Belfast Telegraph

Community shocked by cyclist’s death

by Bob Malcolm

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a woman was killed in a road traffic collision involving a bicycle and a lorry on the Upper Newtownards Road yesterday morning (August 3).

The woman — who has not yet been identified by police — was killed while she was cycling on the road close to the North Road junction.

Police have said the woman, who was in her 30s, was taken to hospital with head injuries but died later. She is believed not to have been a native of Northern Ireland.

A PSNI spokesperson said the woman was killed at around 7.45 am on Wednesday, August 3.

They said: “Anyone who was in the area is asked to contact police on 0845 600 800.”

Political representatives have expressed their sadness at the death of the woman on the busy east Belfast road — and one has called on the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers to push for better provisions for cyclists.

East Belfast UUP councillor Jim Rodgers, who was at the scene said: “I have never seen an accident like it in my life.

“My thoughts are with the victim’s family and with the lorry driver.

“A lot of people stopped at the scene to help — nurses and consultants on their way to work at the Ulster and doctors from a local surgery.

“It leaves a lasting effect. I know police officers at the scene were physically moved by the accident,” he added.

East Belfast DUP MLA Robin Newton said: “This will be a very sad day for the family of the female cyclist and the tragedy highlights the dangers of road use and the absolute need for caution at all times.”

He added: “I want to extend my sympathies to the relatives of the victim and I feel sure members of the public will do all they can to assist the PSNI as they handle their enquiries into this tragic accident.”

East Belfast Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle also expressed his sadness at the news: “I want to pass on my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the woman who has died.

“It's absolutely devastating to hear about another death on our roads and the community in the area is shocked at this news.”

South Belfast MLA Conal McDevitt, who pointed out he was a keen cyclist said: “Firstly, I express my extreme sympathies to the friends and family of the deceased.”

He referred to the death of a Bangor man, whose bike also collided with a lorry at the Ormeau embankment recently.

“This is the second tragic death this summer of a cyclist on our roads in Belfast and it highlights the need to make our roads safer for all road users and highlights the need for the Executive to give better provision for cyclists.

“It remains a fact that the previous Minister for Regional Development cut the cycling budget by 98 per cent to a derisory £5,000. It’s now time the executive signaled its support for all road users.

“We need all road users to be aware of each other and create a culture where people respect each person on the road.”

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