DEPUTY central Hampshire coroner Simon Burge has backed the Andover Advertiser's bike campaign, launched after the death of schoolboy cyclist Troy Parker.

Troy died from serious head injuries caused when his bike collided with a Smart car as it attempted to join the A343 from the Greenwich Way junction just after 7am on 21 May.

He wasn't wearing a helmet and the front brake on his BMX was broken.

At an inquest into the 12-year-old's death on Wednesday, Mr Burge said while Troy's death was an accident, certain contributory factors had to be taken into consideration.

The inquest heard that due to poor visibility and no barrier at the junction, neither Troy nor car driver Hazel Branston, (who was only travelling at 15mph) could see each other until the young cyclist rode out into the road and collided with the nearside of the car.

Mr Burge said: "It seems to me the local authority should consider making it abundantly clear the path is for pedestrians only and not for cyclists.

"Or if they acknowledge cyclists have, and will, continue to use this particular walkway then steps need to be taken as a matter of urgency to prevent any possible reoccurrence in the future.

"I have been informed a temporary barrier has been put up in response to a campaign and I wholly support and endorse that."

Troy had just left his father's Launcelot Close home and was on his way back to his mum's Millway Road address to get ready for school when the accident happened.

He died at Southampton General Hospital eight days after the accident, which caused a slow bleed on his brain.

After Troy's death, his mother Carlie Annetts made a plea for all cyclists to wear helmets and the Andover Advertiser launched its Be Safe, Wear a Helmet Campaign.

Mr Burge added his support at Wednesday's hearing. He said: "As a general warning to members of the public I think it is appropriate to stress the importance of ensuring your children do wear helmets whenever out on a bicycle and that these bikes are maintained properly.

"The law is very strict when it comes to cars but there are no laws when it comes to bikes. It is up to owners to ensure bikes are safe. The consequences at not getting round to routine maintenance can, and in this case were, tragic and fatal."