Southsea nursery owner calls for action to stop speeding drivers after wall is destroyed

The owner of a Southsea nursery has urged the council to offer more support after a wall was destroyed for the second time in a late-night crash.

By Kieran Davey
Friday, 14th August 2020, 1:47 pm

Staff at the Rainbow Corner nursery in Victoria Road North were left shocked when they arrived on Thursday morning to find the wall, yards from the nursery playground, had been destroyed.

A police spokesperson said the crash happened about 3am. The driver left the vehicle before officers arrived but was later arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital.

No-one was injured in the crash.

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Picture: Keith Woodland (130820-9)

Nursery owner Lucy Whitehead said the wall had recently been rebuilt, costing ‘thousands of pounds’, and had previously been damaged in a similar crash two years ago.

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The 42-year-old told The News she had written to Portsmouth City Council urging them to do more to stop drivers from speeding round the corner by the nursery, including installing safety barriers and bollards.

She said: ‘Obviously I am devastated. Thankfully these sorts of incidents are relatively rare, luckily it happened in the early hours of the morning.

Picture: Keith Woodland (130820-9)

‘I have previously requested some sort of traffic-calming measures through that stretch, but I’ve told it is not possible. I am not satisfied.

‘I am not prepared to sit back and be told nothing can be done about it. Clearly there is an issue if people cannot drive carefully down that road.’

‘I pride myself on safety standards as a business. You invest in the business when things need doing, but you never get the cost back.’

Lucy has submitted an insurance claim for the wall and is waiting to hear back.

Picture: Keith Woodland (130820-3)

She said: ‘The parents have been hugely positive, they have asked about what they can do, and said they are very sorry that this has happened. I have asked them to speak to their local MP and see about something being done.’

A Portsmouth City Council spokesperson said: ‘We're aware of the understandable concerns about this location, and given this most recent incident, we're looking at it very seriously to see what further protective measures might be possible.’

A speed survey will be carried out next week.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson said officers were called just after 3am after the single-vehicle collision, involving a BMW 3 series.

They added: ‘The driver, a 25-year-old man from Southsea, had left the vehicle before police arrival but was located nearby. He was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital to be checked over.

‘He has been de-arrested and will be interviewed voluntarily.’

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