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Road safety fears at busy road after death of OAP; Pensioner was hit by taxi as he tried to cross.

Byline: STEVE GRAVES

CALLS were made for safety improvements on a busy road after a pensioner died when he stepped in front of a private hire taxi.

Assistant deputy coroner Martin Fleming told an inquest into the death of Peter Payne, 68 that he would be writing to the authorities asking for a fresh look at crossings on Picton Road in Wavertree.

Mr Payne was hit by Delta Taxis driver John Blackham close to the junction with Wellington Road and Rathbone Road on July 23, 2011, yesterday's hearing at Liverpool Coroner's Court was told.

The former painter and decorator, 68, died from his injuries at the Royal hospital several weeks later.

Police told the inquest at St George's Hall they had made several requests for action to be taken at the spot, which is nearly 100 metres from the nearest pedestrian crossing in either direction.

Recording a narrative verdict, Mr Fleming said: "It is a location that screams out for a reconsideration, for the sake of residents in the area.

"I will be writing to the relevant authorities to ask them to reconsider the safety issues on this stretch of road."

Mr Payne's family told the ECHO they welcomed the move and would support new safety measures on the road.

The hearing was told Mr Payne, of nearby Heygreen Road, had stepped off the kerb just as Mr Blackham's black Vauxhall Astra was turning right at the traffic lights from Rathbone Road.

Eyewitnesses differed in their accounts of the incident and whether it was possible for Mr Blackham to have seen Mr Payne.

Mr Fleming said: "We have heard conflicting views about speeds and about the positioning of the car and of Mr Payne in the road.

"The common thread is that Mr Payne was not seen by Mr Blackham."

He added: "It is not known, on the balance of probabilities, whether had he seen Mr Payne it would have made a difference to the outcome."

Speaking to the ECHO after the inquest, Mr Payne's sister Mary said she backed the coroner's call.

She added: "Action has been needed for a long time.

"Peter would never let us cross near there, he knew it was a dangerous place.

"When we would visit on the bus he would always tell us to get off a stop early rather than have to cross there.

"It would be fitting for him - he was a loving man who was always looking out for others.

"He was a confirmed bachelor but he loved his family and was very loyal. He also loved history and during his time as a painter and decorator had worked on lots of historic buildings."

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KILLED: Peter Payne was struck on Picton Road
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 8, 2013
Words:454
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