Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 15:58 UK

Bereaved family demands A23 signs

Ghost bike
The family placed a bike sculpture at the scene a year after the fatal crash

The family of a 19-year-old woman killed on her bicycle in Sussex has returned to the scene a year on to call for improved safety for cyclists.

Friends and relatives of French student Marie Vesco want to prevent any more deaths on the A23 at Hickstead.

An an inquest, the coroner recommended installing signs to direct cyclists to a quieter route.

The Highways Agency said it had identified improvements to A23 signage to be made before March 2010.

Ms Vesco died in a collision involving two other cars last June as she was cycling from London to Brighton with friends.

One year on, our daughter died for nothing, like an animal by the side of the road
Marie Vesco

The family placed a white bike sculpture at the scene to remind cyclists and motorists to think about road safety.

Dominique Vesco, Marie's mother, said: "The authorities must take responsibility in order to avoid further deaths of this kind.

"One year on, our daughter died for nothing, like an animal by the side of the road."

And Jay Calascione, from Roadpeace, added: "The death of Marie was totally unnecessary.

"It is up to these authorities to realise the danger to vulnerable road users and take urgent action."

'Potential improvements'

A statement issued by the Highways Agency on Monday said: "The Highways Agency takes the safety of all road users very seriously.

"We co-operated fully with the police during their investigation and the coroner's inquest following the death of Marie Vesco.

"In 2007, we began a study into all cycle routes in Sussex and have identified a number of improvements to signage on the cycle route alongside the A23 to be made as a priority before March 2010.

"We are working closely with West Sussex County Council and Crawley Borough Council as some of the potential improvements identified in the study are on local authority routes.

"The Highways Agency is also working closely with national cycle charity Sustrans, which promotes improvements to the national cycleway network."

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The family have placed a memorial at the scene



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