Update: Coroner says busy north Norfolk road where Holt teenager Martha Seaward died last year is “too dangerous” for pedestrians

Martha Seaward. Picture: SUBMITTED

Martha Seaward. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

A coroner's report will be sent to council officials raising concerns about one of Norfolk's busiest roads which is 'too dangerous' for pedestrians.

Martha's mother, Karen Seaward.

Martha's mother, Karen Seaward. - Credit: Archant

It comes after 15-year-old Holt girl Martha Seaward was struck by a lorry on the A148 at Upper Sheringham last January.

At a day-long inquest into Martha's death Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake reported that Norfolk County Council chiefs were in talks with MP Norman Lamb over the safety of the road.

Affordable measures being looked at included a pedestrian crossing, improvements to visibility, a bus stop and speed control.

But after the hearing, Martha's mother Karen Seaward, 44, from Coronation Road, Holt, voiced her anger at the lack of action over road safety. She said: 'We went into the inquest feeling angry and we have come out feeling angry.'

Sheringham road junction at Lodge Hill. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Sheringham road junction at Lodge Hill. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

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She attacked the county council for failing to take any action after local campaigners raised safety concerns over the past 12 years.

'They have ignored petitions by lots of people about this accident blackspot,' Mrs Seaward added.

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She mourned the fact that her daughter had died so young and had 'no chance to live her life'.

She was also angry about the inquest's lack of focus on the speed of the lorry driver, 60-year-old Nigel Roe.

The hearing in Norwich yesterday was told that the teenager had met her sister Charlotte in Holt where they both got on the bus.

Martha, who was wearing dark clothing, got off the vehicle on the main road near Sheringham Park to walk to work at a pub in West Beckham.

Lorry driver Mr Roe pulled out to overtake the Sanders bus which Martha had just stepped off, and told the hearing he had not seen the teenager.

The speed limit for HGV vehicles on that road is 40mph. Mr Roe declined to answer Ms Lake when she asked at what speed he was travelling. The hearing later heard it was 44mph – but the coroner said the speed difference would not have affected the outcome of events.

Mr Roe told the court: 'I saw a yellow coach parked at the junction. I carried on towards the coach and moved over to the centre of the road to pass the front of the coach. Past the front of the bus there was a bang.'

Recording a narrative verdict at the hearing, Ms Lake said Martha died as a result of the injuries she sustained.

She added: 'It is not for me to make any recommendations, I merely report on my concerns and I do propose to do that.'

She said the county council had a duty to respond within 56 days.

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

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