Harthill: New girl ‘Star’ asks drivers to go slow

Cllrs Joy Pattison and Andy Harding with 'Star', outside Harthill Primary School.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Cllrs Joy Pattison and Andy Harding with 'Star', outside Harthill Primary School. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Villagers fed-up of speeding motorists have come up with a new weapon in the shape of a little girl.

‘Star’ is a colourful wooden character who will stand by the roadside at various spots in Harthill.

The idea is that drivers will slow down as they approach her, even if only to take a closer look out if curiosity.

“Speeding is a problem in our village. And despite the speed bumps people still seem to tear on through,” said Harthill Parish Council chairman Joy Pattison.

“We haven’t had many serious accidents but there have been a few bumps.”

“It’s a worry to us, especially with the primary school being on the main street.”

“A local resident, Suzanne Kelly, had seen a similar thing to Star being used elsewhere while she was on holiday and suggested we try it in Harthill.”

Parish councillor Andy Harding commissioned pupils from Harthill Primary School to design the colourful model.

And carpenter James Barlow, who also lives in the village, brought their vision to life.

Said Coun Harding: “Star will move to a different spot in the village every Friday and stay there for a week.”

“We are really impressed with her. The children got really involved and they are looking forward to spotting her around the village.”

“We just thought it was worth a try. Even if people are only slowing down to have a closer look, at least they are slowing down.”

Coun Harding is a former policeman who believes Harthill should have a speed camera in the village. But despite repeated requests by the parish council, it has never been granted.

Coun Harding said: “It’s only a matter of time before someone is hurt on our roads. I know the devastation that can cause to families.”

Star is spending her first week on Union Street outside Harthill Primary School. She will then rotate between speeding hot spots like Winney Hill, Thorpe Road and Woodall Lane.

Said Coun Pattison: “We are always looking to try something different - anything that helps us get the message out that our village is not a race track.”