Mother of son killed in motorcycle crash calls for better road safety

Comley Hill, looking south from The Whichers Gate Road heading towards Emsworth
Comley Hill, looking south from The Whichers Gate Road heading towards Emsworth

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A GRIEVING mother has called for an improvement in permanent safety measures at the blackspot where her son died.

Lorraine Butland has aired her concerns about driver safety at Comley Hill, Rowland’s Castle, where at least two accidents have occurred since her son’s death on September 28, 2014.

Joe Butland, who was killed in a motorcycle crash on Comley Hill, a country road that links Rowlands Castle with Emsworth

Joe Butland, who was killed in a motorcycle crash on Comley Hill, a country road that links Rowlands Castle with Emsworth

Joe Butland, a father-of-one, was 25 when his motorcycle collided with a broken-down car and an another oncoming vehicle.

The most recent accident on the stretch of the B2148 took place when a car overturned in August, last year.

Lorraine said she had long believed action needed to be taken to make the road safer.

She said: ‘It’s pretty soul-destroying to know accidents are still happening there.

‘It must be less dangerous – permanent lighting and signs are needed.

‘No one should lose their life or have to go through what we do every single day.’

Her fears were echoed by Tory councillor for Catherington, Marge Harvey.

She said: ‘It is a really nasty bend – I know there have been accidents there.

‘Even police realise that road is fast and they know it is a problem.

‘Anything that makes that corner safe is important.’

Cllr Harvey said she was rallying local officials to incite a long-term change.

She added ‘That road is dark. Beyond Prospect Lane [a linking road] the lights disappear.

‘I am in the process of speaking to Hampshire County Council to ask whether it would be possible to implement a lampost.’

While no permanent measures are planned to be introduced at Comley Hill, Hampshire County Council said it had reviewed the situation.

In a statement, cllr Rob Humby, executive member for transport and environment, said: ‘The tragic death of Mr Butland has been the subject of an individual investigation.

‘As part of this, the five-year personal injury accident history was examined and a site visit arranged to consider whether any appropriate measures could be put in to improve safety.’

This assessment led to vegetation at the site being cut back, as well the replacement of damaged chevron signs and an advisory 30mph speed limit at the bend.

Soon, Mr Humby said, more periodical measures would be implemented.

‘East Hampshire District Council has now also agreed that a portable, flashing speed limit reminder sign – which they move between a variety of locations during the course of the year – can be placed at Comley Hill for up to two weeks at a time.

‘We are taking all the actions we can to ensure this stretch of road is safe.’