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Safety barrier call made by coroner after cyclist's fatal storm drain fall at Blackwater Junction

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A CORONER has called for a barrier to be built after an inquest heard a cyclist died after falling into a storm drain at Hurn.

Wilfred Breakell sustained multiple fractures of his spine on 17th May last year when he fell into a storm drain at the northbound exit of the Blackwater Junction while riding his bike.

He died at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital the following day.

The Blackwater Junction has undergone a revamp (47804453)
The Blackwater Junction has undergone a revamp (47804453)

Coroner Brendan Allen presided over the Bournemouth inquest which heard there was no barrier between the highway and the storm drain, which is lined with concrete paving slabs.

Mr Breakell appeared to have fallen into the storm drain and landed on one of the slabs, resulting in the significant injuries that led to his death, Mr Allen continued.

He has now written a report calling for safety action. He said while there is now wooden fencing running north from the end of the paved footpath next to the pedestrian crossing, there is still no barrier between the highway and the storm drain.

"The evidence I heard at the inquest from the investigating police officer is that cyclists use the A338 and the Blackwater Junction exit," he said.

"There remains a risk that if a cyclist left the paved highway for any reason, he or she would be at risk of falling into the storm drain."

Mr Allen added: "In addition, if a vehicle lost control at the exit, that vehicle is at risk of leaving the highway and falling into the storm drain. A barrier between the highway and the storm drain would reduce that risk."

A spokesperson for BCP Council, the highways authority, responded: "We can confirm the coroner’s letter has been received and is being looked into."

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