Safety plea after fatal road crash

URGENT road safety improvements are being called for following the third fatal road accident in a month on the notorious A6055 Knaresborough to Boroughbridge road. A young Knaresborough man from Hambleton Close was killed when the car he was driving left the road at Ferrensby on Saturday.

Former King James's School pupil, Graham Robert Billingham, who was 18 and left the school two years ago, was driving a red Fiat Punto when the accident happened on a right-hand bend at 5.20pm on Saturday on the A6055 just south of the Ferrensby crossroads.

He was travelling towards the General Tarleton Inn at Ferrensby where he worked as barman.

No other vehicle is thought to have been involved in the accident, but the car crossed the carriageway by Treaclejug Hall before leaving the road. The road was closed for five hours.

Graham was one of four children. His funeral will take place on Monday, December 1 at Holy Trinity Church, Knaresborough at 1.30pm. A collection for the Air Ambulance Appeal will be held.

Pupils from King James's School were reported to be in a state of shock this week following the news of Graham's

death.

A former employee at Kitching Timber Builders Merchants on Manse Lane for two years having been a work experience student with the firm, many staff are hoping to attend Monday's funeral.

Graham had also worked part-time behind the bar at the Market Tavern pub. He had recently started work at the General Tarleton Inn.

A spokesman for the General Tarleton said: "We would like to extend our sympathies to the family. It is a great shame. Graham was a very valued colleague."

This particular stretch of road has been the scene of a number of fatalities in the past two years.

In November 2001, a 19-year-old woman died when her car was involved in a collision at the double bends north of

Ferrensby. In August 2002, a 29-year-old Sowerby man died in a head-on collision near Ferrensby.

Earlier this month, motorcyclist Ian Hibbert, from Leeds, died when he crashed at Minskip and on November 6, 17-year-old Philip Brown from Topcliffe died after a collision with another car, near Knaresborough Golf Club.

Chairman, Alec Little and Treasurer, Tony Brown for Ferrensby Parish Meeting said: "We are very concerned about this road and for some time have been trying to persuade Harrogate Borough Council to do something about it.

"We have concerns for the whole road from Knaresborough to Boroughbridge and would like to see speed limits and safety measures introduced immediately."

Knaresborough County Councillor, Bill Hoult added: "This road is turning in to a mini

A61.

"There are a lot of severe bends and action needs to be taken with speed limits put on and maybe speed cameras."

Harrogate Road Policing Group representative, Sgt Steve Ball confirmed police were very concerned about the road.

He said: "We have previously notified North Yorkshire County Council about this road.

"We are in favour of calming measures as the volume of traffic has increased on this road as Boroughbridge has grown in size and there are more commuters."

l Police would like to hear from anyone who witnessed Saturday's accident or saw the car prior to the accident. Please contact TC898 Rick Harper on Harrogate 539626.