Hundreds join road safety push in memory of Ray

TRAGEDY Ray Elsmore died after being hit by a car
TRAGEDY Ray Elsmore died after being hit by a car
Barry Leigh outside court

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MORE than 500 people have signed up to a campaign calling for road safety improvements in the wake of the death of a lollipop man.

The support comes as hundreds are expected to gather today to say a final goodbye to Ray Elsmore.

As previously reported in The News, the popular 82-year-old was killed in Tempest Avenue, Waterlooville, last month as he carried out his afternoon shift.

He was in collision with a Nissan Micra car, but was not escorting any children at the time.

The pensioner, of Florentine Way, will be laid to rest at Portchester Crematorium.

Campaigners are calling for a long-term solution to on-going safety concerns in Tempest Avenue, which is regularly used as a rat-run by drivers.

Neighbours have set up a website and more than 500 people have signed up to a group on Facebook calling for improvements.

Campaigners have written to their local MP, George Hollingbery, who is writing to the highways authority and demanding that ‘urgent attention’ is given to the matter.

Proposed improvements include a 20mph speed limit, speed humps, chicanes and a pedestrian crossing.

Steve Mayne, 41, of Emerald Close, one of the people leading the campaign, said: ‘I think what the residents want to happen is for the council to take this accident seriously and put measures in place to ensure that we do not lose another Ray because of half-hearted measures.’

Mr Elsmore had been working for Queens Inclosure School for the past 13 years and parents have set up a memorial fund.

Mr Mayne added: ‘We would like to have a permanent memorial to Ray in Tempest Avenue so that he’s not forgotten.’

Relatives have asked that funeral donations are given to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, which tried to save Mr Elsmore.

Donations are also sought for the charity Dreams Come True, which helps terminally ill children.

The police investigation into the circumstances of the crash is ongoing.

Hampshire County Council officials have said they must wait until the outcome of this to assess whether any road safety measures are needed.

A 21-year-old woman from Cowplain has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and bailed until January 31.