Calls for action following fatal collision on The Kingsway
THE death of a pedestrian on The Kingsway has led to calls for changes to the busy city centre road.
A 37-year-old man died after he was in collision with a white coach at 4.50pm on Tuesday.
It led to the road being closed for several hours while accident investigators worked at the scene.
The death has led to calls from many Evening Post readers for action to improve safety.
The Kingsway was changed to one-way traffic flow along most of its length with a two-way bus and taxi lane to accommodate the bendy buses.
But from its inception it proved unpopular with many motorists, pedestrians and city centre traders.
Yesterday many people left messages on the Evening Post's Facebook page calling for a review of the layout and to cut the speed limit to 20mph.
Regular bus passenger Hugh Rees from Sketty contacted the Post calling for action.
He said: "People just don't expect to see a dual-carriageway bus lane next to a one-way road with cars on it — people don't expect buses to be coming the other way.
"I use the buses almost every day to come into town for shopping or to see friends, and bus drivers are always having to toot their horns because of people stepping into the road.
"I think there is also a problem with speed, traffic is going too fast — I would like to see a 20mph limit with cameras along the whole of The Kingsway."
Another Post reader contacted us after submitting a Freedom of Information request to Swansea Council requesting accident statistics for the road.
The response confirms an increase in the number of collisions involving pedestrians in recent years.
There were 18 between June 2006 to August 2009 and 25 from June 2009 to March 2012.
Swansea Council said it would be looking into the circumstances of Tuesday's tragedy.
A spokesman said: "Whenever we are informed of collisions on roads in Swansea, we look at the causes and what can be done to improve road safety for pedestrians and motorists.
"Since The Kingsway was redeveloped, further signage has been installed to advise pedestrians of safe crossing points.
"In terms of the most recent incident on The Kingsway, it would be inappropriate to comment further until the police have carried out their investigations."
But some Kingsway businesses are already certain changes must be made.
Among those to be first on the scene on Tuesday was bar worker Michael Thomas.
He said he was having a cigarette outside new bar Static when the accident happened just a few feet away.
The 20-year-old said the pedestrian — who was wearing a yellow jacket and red jumper and carrying a suitcase — had crossed the one-way section of The Kingsway at the pedestrian lights and had then walked a few yards in the direction of High Street before crossing the bus lane.
He said the coach was coming from the other direction — from West Way — and that the driver beeped his horn and hit the brakes before colliding with him.
"The driver had no chance," said Mr Thomas.
"He could not stop. He could not have done anything."
Mr Thomas said he, an off-duty lifeguard and a midwife administered first aid before a city centre ranger, carrying a defibrillator, and paramedics arrived on the scene.
Kristopher Morgan, the owner of Static, said the coach driver was in tears after the incident.
Both men said they believed the authorities needed to reconsider The Kingsway's layout, claiming it was plagued by "boy racers" at night and that pedestrians were still confused by the separate one-way and two-way carriageways.
"They need to put speed cameras up," said Mr Morgan.
Mr Thomas' sister Katrina, aged 19, said that two teenaged pedestrians narrowly missed being struck by an ambulance yesterday afternoon on The Kingsway.
Andrew Richards, owner of La Fina restaurant on The Kingsway said he was alerted to Tuesday's collision by a bang and a woman screaming.
"I saw the man on the road," he said. "It was very sad."
Mr Richards said he felt The Kingsway should return to its pre-bendy bus previous layout.
"Loads of people say they have nearly been knocked over," he said.
The man was rushed to Morriston Hospital with serious head injuries following the collision, but died that evening.
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: "South Wales police are requesting that any person who witnessed the collision, the movements of the male pedestrian or the manner in which the vehicle was being driven prior to the collision to contact the police."
Call South Wales Police Western Roads Policing Office on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111