THE tragic deaths of two young Hucknall cyclists this year has led to calls at Parliamentary level for new laws to promote bike safety.
Bulwell Labour MP Graham Allen this week took a delegation of Nottinghamshire councillors to meet Transport Secretary Stephen Hammond at Westminster.
Fifteen-year-old Harrison Carlin, of Buckingham Avenue, was killed in a collision with a Mitsubishi Lancer car while cycling along Linby Road, Hucknall on Sunday July 1.
Then Jeffrey Townley (12) died in hospital three days after he collided with a Peugeot van while riding his bike on Linby Road, Hucknall, on Thursday September 9. Both boys went to Hucknall National Church of England Academy.
The delegation have called for legislation on new bike sales to include helmets, reflective clothing and lights and to make it compulsory for all cyclists to wear helmets, as is the case in Australia.
They also want all cycles to be compulsory fitted with lights in the same way like all other road vehicles.
Another plea is for legislation to ban BMX bikes on public roads as some don’t even have brakes
The campaigners also want to see more cycle training, particularly in schools, and more money to be made available for dedicated cycle paths.
There have been seven cycle accident deaths in Nottinghamshire this year and Jeffrey was the youngest victim.
Mr Allen said: “These figures are just not acceptable. Cycling may be a ‘green’ means of transport but steps need to be taken to ensure that cyclists are safe.
“I believe that we must all be responsible road users — motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. There must be greater awareness amongst motorists that there are other modes on the roads and they must drive appropriately. Cyclists must be seen.”
Cllr Ian Morrison, a Hucknall Labour member of Ashfield District Council, who initiated the campaign, said: “I was as shocked as were the rest of Hucknall residents when not just one but two young lives were lost in a matter of a few weeks this year.
“I and my fellow councillors have vowed to explore all avenues to raise awareness about cycling safely and road safety issues countywide.
“Only a small number of Nottinghamshire’s 350 schools offer any sort of cycle training. This figure is not nearly good enough.
“Manufacturers have a lot to answer for. The latest trend to sell fixed wheel bikes without brakes is simply immoral.”