25th Mar, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Hampton in Arden GP injured in hit-and-run calls for speed restrictions

Lauren Clarke 25th Nov, 2016

A HAMPTON in Arden GP who cheated death when a speeding car nearly hit him and his wife before fleeing the scene has called for tougher speed restrictions to be installed in the village.

Dr Rodger Charlton and his wife, Mary, were walking along the pavement of the B4102 Meriden Road at around 9pm on Saturday, November 5 when a black car and a white car – driving at ‘extremely high speeds’ – came over the brow of the hill by Hampton in Arden Station.

Suddenly the black car, which was overtaking the other, span out of control and hit a parked van which then slammed into the couple.

Both sustained cracked ribs and Dr Charlton fractured and severely damaged the ligaments in his left foot.

Speaking exclusively to the Observer, Dr Charlton said: “Mary and I were walking along and were about 20 yards from the station when I saw the white car coming over the brow of the hill.

“I screamed because it must have been going at least 80mph, but as it was dark I didn’t see the black car.

“The next thing I remember was hearing a sound like an explosion and I was thrown over to one side, screaming in pain.”

The explosion was actually the sound of the black car smashing into a parked van, which was written off.

Neighbours rushed out of their homes after hearing the shattering sound, and called for the police and an ambulance.

Witnesses then told the couple the driver of the black car, which was also written off, freed himself and ran to the white car he had been overtaking – jumping in and speeding away from the scene of the accident.

“It all happened so quickly that we didn’t even have time to react,” Dr Charlton added.

“And if it had not been for a parked van on Meriden Road, we would both be dead.”

Dr Charlton claims it took police officers took two weeks to visit and take a statement from the couple.

Now the doctor, who is unable to return to work at Hampton Surgery until he recovers, is calling for harsher speed restrictions and traffic calming measures to be installed in the village.

There is already an LED sign which reminds drivers of the 30mph limit, but there is nothing to physically slow vehicles down.

And with the advent of HS2, the GP is urging for something to be done before increased construction traffic thunders down the already busy route.

He said: “Hampton needs urgent speed reduction measures similar to the speed bumps that have been put in Hampton Road and the High Street of Knowle.

“While this may impede emergency vehicles travelling through the village, people drive through Hampton in Arden without due care and attention all the time – putting the lives of the residents at risk.

“I have asked the council why nothing is being done about speeding in the village and they tell me the matter is actively on the agenda – but it’s been ‘on the agenda’ since I moved here 21 years ago.”

Meriden MP, Caroline Spelman, is supporting the injured couple and has asked Solihull Council to review speeding measures through the village.

She has also promised to back measures to mitigate increased traffic through the village before work on HS2 begins.

Dr Charlton argued: “Now it would seem that not even our pavements are safe.

“This is a public health issue and more needs to be done to prevent it, but the logic seems to be that you have to wait for a fatality for anything to change.

“From my point of view as a medic I’m meant to be preventing illness, not waiting for someone to die for something to happen.”