It is only a matter of time before a ‘serious accident’ outside Ilkeston FC’s ground, says the chairman of the club’s supporters’ group.
Duncan Payne is gathering names on a petition calling for the grass verges at the entrance to the New Manor Ground to be replaced with a pavement, after seeing a number of ‘near misses’.
The lack of a flat area to walk on, coupled with the high speed that some cars approach the lights at the Awsworth Road canal bridge, means that a collision between a fan and a vehicle is likely, he said.
“Quite often there are cars parked on the opposite side to the club and people have got the issue of having to cross the road where there’s no pavement,” he explained, saying he has the full support of Ilkeston FC for his campaign.
“I’ve seen incidents of people slipping on the verge and there’s a real danger, I think, of people slipping into oncoming traffic.
“It’s my opinion and the opinion of people that go to the ground that it’s only a matter of time before something like that happens.”
And with hundreds of fans expected to attend two big home games coming up for the Robins against Nottingham Forest and Premier League club Chelsea, Mr Payne said: “I know nothing will be done by then but there’s nothing to suggest that Ilkeston FC won’t be having big games in the future, particularly as we hope next season will be a successful one,” he said.
“When we play a team like FC United of Manchester, they can bring 400 to 500 supporters, and that’s not to mention the large number of Ilkeston fans who attend on foot.”
You can join the 60 people, including a number of Ilkeston FC players, who have already signed the petition by clicking here
Alternatively, later in the summer, Mr Payne will be hiring a market stall in Ilkeston to gather more names.
He hopes to present a document packed with at least 500 signatures to Derbyshire County Council – the authority in charge of roads – by the start of the next football season.