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No changes needed to road where posties died

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 13, 2014

  • 25/07/13 Fatal crash site - Willesley Lane,, Ashby De La Zouch RTA/RTC location, Willesley Lane, Moira..

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COUNCIL chiefs have ruled there would be ‘no safety benefits’ in changing a road where two Swadlincote postmen lost their lives.

Leicestershire County Council told the Mail that, following a detailed review of conditions along Willesley Woodside, near Ashby, they would not be undertaking any safety improvements.

The review was prompted after Stephen O’Brien, 51, and passenger Charlie Cooper, 49, of Middle Close, died in a smash in July last year.

The authority revealed evidence had shown that this was the only reported accident in the past 20 years in the area, and that changes would not make ‘any difference’ to driver safety.

A spokesman for Leicestershire County Council said: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends following this accident.

“We do introduce changes where we believe this will bring a road safety benefit but, based on our evidence, we won’t be considering any changes to signs or lines on this stretch of road.”

John Bridges, who represents the Moira and Ashby Woulds ward on North West Leicestershire District Council, lobbied for changes along the road.

He said: “People have to remember that we are at the heart of the National Forest, so get a lot of tourists who come here and do not know their way around, but we also have people who live here and have got very complacent.

“This is a very bad mix.”

An inquest revealed that the car the posties were travelling in became ‘airborne’ on a bumpy section of road before it crashed into trees and hedges.

Driver Mr O’Brien lost control of the vehicle, which came to rest on its roof on a railway line.

It was also established that the vehicle must have been travelling at almost 70mph. The limit on that stretch is 60mph.

The inquest heard both men were wearing seatbelts.

Coroner Carolyn Hull recorded a verdict that both men ‘died as a result of a road traffic collision’.

She told their families: “I hope we’ve been able to give you some answers to the questions you came to court with today.”

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