Sheffield road where pensioner died after being hit by police car was 'accident waiting to happen'

Matt Turner at the scene.
Matt Turner at the scene.
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The family of a pensioner killed after being hit by a police car going above the speed limit have spoken out after the crossing where he died was reportedly highlighted as an 'accident waiting to happen' several years ago.

Leslie Bingham, aged 73, was hit by a marked police vehicle while walking across a pedestrian crossing on Penistone Road as he made his way to Owlerton Greyhound Stadium to celebrate his granddaughter Katie's 21st birthday.

Leslie Bingham.

Leslie Bingham.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Confusing crossing branded Sheffield’s most dangerous is ‘accident waiting to happen’

An inquest heard a police Vauxhall Antara SUV driven by PC Stephen Hazelhurst - which had no blue flashing lights or sirens on as it was not responding to an emergency - was travelling at 41mph in a 30mph zone just prior to the collision.

A jury described the multiple pedestrian crossings at the scene as "very confusing" and coroner Christopher Dorries has now written to Sheffield Council asking them to look at how they are set up.

We can today reveal that concerns were raised in the Sheffield Star about the safety of pedestrian crossings on the road as far back as March 2015.

Matt Turner, aged 31, former chair of Cycle Sheffield, branded it the 'most dangerous crossing' he has ever seen and described how pedestrians had been left confused by numerous crossing boxes and were not certain which one referred to which crossing.

Flowers at the scene.

Flowers at the scene.

He described it as an "accident waiting to happen.”

READ MORE: South Yorkshire Police awarded £6m to improve problem solving and reduce demand on officers and partners

At the time council contractor Streets Ahead said while the crossing meets design requirements it "acknowledged the layout in this instance could be confusing" and vowed to "see how the push button panels could be revised to make it simpler."

The Star understands a push button was realigned and information sheets were also put up advising people how to use the crossing.

But Mr Bingham's daughter Angela Pilkington claimed even more action should have been taken by the authority.

She said: "They should have sorted it out and make proper changes in the first place. It was predicted and it happened.

"I know my dad is gone but the council needs to sort it out asap."

Mr Turner echoed her concerns and said: "I can't see what they have done, it still looks the same."

The crossing was installed as part of a major £5 million scheme to ease congestion and upgrade Penistone Road – said to be Sheffield’s second busiest street after the Parkway and used by 60, 000 motorists a day.

READ MORE: Major Sheffield road closed and trams disrupted after crash

The crossing also underwent a road safety audit prior to being put in and all standards were met.

Sheffield Council has received coroner Dorries' report and officials are reviewing his recommendations.

Meetings will also take place with those who designed the crossing.

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport and development, said councillor Neale Gibson has been tasked with looking into the issue and will "work with local people, interested groups and the police."

He expressed sympathy to Mr Bingham's family and added the authority "will do everything in our power to make this crossing safer.”

Mr Bingham, a former metal worker of Malin Bridge, died of multiple injuries following the collision in January last year.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct probed the incident and PC Hazelhurst was brought before a misconduct meeting in December.

He was found to have 'breached the standards of professional behaviour' and was given management advice and ordered to complete a bespoke driver training course.

A jury inquest held at Sheffield Medico Legal Centre recorded a narrative conclusion.