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Call for road safety measures to be introduced more quickly after ‘tragic’ death on A12

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 February 2020

A senior coroner has called for measures to increase road safety for pedestrians trying to cross the A12 after a man was killed by a speeding van. Picture: Google

A senior coroner has called for measures to increase road safety for pedestrians trying to cross the A12 after a man was killed by a speeding van. Picture: Google

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A man’s “tragic” death has led to a call for road safety measures to be introduced more quickly.

Liam Seager was knocked over and killed by a speeding transit van driver at about 3am on New Year's Day, 2019, as he was crossing the A12 between Old Ford junction and the Bow interchange.

The 24-year old suffered multiple injuries and blunt force trauma. The driver was travelling more than 20mph above the 40mph limit.

Inner north London senior coroner, Mary Hassell, urged Transport for London (TfL) and Tower Hamlets Council to do more to boost road safety following the inquest into Mr Seager's death.

Ms Hassell raises the concern that TfL's plans to put a traffic management order (TMO) in place are still four months away. The order would stop pedestrians crossing at the same spot.

In a prevention of future deaths report, she added: "Once the traffic management order is in place, a pedestrian crossing is needed to make it easier for pedestrians to cross the top of the A12 at Wick Lane.

"Even before this, Tower Hamlets could undertake useful preparatory work to enable the build to proceed quickly following the TMO. In my opinion, there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken."

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Penny Rees, TfL's head of network sponsorship, said: "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Seager.

"We are working to obtain a traffic order, which will prohibit people accessing the A12 on foot - and have already upgraded signs, lines and cats eyes to improve safety."

She added TfL backs Tower Hamlets' plans to make it easier for people to cross the A12 safely, using the overpass in Wick Lane.

"We will carefully consider the coroner's report to see if any further lessons can be learnt from this very sad incident," Ms Rees said.

A Tower Hamlets Council spokeswoman said: "This is a tragic accident and our thoughts are with the family and friends.

"We are working with TfL, who manage the A12, to reduce risk for all road users and we share their commitment to eliminate death and injury on the roads.

"Plans for improved pedestrian crossing facilities across the A12 slip roads from Wick Lane have been prepared and are due to be implemented later this year. This design will also help to restrict pedestrian access along the A12."

TfL pledged the traffic order will be in place by June. Since February 2019, roads and transport police have fined 1,024 drivers for speeding, seized 43 vehicles for no insurance and made 23 arrests for drink and/or drug driving along the A12.

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