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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Crossing for 'dangerous' road in west Cumbria

A stretch of road where a pensioner was killed while taking flowers to his wife’s grave will have a pedestrian crossing by the end of the month.

Egremont bypass photo
Police accident investigators examine the road near Egremont cemetery

Thomas Johnstone, 94, died following a collision with a car on North Road, Egremont four years ago while he was visiting the cemetery.

And in a similar incident nine years earlier, 81-year-old Elizabeth Farran also lost her life after being hit by a car while crossing the road.

After years of campaigning, work began in March on new safety measures on the A595 at Egremont, between the East Road roundabout and Clintz roundabout.

The Highways Agency has now confirmed that the works will be complete by the end of May and the speed limit lowered to 40mph.

When it was revealed that the pedestrian crossing was to be installed on the road, Mr Johnstone’s son Fr Paul Johnstone, said he was pleased that something had been done.

“As the bypass separates the town from the cemetery there are always likely to be older people crossing at that point to visit their relatives’ graves – this will make it safer for them and everyone who crosses there,” he added.

“I hope motorists will be patient if their journey is delayed a little, this is far better that being involved, however innocently, in an accident.”

At Mr Johnstone’s inquest in 2011, west Cumbria coroner David Roberts urged the Highways Agency to keep the stretch of the road on which he died “firmly under review”.

Cumbria county councillor, Frank Morgan, chairs the Local A595 Liaison Group, which holds quarterly meetings with the agency to discuss issues affecting the trunk road.

He said the liaison group had been calling for action on that stretch of road for some time.

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