Bolton Council has officially unveiled a memorial to people who have been killed on or near the roads.
The memorial is located in Queens Park and consists of a permanent plaque set into the ground, surrounded by a paved area and backed by shrubs and acer rubrum trees.
Two benches have also been installed, offering an opportunity for visitors to the memorial to sit and reflect in peace and tranquillity. The wording on the plaque is ‘in memory of loved ones killed on the roads’ and includes the logos for both Bolton Council and Roadpeace, a road safety organisation.
The unveiling of the plaque was attended by local councillors, faith leaders and a representative of Roadpeace.
Families and friends who have lost people on the roads of Bolton or elsewhere are now able to visit the memorial plaque at any time to remember their loved ones. However, the council asks that only floral tributes are left at the site, which will be removed after a suitable period once they have started to decay.
The unveiling of the memorial also marks the start of enforcement on the protocols for managing roadside tributes, which the council approved in January 2010. This means that the council will allow roadside floral tributes or other temporary memorials at the roadside for a period of 30 days from the date of the fatality and that any floral tributes or memorials remaining in place after the 30 day period will be removed by the council in consultation with Police Family Liaison Officers. This enforcement will start from the end of June to allow families and friends time to remove their roadside tributes if they wish.
Any items of a non - perishable nature removed by the council will be retained for a 90 day period in a safe storage area at Heaton Crematorium, during which time whoever left the items will be able to collect them.
However, the council will also reserve the right to remove any roadside tributes immediately which are considered to present a real hazard or distraction to road users or pedestrians.
The introduction of a memorial plaque and the introduction of protocols on the removal of roadside tributes are both based on public consultation, which the council carried out between 2009 and 2010. Around 60 per cent of respondents supported the idea of a memorial to those killed on the roads and again around 60 per cent were also in favour of the removal of roadside tributes by the council after 30 days.
Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Environmental Services, Councillor Aktar Zaman said: “I am pleased that we have introduced this memorial for all those killed on the roads in Bolton. Any death is a sad event, but an unexpected death can be even more difficult for the grieving family and friends to deal with. We hope that this memorial provides them with a safe, tranquil place to remember their loved ones in peace."