A DETERMINED dad is pushing for changes in attitudes and regulations towards cycling after the death of his son on the A50 more than three years ago.
Noel Livingstone has been inspired by a campaign by a national newspaper which was launched after a news reporter was left critically injured when she was hit by a lorry while cycling into work.
The Times, Cities fit for cycling campaign, has received backing from Prime Minister David Cameron and Mr Livingstone wants similar action on roads around Uttoxeter such as the A50 and A38.
Mr Livingstone’s son Gary (pictured) was cycling home to Uttoxeter from work at Foston prison in December 2008 when he was hit by a lorry killing him almost instantly at the age of 42.
Other deaths of cyclists on both the A50 and A38 have happened since that day and Mr Livingstone, of Lambert Road, Uttoxeter, feels more protection is needed.
He said: “What I am trying to do is push on the A50 and A38 what The Times is trying to do in the cities. There needs to be a whole completely different approach to cyclists.
“It is the mindset. I spoke to people at the Stone Wheelers Cycling Club, where Gary was a member, and they think there is a completely different attitude abroad.
There seems a prejudice here against cyclists.
“Gary liked cycling more than the car and it kept him fit and healthy. People on the minimum wage nowadays want to cycle why shouldn’t they get more protection? “We also need to get the cycle paths fit for use. The one between Doveridge and Uttoxeter is a right mess.” New research looking at serious injuries suffered by cyclists in crashes with different vehicles has found that lorries pose the biggest threat to cyclists on Britain’s roads.
In the first study of its kind, experts analysed data for 265 cyclists brought into the Royal London Hospital by ambulance or helicopter over six years.
Seventy-three per cent had been in collisions with a car or a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), one in five crashes involved a HGV and these crashes were more likely to cause severe injuries to the torso, pelvis and limbs and haemorrhagic shock, where the body loses too much blood.
Mr Livingstone has been in contact with law firm Leigh Day and Co in London who are battling for other such victims across the country.
Penny Knight, partner and head of the firm’s cycle team which represents British Cycling, said changes needed to be made.
She said: “The recent upsurge in the popularity of cycling coupled with a rising number of deaths and injury on the UK’s roads is thankfully making everyone sit up and take notice.
“How can we promote a sport in which we are the leading nation if the roads and vehicles are not designed for the safety of all? “We would strongly urge all HGV’s to have mirrors fitted which give them full vision when driving on the roads and encourage all planners to look again at the UK’s roads and look to the continent where cycling is ingrained to see how all road users can co-exist.”