Lawford: Road safety calls after cyclist dies

First published in News by

FEARS have been raised for users of a “rat run” country lane after a mother-of-four died falling from her bike.

Residents are calling for Mill Hill, Lawford, near Dedham Road, to be made a 30 mph zone to reduce the risk to cyclists, walkers and drivers travelling along it.

Jane Wilsher, of Long Road East, Dedham, was cycling downhill on Mill Hill at just after 11am on Sunday morning when she fell.

The 49-year-old was taken to Colchester General Hospital with head injuries but died later that afternoon.

Police said no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

Ambulance crews were called to the scene from passers by who stayed with Mrs Wilsher until they arrived.

Trevor Redburn, of the East of England Ambulance Service, said they were called at about 11.15am.

“The lady had a head injury and a fractured leg,” he said.

“We took her up to Colchester General where she arrived just after midday.”

Paul Gallifant, who lives on Mill Hill, was at home when the accident happened.

“Apparantly a chap in a car was coming the opposite way,” he said.

“I suspect she came up on the bike, saw him coming the other way and skidded.

“He is apparantly the only witness and he was obviously very shaken up.”

Currently vehicles can legally travel up to 60 mph down Mill Hill, which residents have claimed is too fast for the narrow space.

Merriel Gallifant, also of Mill Hill, said she has been campaigning for Essex County Council to change the speed limit.

“This road is just so dangerous,” she said. “It’s a rat run.

“Three years ago a cyclist was seriously injured not more than a foot away from where this latest accident happened.

“And you only need to walk down the road to see wing mirrors and glass lying everywhere from previous crashes.

“I had Essex County Council take a survey of the road some years ago to see how fast the cars were going.”

She added: “After assessing 642 cars the average speed was more than 50 mph which is ridiculous.

“I was absolutely shocked.

“They need to put up a speed restriction for 30 mph along the entire road.”

Brian Rolfe, chair of Lawford Parish Council, said the council would be willing to approach Essex County Council to ask them to carry out speed checks on the road.

“There’s a lot of traffic that use that road,” he said.

“It’s dangerous because people make it dangerous and travel at high speeds."

Mrs Wilsher leaves a husband, Kevin, three sons and one daughter, all aged between nine and 19-years-old.

The family this week paid tribute to a “devoted mother and wife”.

Michael Page, spokesman for Essex County Council, said: “We will investigate the residents’ concerns and take the appropriate action."

Stanway Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident or seen Mrs Wilsher to contact them on 0300 333 4444.

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