A ‘near miss’ road incident which 'almost killed a boy' in Skelmersdale has prompted calls for a road safety crossing in the town.

Support worker Matthew Wright who works at Skelmersdale Ecumenical Centre, said he and his wife witnessed a child nearly being killed by a taxi as he was crossing Northway last week.

He says while he believes neither the driver or the boy was at fault, the design of the road and lack of a safety crossing are to blame for the near miss.

Now he has posted a video online of the incident which he says occurred on the road linking a housing estate and the Concourse Shopping Centre, and is urging people to call for change.

READ MORE:Met Office verdict of reports Britain to be hotter than Portugal

He said in a statement posted online: “This afternoon, my wife Heather and I watched as a child was nearly killed in front of us as he crossed the road in Skelmersdale.

“I don't think the taxi driver did anything wrong, he wasn't noticeably driving above the speed limit, he stopped in time and without any drama, and neither is the lad in the video to blame. The road design and the lack of a safety crossing are the cause of this near miss."

Concourse shopping centre
The incident is alleged to have occurred on a road linking a housing estate and the Concourse Shopping Centre (pictured, stock image)

And he says things got so bad last week he was forced to take matters into his own hands, standing in the middle of the road to stop the traffic.

Talking to LancsLive, he said: “The driver did nothing wrong. He was not speeding - he was just doing what everyone else was doing. The kid was waiting and got frustrated and ran across the road. He got away with it by the skin of his teeth. He didn’t realise how close he was.

“Last week, I stood in the middle of the road and stopped the traffic. It’s a horrible crossing. This is near one of the poorest estates in Skelmersdale. People are trying to get to the shopping centre. You have elderly people, mums with prams, the lads I work with, all trying to negotiate that road.

“You see people walking along the road because there’s no pavement. They would rather negotiate walking on the road that the subways.

“The subways in low lying parts of the town are flooded. What lads or mums with kids want to go down to those subways? It’s very intimidating.

Subways across Skelmersdale are prone to significant flooding

“I just don’t understand the logic of not putting a crossing there. It would cost pennies, in comparison to dealing with a traffic collision instead.”

And he says that the issue is widespread in the town and is only going to get worse with any more housing development.

He added: “As a support worker, working at the Ecumenical Centre, I see this a lot. It’s a random road like any other, and it is so easy to fix. New shops are going up at the Concourse and that road is going to get busier. And quicker. People will still need to get across. How many people have to get hurt before they will fix it?”

Rosie Cooper MP said she fully backed Mr Wright’s concerns, emphasising how she had asked for road safety crossings across the whole of Skelmersdale.

She said: “I agree that zebra crossings will improve road safety across the whole of Skelmersdale. I have repeatedly asked for this.”

Lancashire County Councillor Terry Aldridge said: “The bridge is owned by the owners of the Concourse. If a crossing were to be installed, the traffic would be backed up on the main road in and out. It’s the design of the town that is the issue.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "The footbridge which crosses Northway provides a safe crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists, and we would ask parents to encourage their children to use this facility.

"Our highways and transport masterplan for West Lancashire identifies that poor pedestrian access is an issue in Skelmersdale due to the way the town was originally designed, with a reliance on underpasses and footbridges which are not always in places where people are most likely to want to cross the road and discourage people from using sustainable transport.

"Future development will offer opportunities to improve this and we will be working closely with the local planning authority to provide better access for pedestrians and cyclists as this area develops."

The Concourse Shopping Centre was contacted for comment.

Download the LancsLive app for free on iPhone here and Android here.

Have you got news for us? Contact our newsdesk on [email protected].

Get all the latest news, sport and what's on stories sent to your inbox daily with the LancsLive newsletter here.