FRIENDS of a young musician who died after being hit by a car in Dry Street have urged transport bosses to review plans for a 40mph speed limit at the accident blackspot.

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for the current speed limit to be lowered from 60mph to 30mph.

It comes after the death of 23- year-old Justin Bowman, from Basildon, in May.

When the petition began Essex County Council was already in the process of carrying out a formal consultation on plans to reduce the limit to 40mph.

Despite the campaign, transport bosses have decided to press ahead with their plans for a 40mph limit, which is expected to be in force by the end of August.

Mr Bowan’s friend, Kerry Kinch, 20, of The Upway, Basildon, launched the petition to stop others losing their lives in the same way in the future.

She said: “Justin was so well known and his death has touched so many people. He was so young and, because we’re very close in age, it really affected me.

“We can’t change what happened to him, but we can stop it happening to someone else. I have seen the impact his death has had on his family and no one should have to go through that.

“If the speed limit was 30mph, Justin would have had a few broken bones, but would have lived.”

Her mum, Denise Briggenshaw, 46, is close friends with Mr Bowman’s grief-stricken parents.

She added: “Dry Street is very narrow and it’s at the back of Basildon Hospital, so staff are always coming out.

“Sixty mph is definitely too fast, and 40mph is too.

“Someone travelling at 30mph would be able to brake before it’s too late, but that chance is severely reduced if someone is driving 10mph faster.”

A spokeswoman for Essex County Council said Rodney Bass, councillor responsible for highways and transport, would visit Dry Street, but for the time being the 40mph speed limit would be introduced.

She added: “A formal consultation for a 40mph speed limit for the majority of Dry Street was undertaken from February 7 to March 1, 2013, and no objections were received.”