Portsmouth cycle safety scheme is ‘too little, too late to save Tim’ say family

Joanna and Mark Atkins - Tim Atkins's sister and brother
Joanna and Mark Atkins - Tim Atkins's sister and brother
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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NEW road safety measures have come ‘too little, too late’, say the grieving family of a cyclist killed in a tragic accident in Portsmouth.

Tim Atkins died when he was hit by a van after toppling into Eastern Road following a collision with another passing cyclist on the pavement.

Tim Atkins

Tim Atkins

The 48-year-old Southsea man’s death horrified the city’s cycling community.

Now Portsmouth City Council has revealed its new safety drive – a website designed to measure near-miss blackspots for cyclists.

Council chiefs say the move will give them a true picture of danger areas that are often missed by normal data.

But Mr Atkins’s sister, Joanna Carter, has criticised the authority for how long it’s taken to address safety fears.

‘This is a positive step from the council, and we hope that in the future it prevents any more avoidable tragedies like what happened to Tim,’ she said. ‘We do feel, however, this is too little too late and something should have been done way before now, something which would have saved Tim’s life.’

Mrs Carter said Portsmouth Cycle Forum had been ‘shouting for years’ about improving road safety measures.

She added: ‘Unfortunately this has always fallen on deaf ears until now after Tim has paid the ultimate price.’

The council says the new website, part of a six-month trial, is already helping, recording 29 near-miss incidents since going live this month.

Councillor Simon Bosher, Portsmouth’s traffic and transportation boss, said everyone had a ‘duty to look out for each other’,

He added: ‘As the highways authority we are committed to making Portsmouth’s roads safer for cyclists and reducing the number of collisions.’

Portsmouth Cycle Forum helped set up the system,

The group’s chairman Ian Saunders said: ‘This could have a big knock-on effect in the way the council prioritises future improvements.

‘There are so many near-misses that simply go unreported because they are not accidents and there are no serious injuries.

‘This new system will now collect all that missed data and help make Portsmouth’s roads safer.’

To report a near-miss see portsmouth.gov.uk and search for ‘near miss’.