Crash victim’s friend launches campaign to prevent more tragedies

Joe Butland and his daughter, Scarlett Jacobs
Joe Butland and his daughter, Scarlett Jacobs
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A DETERMINED mum has started a road safety campaign in memory of her friend.

Becky Sperring, 26, has launched a campaign for safety improvements along Comley Hill, a dark winding rural road between Rowlands Castle and Emsworth that is an accident blackspot.

It comes after one of her childhood friends, 25-year-old Joe Butland, died on the stretch of road as he returned home from work on his motorbike in September last year.

Joe’s family, from Emsworth, have been left devastated and are still seeking answers over what happened.

They are backing Miss Sperring’s petition, which has attracted around 400 signatures.

Miss Sperring believes the road needs lower speed limits, better signs and more robust traffic calming measures such as speed humps.

The nursery worker, of Cunningham Road, Waterlooville, said: ‘The speed limits are not being adhered to.

‘I have also asked the police if they could do more patrols in the area.

‘I want them to have something in place so that it forces you to slow down, given that that road is just so dangerous.

‘There’s got to be more awareness. I have spoken to road users and they have admitted that they basically put their foot down. I think the speed limit is ridiculous for where it is.’

The speed limit was recently reduced in some parts from 60mph to 40mph, but Miss Sperring thinks safety measures ought to go further.

She said: ‘It’s to save people’s lives. I am passionate because of what the family is going through. I understand the damage it has done.’

Councillor Seán Woodward, in charge of transport at Hampshire County Council, said he was awaiting the outcome of the inquest before reviewing any changes.

He added: ‘My deepest sympathies go out to all those involved with the tragic incident. This accident, as with all fatal and potentially fatal collisions on county council maintained roads, has been the subject of an investigation by the Casualty Reduction Partnership, a group consisting of the police, the county council and the borough council.’

To sign the petition go to