The Coroner of Inquests has recommended action be taken into the crossing on the Heritage Trail in St John’s following the death of a cyclist.
Luke McNicholas, a 21-year-old compliance officer, died in January of this year after a vehicle collided with him as he was starting to cycle across the pink and white informal crossing on Curragh Road, St John’s.
An informal crossing is used to help pedestrians cross the road, but drivers are not expected to stop, pedestrians are expected to wait for a gap in the traffic and then cross the road.
Ruled as an accidental death, Jayne Hughes, the Coroner of Inquests, gave a number of recommendations to the Department of Infrastructure (DoI) who first painted the crossing in July last year.
She called for the DoI to commission a road safety audit into the crossing, which contains Celtic symbols, and consult with the police.
Ms Hughes stated the crossing was ’inadequately marked and controlled’ and the markings ’gave no warning of the approaching danger’ as the colours of pink and white are not commonly associated with danger.
She also felt that Manx residents weren’t familiar with that type of crossing and that caused safety concerns.
The court heard that Mr McNicholas, from Douglas, was struck by a black Honda Civic at 3.15pm on January 16 the driver of which had been complying with the speed limit of 40mph in the run up to the crossing.
The cyclist was not wearing a helmet or any high-vis clothing.
Mr McNicholas was taken to Noble’s Hospital where he later died from his injuries.
It was also heard that because of the DoI’s issues with the contractor, elements of the project had not yet been completed in relation to the crossing, including the trimming of shrubbery on the trail’s approach to the crossing, the installation of large warning signs and the moving of the gates into a chicane position.
All of the changes that needed to be made were done within 10 days following the incident.
Ms Hughes said the family of Mr McNicholas ’may ask why this had not been done sooner’.
She passed on her condolences to the family.
Following the inquest, a DoI spokesperson said: ’The Department of Infrastructure offers its deepest sympathies to the family of Luke McNicholas following the tragic accident at Curraghs Road, St John’s, in January this year.
’The Department will reflect and take on board all of the Coroner’s comments and recommendations.’