Dear Editor, While triple Olympic cycling gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy was standing to rapturous applause at Wimbledon’s packed centre court, Britain’s most dedicated and determined campaigner for cyclists’ rights, Allan Ramsay, was sitting alone and distressed over his reprimand by British Cycling.
Why the reprimand? Ramsay had the nerve (if at first you don’t succeed) to make a personal appeal to Sir Chris asking if he would sign an online petition calling on the Prime Minister to introduce tougher penalties for drivers caught using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving.
With so many innocent cyclists – from children to the most experienced and capable – being seriously injured and killed by the “mobile menace”, the threat can no longer be ignored. Ramsay, himself a victim of such disregard for cyclists’ safety, had in the last two years been to the funerals of two close cycling friends, both of them victims of being hit from behind by drivers who “didn’t see them”.
Joanna Lumley led and won the fight for Gurkhas’ rights, so why not Chris Hoy for cyclists rights? Apparently he is too busy, no doubt dedicated to training for the 2012 Olympics. But come the Games, some 500 more innocent cyclists could so easily have been killed on UK roads, with thousands more seriously injured if tougher penalties for irresponsible driving aren’t introduced.
So who might win the day come 2012? The Olympic hero or the victims’ hero! Is there any reason why both can’t be winners? When our Olympic hopefuls asked for financial support, they got it – through Lottery funding, money donated by the man on the street.
To help reduce the death toll on our roads, log onto http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/mobilemenaceban/ and simply donate one’s name at a fraction of the cost – two minutes of one’s time.
Radcliffe Moor Road, Radcliffe
Sir Chris Hoy is introduced to the centre court crowd before the start of play during the 2009 Wimbledon Championships