The parents of a popular teenager who died after a cycle crash with a van have been left "extremely disappointed" over proposals for safety improvements at the scene.

Ethan Wright, 16, died in hospital on November 18 last year - a day after he was in collision with the side of a VW Crafter van after coming out of a bridleway onto Higher Drive in Lowestoft.

An inquest at Suffolk Coroner's Court on July 21 heard that PC Dean Webb, forensic collision investigator for Suffolk Police had submitted a Road Defect Notification (RDN) following his investigation into the crash - calling for Suffolk Highways to install measures to stop similar incidents in the future.

Senior coroner for Suffolk, Nigel Parsley, concluded Ethan died as a result of a road traffic collision, but said he would submit a Prevention of Future Deaths report to Suffolk Highways to support Mr Webb's RDN.

Now, following publication of this report, the coroner said: "During the course of the inquest the evidence revealed matters given rise to concern.

"In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths could occur unless action is taken."

Raising concerns with Suffolk Highways about the bridleway at Woods Lake West, which Ethan had used when he cycled onto Higher Drive, Mr Parsley said: "The public bridleway is predominantly used by pedestrians and cyclists.

"The police officer who investigated Ethan's tragic death, stated in evidence that there was no physical barrier, or any other measure in place, that would make a cyclist or fast-moving pedestrian slow down before entering Higher Drive.

"The officer was of the opinion that some physical means of preventing direct access onto Higher Drive from Woods Lake West, or some other measure to ensure a cyclist or fast-moving pedestrian slowed down on approaching Higher Drive, would prevent a further tragedy at this location.

"In my opinion action should be taken in order to prevent future deaths, and I believe you or your organisation have the power to take any such action you identify."

Following Ethan's death, his parents Gavin and Jenni Wright praised the touching tributes that had been paid within the community.

After the coroner had issued a Regulation 28 report to Suffolk Highways to prevent future deaths, Mr and Mrs Wright said: "Though nothing can be done to help us and our family through our loss, we are fully committed to ensure action is taken to help avoid another tragedy.

"Having read Suffolk County Council’s Highways proposal, we are extremely disappointed."

County council correspondence seen by the family and this newspaper in response to the Regulation 28 report says the installation of a physical barrier was "considered" but it was concluded that it would not be possible, with other matters such as a Stop sign and painted lines proposed instead.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “As set out in the coroner’s report, the concern was raised that there was no safety measure in place to slow down a cyclist or pedestrian from the public bridleway, onto Higher Drive.

"Suffolk County Council is therefore working up plans to make the exit of this public bridleway clearer.

“More detail will be provided once these plans have been finalised.”

Eastern Daily Press: Ethan WrightEthan Wright (Image: Waveney FC/The Wright family)

'Extremely disappointed'

Gavin and Jenni Wright said: "As parents, attending Ethan’s inquest was extremely traumatic.

"We would like to thank Senior Coroner Nigel Parsley for his empathy and professionalism throughout.

"One outcome we hoped to achieve was for the coroner to back up the investigating officers RDN (road defect notification) and call for preventative action to avoid future accidents.

"The Coroner Issuing Regulation 28 to Suffolk Highways as a direct output of Ethan’s inquest we accepted as a positive step in our drive to prevent any future accidents at this location.

"Though nothing can be done to help us and our family through our loss, we are fully committed to ensure action is taken to help avoid another tragedy.

"Having read Suffolk County Council’s Highways proposal, we are extremely disappointed.

"An illuminated sign and a few splashes of paint are unlikely to ‘ensure a cyclist or fast-moving pedestrian slows down on their approach to Higher Drive’.

"Two examples discussed during the inquest were the potential of a cyclist’s brakes failing or a parent pushing a pushchair/pram who may have slipped or fallen.

"The gradient could encourage the pram onwards to the road.

"The proposal from the council does not consider these risks.

"The council's Highways report goes on to state that whilst considering the installation of barriers they have concluded it is not possible!

"We find this opinion extremely disappointing.

"There may be complications with underground services, it may be expensive, but it most certainly is possible."