Grieving mother of Sheringham High School pupil Martha Seaward calls for reduced speed limit on the road where her daughter died

Floral tributes at the scene of the crash in which Martha died near Sheringham Park. Photo: Karen Bethell Floral tributes at the scene of the crash in which Martha died near Sheringham Park. Photo: Karen Bethell

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
9:25 AM

A grieving mother has called for a lower speed limit on the north Norfolk road where her 15-year-old daughter died earlier this year.

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Martha Seaward. Pic Submitted.Martha Seaward. Pic Submitted.

Sheringham High School pupil Martha Seaward was killed on January 10 when she was in collision with a lorry on the A148, near the entrance to Sheringham Park.

Martha, who was the middle of nine children, had been heading for her part-time job at the Wheatsheaf pub in West Beckham when she stepped off a bus and was hit by a lorry moments later.

And now her mother Karen, 44, is campaigning for a reduced speed limit on the road,

The driver of the lorry has been given a formal warning for speeding by police.

Mrs Seaward, who recently opened a shop in Sheringham in memory of her daughter, has set up an online petition, called Justice for Martha.

Part of its aim is to rally support for slower traffic on the road, and it calls on the Highways Agency to look at making a nearby junction safer.

Karen Seaward. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYKaren Seaward. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The petition, on online-campaign website, ipetitions, has already gained almost 600 signatures.

She said: “We have had a really good response to the petition which we are also going to use to fight with the county council to do something about the junction to reduce the speed limit.”

Mrs Seaward also said she had been told by police that speed limits for lorries on A-roads, such as the one where Martha died, would be increasing next year from 40mph to 50mph.

A spokesman from the Department for Transport said a consultation looking at lorry speeds on A-roads concluded in 2013. He said: “We wanted to ensure the regulations were fit for purpose. We will make an announcement about next steps in due course.”

Mrs Seaward said: “The reason the speed limit is going to be increased is at the moment people might overtake and increase their speed by 20 mph to overtake.”

North Norfolk district councillor for Upper Sheringham, Anthea Sweeney, said she had been campaigning for years for improvements to the junction and on the A148.

The scene of the fatal accident in which Martha died on the A149 near Sheringham Park. Photo: Karen Bethell.The scene of the fatal accident in which Martha died on the A149 near Sheringham Park. Photo: Karen Bethell.

She said: “I honestly in my heart of hearts want a speed reduction. It is a very difficult junction.

“I also want better visibility coming out of West Beckham.”

She said there had been more interest in the traffic at the junction in the months since Martha died.

“It is dreadful to say but it has made a big difference and Norfolk County Council is now coming to look at it,” she said.

“I really hope something will happen this time to prevent it happening again.”

A police spokesman said: “There were a number of factors leading up to the sad death of Martha all of which will be submitted to inquest where the facts will be examined.”

An inquest is likely to take place later this year.

Would you like to pay tribute to a loved one? Email sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk

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