A CALL to arms has gone out to the city’s cycling community to join a remembrance event in honour of a rider killed in Portsmouth.
Tim Atkins, of Kingsley Road, Southsea, died when he was hit by a van after tumbling into Eastern Road.
The 48-year-old pub landlord was riding along a path when he collided with another cyclist and fell into the busy highway.
Tragically, despite valiant efforts by passersby and the emergency services, he died at the scene.
Now Portsmouth Cycle Forum, with the support of Mr Atkins’ heartbroken family, is staging a rally demanding action by the council.
Cyclists of all ages are being called to gather at Guildhall Square on Thursday evening at 5.30pm.
Jon Spencer is a committee member for the forum and said Mr Atkins’ family had appealed to the group for help.
‘They do not want Tim’s death to be in vain – they do not want what’s happened to Tim to happen to another family,’ he told The News.
‘It was something that was so easily preventable. We have been warning the council about that stretch of the Eastern Road since 2009.
‘We discussed it with them as early as April this year.
‘Yet despite our warnings nothing has been done and now somebody has died.
‘The time for action is long overdue, we need you to come along and make sure our voice is heard.
‘Tim was a father, a brother, a son, a partner. Someone who loved and was loved. We cannot tolerate his needless loss and we could not bear for this to happen again.
‘We demand action now to make our streets safe for all cyclists.’
Mr Atkins was the landlord of the Old Canal Inn, in Shirley Avenue, Eastney.
His death came a day after another cyclist was seriously injured in a crash on Fratton bridge, on June 1. The cycle forum said this man was still in a coma at Southampton General Hospital.
The remembrance rally in the city centre will begin at 6pm. Riders will cycle a short distance from Guildhall to the Richmond Building, where the forum will be staging a meeting with council officials and police.
Chairman of Portsmouth Cycle Forum Ian Saunders, said: ‘This gathering is an opportunity for all those who care about cycling and cyclists in Portsmouth to show their respects to one of our own.
‘The tragic incident took place on a popular designated cycle path that is widely used by commuters and leisure cyclists, individuals and families.
‘It’s now time for the city council to take the safety of all vulnerable road users more seriously.’