The question I would pose to County Hall and the issue raised by a number of local residents with me is do near misses not count? This stretch of road is an accident waiting to happen.”