Swansea coroner calls for road layout changes after deaths


A coroner has urged a local authority to correct what he suggests is a ‘serious design issue’ in a street where two adult pedestrians have died in the past 18 months.

Swansea CC converted the Kingsway dual carriageway in preparation for the 2009 launch of the cross-city Metro bus service, which uses Streetcar articulated buses.

The southern carriageway became a bi-directional bus route, while the northern remained in use for westbound general traffic. Last week off-duty policewoman Louise Lucas died after a collision with a bus on the Kingsway.

A pedestrian called Daniel Foss died after a collision with a coach in the same street in September 2013. His inquest is scheduled to take place next month.

The Kingsway road layout questioned by the coroner

The South Wales Evening Post reported that coroner Colin Phillips wrote this week to the local authority about matters raised by his investigation into Mr Foss’ death.

The coroner’s letter says that since September 2013 there have been more than 100 ‘reported road traffic collisions and incidents on The Kingsway/Metro system, which in a large number of cases included incidents of injuries and near misses between pedestrians and coaches, and most recently the death of Louise Lucas’.

The letter warns the council: ‘There would appear to be a serious design issue which must be addressed by the local authority to make the road safer for the public. In my opinion urgent action should be taken to prevent future deaths.’

A statement from the authority said the cabinet is due to meet next week to consider an urgent report on potential changes to the road layout on the Kingsway, including preventing east-bound traffic on the road.

It will also make funding available to introduce the changes as quickly as possible, which will also be forwarded to the traffic commissioner who has to agree changes to bus routes.

The council has already announced it would introduce further safety measures for pedestrians on the Kingsway, on top of the 20mph speed limit and extra signage for pedestrians that were introduced last year.

The latest statement revealed: 'Temporary barriers are to be installed along the central reservation and discussions have taken place with bus operators on further safety measures.'

Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: 'We are doing everything we can to shorten the timescales involved in introducing these changes to the Kingsway traffic flow and barriers to the central reservation area, but it is likely other measures will follow shortly.

'We are also currently considering all options for further changes to support the redeveloped Kingsway area. It is important that the steps we take on the Kingsway do not create issues elsewhere in the city. We are taking the step of bringing forward funding so that any works can get underway as soon as possible.'

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