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A47 junction closure should be considered in wake of motorcyclist death, coroner says

Floral tributes left at the scene of the fatal crash on the A47 near Blundeston. Picture: Nick Butcher

Floral tributes left at the scene of the fatal crash on the A47 near Blundeston. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

A junction where a motorcyclist died should be considered for closure in a bid to prevent more tragic accidents, a coroner has said.

A coroner has asked Highways England to look at closing a junction of the A47 at Blundeston following the death of a motorcyclist Picture: GOOGLEMAPSA coroner has asked Highways England to look at closing a junction of the A47 at Blundeston following the death of a motorcyclist Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

Father-of-one Nigel Last, of Aldeby near Beccles, died on August 28 2017, following a crash at the junction with Market Lane, just north of Lowestoft.

An inquest on Thursday, November 1 heard Mr Last was riding his black Honda CBR northbound towards Great Yarmouth at around 11.30am when a green Vauxhall Corsa pulled out in front of him.

Emergency services rushed to the scene of the crash but despite best efforts of paramedics, Mr Last was pronounced dead at the scene.

Forensic collision investigator Andrew Fossey said there was no evidence Mr Last had been speeding and that there would likely have been nothing he could have done to avoid the collision.

Floral tributes at the scene of the crash Picture: Nick ButcherFloral tributes at the scene of the crash Picture: Nick Butcher

Mr Fossey said the driver, who is in her 80s, had not seen Mr Last’s motorbike before the collision.

Giving evidence, Mr Fossey advised Highways England to consider improving the safety or closing the junction.

“I certainly think it’s something that should be looked at,” he said.

“It is reasonable to ask them whether this junction is up to safety standards for modern driving. It is a complex junction. If a dual carriageway was being constructed today, such a junction would not be allowed.”

Concluding the inquest, assistant coroner Dr Dan Sharpstone said: “Mr Last died of multiple injuries secondary to a road traffic collision.

“The collision was due to a driver failing to see Mr Last on his motorbike.”

He added he would be writing to Highways England about the safety of the turning, including the possibility of closing the junction completely.

A Highways England spokesman said: “This is a terribly sad case and our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Nigel Last.

“Any death on our roads is one too many and we recognise the important role we can play in influencing and supporting the wider community.

“We will carefully review the coroner’s comments to consider if there are any actions we can take to continue to improve safety on our network.”

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