Search

Crash investigator: Romford needs urgent change to prevent deaths

PUBLISHED: 11:16 05 November 2014 | UPDATED: 11:26 05 November 2014

Flowers at the scene of the crash in Western road

Flowers at the scene of the crash in Western road

Archant

Urgent, life-saving changes are needed at the road where two civil partners were killed after a bus careered into them at a pedestrian crossing, a crash investigator has said.

Dave Holladay, who has been an investigator for 20 years and worked with Network Rail, is calling for a 10mph speed limit on Western Road, Romford, “with immediate effect”.

His call comes after 67-year-old bus driver Robert Todd, of Redden Court Road, Harold Wood, was jailed for two-and-a-half years after admitting two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Mr Holladay, of Glasgow, said that allowing frequent buses to drive at 30mph in the town centre street is “asking for trouble”.

He said: “The first anniversary of the fatal crash approaches and nothing has changed to stop a driver, or a pedestrian making a similar fatal error.”

Todd, an experienced bus driver, pulled away from a bus stop less than 20m from the pedestrian crossing and drove straight through it at 20mph – not noticing the red light.

Mr Holladay said if the driver has been restricted to go no faster than 10mph he would have been more likely to notice the crossing pedestrians and less likely to inflict fatal injuries.

Between 2011-13 there were 18 traffic incidents on Western Road including five at the same spot where Henry Keller and Colin Hicks, both 66 and of Stone Close, Dagenham, were killed.

Mr Holladay added that the bus stops should run straight to the road rather than be angled away from the pedestrian crossing, which should be changed to a zebra crossing so drivers don’t rely on the lights.

But Cllr Robert Benham, cabinet member for StreetCare, denied road design played a part in the deaths.

He said: “We must first acknowledge the tragic death of two well-loved members of our community - our thoughts remain with their families.

“The police and TfL accident report clearly stated that the driver failed to stop at the lights, which caused the fatal accident. There were other contributing factors, however, the existing safety measures on the road was not one of them.

“That being said, we’re looking to improve Western Road as part of wider changes to the town centre. As part of this, we’re exploring funding opportunities improve safety measures along the road.”

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

The merits of Black Friday are far from black and white for Romford retailers.

Wedding plans across Havering have been complicated after a bridalwear shop closed unexpectedly and its owner allegedly moved to Florida.

The Romford greyhound stadium, which has been closed on and off for the past two weeks, has confirmed there is asbestos in the building, but concerns over emergency lighting is the reason behind its closure.

10:00

A million first-time buyers are expected by the government to benefit from the stamp duty cut over the next five years - but experts have warned there could be unintended downsides for the housing market.

A group of veteran doctors at Queen’s Hospital have urged bosses to deal with a host of behind-the-scenes issues they claim have left staff “isolated, intimidated and fearful”.

A through-road leading onto the Ardleigh Green A127 Bridge will reopen early this December in a move that will hopefully ease congestion along the roadworks there.

Yesterday, 17:15

An American singing sensation who has six gold records and a platinum album to his name is kicking off his UK tour in Hornchurch next year.

Yesterday, 15:00

First time buyers will benefit from not having to pay stamp duty on homes costing £300,000 or less, the chancellor has announced.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now