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Mel Vasey:

Birkenhead North End CC campaigns for speed reduction

Birkenhead North End Cycling Club is mounting a campaign to have the speed reduced to 40mph on the A540. CLICK http://www.bnecc.co.uk/jointhecampaign.htm

The A540 Hoylake High Road is very popular with Wirral and Merseyside cyclists heading to the legendary EUREKA cyclists' cafe at Two Mills, the Cheshire lanes or the hills of North Wales. It was on this road that Mel Vasey (53) a popular member of the Birkenhead North End CC lost his life whilst heading out on a Sunday morning club run. His club mate, Danny McDonough (56), received multiple fractures and at the time of writing. (27-01-07) remains in Arrowe Park Hospital.

Low profile sunshine may have been a factor in the collision, although one would not expect this to be accepted as an excuse. Several days later an experienced woman cyclist incurred injuries on the main Birkenhead-Chester road at Great Sutton, three miles away, when she was struck by car cutting across her path, in what is reported to be similar sunlight condition. She was rushed to A&E by paramedics, The latest news is that her injuries are not severe. This is her third 'incident' in recent months.

A correspondent, and close personal friend of the injured party, tells us that the police are taking no action, because 'the driver was distracted by having the sun in his eyes'. Which no doubt means she may have to pursue any action for damages through the Civil Court. It would be interesting to guess what action would have been taken by the police if it was not a cyclist involved, but a child crossing the junction on foot.

Both incidents have provoked debate on the use of tinted sun visors for vehicles drivers. CTC's comments on 'bright sunshine' for the Highway Code Consultation, may be seen here.

The tragic loss of Mel and the four Rhyl CC riders almost exactly 12 months earlier is causing many cyclists to consider action by contacting the press, local councillors or elected Members of Parliament. Guidance is provided on the Birkenhead NE website above. THIS IS YOUR TIME FOR ACTION.

LATEST :- Chester & North Wales District Association CTC, is also preparing to mount a campaign to have a safe cycling route between England and Wales across the Burton Marshes. Your support on that will also be most valuable in due course.