Calls for A134 safety measures after 'devastating' death of teen cyclist
- Credit: Archant
A coroner is calling for more safety measures at an accident blackspot where a teenage cyclist was killed.
Yvonne Blake, area coroner for Norfolk, says that unless action is taken further deaths could occur at the crossroads in Northwold where 126 collisions have been reported.
Oscar Seaman, 17, died after hit by a 4x4 as he entered the A134 while cycling home from his girlfriend’s house in September, 2020.
In March this year Lloyd McMurtary, 39, from Thetford, pleaded guilty at Norwich Magistrates’ Court to failing to stop after an accident, having no insurance and no driving licence.
He was banned from driving for 12 months, given an eight-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
The coroner recorded a conclusion of death in a road traffic collision, but due to concerns which arose from the evidence at the inquest, has now sent a Prevention of Future Deaths Report to Norfolk County Council.
In it she said that despite the speed limit having been reduced from 60mph to 50mph motorists still ignored the limits.
“The crossroads where Oscar emerged into the main road has give way signs but not stop signs painted on it,” she said. “The view from one direction appears to be reasonable in daylight but at night, and if the weather is inclement, visibility is reduced.
“The person who lives on the corner of that junction has had to buttress his garden fence against collisions.”
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Ms Blake said the parish council had reported many concerns about the speeds of cars and HGVs on the road.
Adrian Jenkinson, 61, is the home owner mentioned in Ms Blake’s report, who has lived at the property since 1984. He said the parish council have been calling for the speed limit to be reduced to 40mph.
“The house has been in the family for generations. It was my nan and grandad's house and my nan’s family before that,” he said.
“There have always been accidents there. Since we moved in 1984, we have counted about 128 accidents. But obviously there were accidents before that.
“There have been two fatalities - Oscar last year and one in 1994. In the early hours of the morning at about 5.30am a driver was delivering newspapers - when we had a shop in the village - and he lost his life. It’s awful.”
Mr Jenkinson was at the scene after Oscar was hit by the 4x4 last year.
He added: “On the night Oscar was killed I was sitting in my living room with the wife and suddenly we just heard a loud noise and straight away we know what it was.
“I thought ‘what can I do?’, so I went outside and a van had stopped in the road and all he kept shouting was “there is a body in the road”.
“It was devastating. Just thinking that could have been my grandson. Being a village lad, you get to know them all and they all hang out together. When you know them, it makes it even more upsetting.
“That’s why things need to change. Now the coroner has got involved hopefully the council might take a bit more notice of what we are trying to do.”
Norfolk County Council said they had received the letter from the coroner and are in the process of drafting a response addressing the points raised.
A spokesman added: “We are not in a position to discuss this until our response to the coroner has been provided.”
The county council has until September 15 to respond, explaining what steps have been taken or are proposed, or why it is felt that any further action is not necessary.