A CORONER has called for safety measures on a stretch of the A64 following the deaths of four pedestrians.

Speaking about the section of road between Welburn and Crambeck in Ryedale, coroner Michael Oakley said that pedestrians had to “take their lives into their own hands” when crossing.

He made the comments at County Hall in Northallerton today during the inquests into two crashes, each with two fatalities, which happened less than two months apart in summer last year.

The first inquest was into the deaths of couple Julie Gough, 52, and Dave Tinker, 50, both of Crambeck, who were killed at about 11.55pm on May 13 while crossing the road near their village.

Assab Ali, of Leeds, gave evidence to the inquest. He said he was driving a minibus containing colleagues from the Spice4U restaurant in Pickering back to Leeds.

He described how he saw the pair crossing the road just past the dip in the road, and tried to brake, but couldn’t avoid colliding with the couple.

He said he stopped the vehicle and tried to provide medical assistance to Mr Tinker until emergency services arrived. However, the couple were pronounced dead at the scene.

Traffic constable Stewart Langford of North Yorkshire Police had investigated the crash and said that Mr Ali “was not in a position to be able to avoid the collision".

The second inquest was into the deaths of Charles McLaughlin, 53, and wife Judith, 58, who were killed on June 23 crossing the same road slightly further south, from the bus-stop on the eastbound lane to Jamie’s Cragg holiday park where they were living.

The couple were hit by a Vauxhall Mokka being driven by Richard and Maria Turner of Ossett.

In evidence Mr Turner said it had been a dark night and he hadn’t seen the couple until it was too late.

In both cases, the couple were heading home by bus after a night out in York.

Toxicology reports by pathologist Dr Jan William Lowe of the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough said that all four of the deceased had been drinking and all had alcohol levels of between 100 and 200mg per ml of blood - which can be sufficient to cause effects such as disorientation.

For both incidents Mr Oakley recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

Mr Oakley added he would write to the Department of Transport calling for a review into proper lighting, traffic islands or relocated bus stops to make pedestrian crossing safer on the stretch of road.

He said: “Clearly the only proper way to deal with it would be a bridge to take people across.”

This was welcomed by family and friends of the deceased who attended the inquests.

Judith Tinker, Mr Tinker's mother, said: “I do think something needs to be done on the A64. It’s dangerous from York through to Scarborough. I believe it’s about time.”

Mick Smith, a friend of Dave and Julie’s, said: “I think the coroner’s summation is about right. You’ve got two bus stops there and no provision of safety for people to cross the road.”

Pat Watson, sister of Charles McLaughlin, said: “We’ve been a few times to that bus stop, we’ve seen the situation, and we know how dangerous it is, as proved by the four fatalities. Hopefully there won’t be any more.”