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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
PM to look at cycle death issues
Pictured clockwise (L-R): Thomas Harland, Wayne Wilkes, Maurice Broadbent, Dave Horrocks
After the cyclists' deaths, MP Chris Ruane has called for law changes
The Prime Minister is to look at issues raised after four cyclists died in a crash with a car on an icy Conwy road.

Gordon Brown was responding to a question by Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane who wants better protection for cyclists following the deaths in 2006.

A coroner said at an inquest it was "Britain's worst cycling disaster".

Mr Brown said it was important to see what lessons could be learnt. He also paid tribute to the dignity of the families of the cyclists.

Mr Ruane is campaigning for action following the deaths of Rhyl Cycling Club members Thomas Harland, 14, Maurice Broadbent, 61, Dave Horrocks, 55, and Wayne Wilkes, 42.

They died on a practice ride at Abergele in January last year.

Gordon Brown at Prime Minister's questions
Gordon Brown said all circumstances should be looked into

The road had not been gritted, despite warnings about icy conditions in the area.

The coroner at their inquest described it as "Britain's worst cycling disaster".

At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Mr Ruane asked Mr Brown what steps he could take to ensure there would be a review of how police call centres handle ice-related incidents.

He asked what could be done to make sure there is cross border co-operation between local authority gritting departments.

Mr Ruane pressed for a review into why the Crown Prosecution Service did not take action against the driver.

He also asked what measures could be taken to ensure legal advisers, solicitors and insurance companies would not be able to deliberately prolong coroner's inquires.

Chris Ruane MP
I think the lessons learnt here on the protocols between local authorities could be spread around the whole of the UK
Chris Ruane MP

Mr Brown sent his condolences to the cyclists' families and said he would look into some of the issues raised by their deaths.

He reassured Mr Ruane that: "The minister for the police will meet the lead police officer for roads policing."

And he added: "We must investigate all the circumstances to see what lessons can be learnt."

On Tuesday, Mr Ruane led a Commons debate where Home Office minister Vernon Coaker agreed to meet the cyclists' relatives once inquiries are complete.

Mr Ruane raised issues about police control room protocols and how information about potential ice hazards is communicated to local authorities.

'No protocol'

During the inquest last month, the jury heard the route was not gritted by Conwy Council on the morning of the bike ride, despite frost having been forecast.

The jury decided there was a "serious lack of communication" between police and local authorities and that the vehicle which hit the cyclists was being driven in an inappropriate manner.

"The Denbighshire side was gritted early in the morning, and then [the lorry] turned back into Denbighshire instead of going the whole length because there was no protocol in place," said Mr Ruane.

"I think the lessons learnt here on the protocols between local authorities could be spread around the whole of the UK."


SEE ALSO
Damning verdict over cycle deaths
27 Jun 07 |  North East Wales
Talking helps cycle survivor cope
27 Jun 07 |  North East Wales
Cycle driver 'wished he was dead'
21 Jun 07 |  North East Wales
Cycle tragedy gritting 'mistake'
20 Jun 07 |  North East Wales
Cycle death father tells of anger
14 Jun 07 |  North East Wales

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