Grieving dad makes emotional appeal for action at spot son was killed on Solihull road

David Livingston with Councillor Max McLoughlin.
-Credit: (Image: Solihull Council)

A grieving father made an emotional appeal to Solihull councillors to take action to prevent another death at a junction where his son died. David Livingston’s son Paul was killed in a crash on the Bills Lane junction with Langcomb Road on December 6, 1989.

Making the appeal at the latest meeting of Solihull Council Mr Livingston said: “Paul was a pedestrian and he was only 17-years-old. “Stephen Beckett was also killed at the same junction on August 18, 2014.

“Another pedestrian was seriously injured close to the junction in December 2023. On several occasions cars travelling so fast they are unable to break in time for the bend have collided with the fence. There must be a more effective way of reducing dangerous speeds motorists are travelling at down Bills Lane.”

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Mr Livingston - whose words were read out by Councillor Max McLoughlin to councillors - said he had suffered a life of anxiety, stress and panic attacks, and had had suicidal thoughts. “Every time I see or hear a car travelling at unsafe speeds down Bills Lane it not only brings back the loss I experienced but it makes me fearful for the next family who will inevitably go through the same trauma if something isn’t done," Mr Livingston said.

“Two lives lost on one road is two lives too many. I’m convinced if the council do not take action to reduce speed there will be a third fatality.”

In response Councillor Ken Hawkin, cabinet portfolio folder for environment and infrastructure which includes highways, said: We are truly sorry about your son’s death. Solihull has some of the safest roads in the borough, region and indeed in the country. We work with our partners to improve our roads, year-on-year.

“I’m a former police officer, I have been to many fatal accidents. On my watch I will strive to make our roads as safe as possible.” Later in the meeting Coun McLoughlin said he had asked Mr Hawkin's predecessor in the role to put ‘Slow’ on Bills Lane, which did not materialise.

Bills Lane junction with Langcomb Road.
Bills Lane junction with Langcomb Road. -Credit:Google Maps

Coun Hawkins replied: “You are not going to (prevent) an accident by just writing ‘Slow’. Our work is guided by priorities. If this road was dangerous, any road was dangerous, we would prioritise.

"When our data shows roads aren’t dangerous we prioritise our resources accordingly.” Coun McLoughlin pointed out vehicle speeds of cars passing Bills Wood or from Haslucks Green Road increase as some drivers treated it as a national speed limit road despite it being 30mph.

Coun Hawkins replied: “I don’t think Bills Lane is much different to a lot of roads. Just because you say it is dangerous, doesn’t mean to say it is a great priority. I will ask officers to review the situation.”

In the 2014 crash Stephen Beckett, a 59-year-old grandfather, died after the Vauxhall he was driving had a crash with a Range Rover. The full council meeting was held Civic Suite on Tuesday, (July 9).

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