CONCERNS have been raised about the speed limit and safety of a road after a car ploughed into trees and down an embankment.

At about 3.30pm on Saturday, A Volkswagen up! that was travelling along Whalley Old Road, in the direction of Whalley, lost control, ploughed into a speed limit sign and crashed into trees.

Emergency services were called and paramedics treated a man at the roadside.

On Sunday, at around 8.15pm, fire crews were called to the scene of the crash, near Langho, following reports of a fire involving a vehicle which was off the road and down an embankment.

When they arrived, they found the same VW up! on fire.

A spokesperson for the police said: “The fire is being treated as suspicious.

“At the moment we cannot find anything that links the two incidents.”

Councillors in the area have expressed their concerns about the 60mph speed limit and safety on the road following the crash.

Ribble Valley councillors, Ged Mirfin and Mark Hindle, have said that the speed limit on the road outside York Village is too high – especially as the road conditions are parlous in some places.

Cllr Mirfin said: “The man was very lucky as this was on a good day, but a 60mph speed limit is just too fast.

“Imagine the conditions had been less favourable and the driver came off at a stretch not bounded by trees or where the tree cover was more dense. The consequences could have been far more serious.

“We could easily have been looking at a fatality.

“There is an urgent need for crash barriers and a lower speed limit on this road between York Village and Painter Wood.

“I also find it ominous and a bit unusual that the car was set on fire the next day.”

Cllr Mark Hindle said the road surface, warning signage and fencing along what has become a ‘rat-run’ need improving.

He said: “For some reason, people on this stretch of road think they are rally drivers.

“Boy racers and older drivers ought to know better and drive more carefully along this difficult stretch of road.

“We will both be pressing the Highways Department at County to do something about this.

"The evidence of what could happen if they fail to take action is there for all to see.”

A joint investigation between the fire service and the police is now under way to establish the circumstances around the crash and the fire.