Case Study

Speed campaigner killed walking on the road for which he campaigned

Incident date: 
Thu, 19 Jan 2012

A road safety campaigner has been killed on the road on which he fought to have the speed limit lowered.

Colin Wystyrk, 66, was hit by a Mercedes Sprinter van on Thursday night near the Wyvill Arms, in Constable Burton, near Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

The tragedy happened just days before the retired BT engineer was due to fly to Australia with partner Alison for a six-week holiday.

He had campaigned to reduce the speed limit on the A684 through the village from 60mph to 30mph.

Last November, North Yorkshire County Council agreed to impose a 40mph limit but villagers were waiting for the necessary road markings and signs before it could be introduced.

The van driver, a 45-year-old man from Bedale, was arrested in connection with the incident, which happened at 7.35pm, and was released on police bail pending further inquiries.

James Stevens, brother of Wyvill Arms landlord Nigel Stevens, said: “Colin had been in for a couple of drinks from about 6.30pm.

“His partner usually gives him a lift up from the village as he did not like to walk on the road because he knew it was so dangerous.”

Mr Wystyrk was involved in the village’s reading room, drove a mini-bus for local children and delivered newspapers to elderly residents.

Mr Stevens added: “Colin was a lovely man and will be missed. It is a great loss to the whole community.”

Terry Marshall, also involved in the 40-year campaign to reduce the speed limit, said: “Colin was actively involved in the campaign.

“Cars and motorbikes often get up to speeds of 80 to 100mph and, in the 13 years I have lived here, I have seen too many accidents to remember, some more serious than others.

“He was a very kind man who did a lot for people in the village.”

Councillor Keith Loadman, who represents lower Wensleydale on Richmondshire District Council, said: “The whole village is devastated, he was such a popular man.”

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