Hertfordshire police seek cyclist who may have information on fatal crash that claimed rider's life

Incident took place on evening of 9 January; police want to speak to rider seen fixing puncture

by Simon_MacMichael   January 20, 2014  

Broken bike (CC licensed image by garryknight, www.flickr.com)

Hertfordshire Police have appealed for a cyclist who may have information that could assist them into an investigation into the death of another bike rider earlier this month to come forward.

Charity worker Mark Greenwood from Redbourn, Hertfordshire died on Thursday 9 January following a collision at around 6.25pm that evening with a Volkswagen Golf on Redbourn Road, which runs between the village and St Albans.

A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been bailed until 7 April.

PC Dave Clarke from Hertfordshire Police’s collision investigation unit said: “Following an initial appeal about the collision a number of people have contacted us and we are now aware that another cyclist passed Mark prior to the collision.

“This cyclist stopped on Punchbowl Lane to deal with a puncture before going on his way. I would like to appeal to this man, who would not have known the collision occurred, to contact me.”

Anyone with information is requested to contact Hertfordshire Police on the non-emergency number, 101.

Following Mr Greenwood’s death, St Albans Cycle Campaign repeated calls for conditions to be made safer for cyclists on Redbourn Road.

Committee member Mike Hartley told The Herts Advertiser: “We have supported local councillors’ efforts to reduce the speed limit on the road.

“We have also submitted a request to the county council for conversion of the footway along Redbourn Road into a shared pedestrian and cycle route and are awaiting their response.

“We want to see something done as soon as possible to avoid more nasty things happening and to encourage cycling.”

Mr Greenwood’s partner, Susie Ullman, told the newspaper after his death: “Mark was my life partner and heart friend. We’d known each other for 38 years and he was like a father to [her son] Jamie.

“We’re left with the memory of him. He’s left behind something that no-one else will fill. He looked after me. There’s no one bad memory of this beautiful man. He’s irreplaceable.”

11 user comments

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Hope they get the b*****d who killed this cyclist and string him or her up by their balls. But of course they won't.

Airzound

posted by Airzound [484 posts]
20th January 2014 - 13:00

17 Likes

They did get him:
"A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been bailed until 7 April."

Tripod16

posted by Tripod16 [119 posts]
20th January 2014 - 13:02

14 Likes

Tripod16 wrote:
They did get him:
"A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been bailed until 7 April."

Why let the facts get in the way of having a go at the police? Wink

posted by AyBee [85 posts]
20th January 2014 - 13:55

11 Likes

Whose having a go at the police? Are you a copper?

Airzound

posted by Airzound [484 posts]
20th January 2014 - 17:39

6 Likes

Such sad news. RIP. I know that piece of road very well. It is on the main run out from St Albans into the Chilterns. Loads of cyclists use it every day, part of the reason the excellent Hub cycle cafe in Redbourn is doing so well. Being an old Roman road, it is dead straight, flat and fast but also fairly wide for a single-carriageway A-road. People have warned me about it but I always figured the long sight-lines and amount of passing space made it safer for cyclists than the average twisty country road, despite the speed of passing traffic. This kind of very sad incident suggests I am badly wrong. Something needs to be done about these A-roads - perhaps in the 1950s when cars were smaller and slower, cyclists and drivers could share the same stretch of tarmac in relative safety, but not any more. The more incidents like this I see, the more I think that full-on Dutch-style segregation of bikes and motor traffic is the only option for busier roads.

posted by Yennings [226 posts]
20th January 2014 - 17:40

17 Likes

Arrested and bailed only. The person is still to be charged, prosecuted and hopefully found guilty and sentenced. At the moment none of this has happened and it might not happen if there is insufficient evidence to continue therefore the suspect walks free.

Airzound

posted by Airzound [484 posts]
20th January 2014 - 17:43

10 Likes

It's not as straightforward as a simple shoplifter, there is masses of enquiries that need to be done hence the bail.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2841 posts]
20th January 2014 - 18:00

6 Likes

That section of road is a local accident hot spot, both on the road and at the roundabouts at the St Albans and Redbourn ends.
Some time ago we (St Albans Cycle campaign) supported speed restrictions:the limit is down to 50 for part but is NSL for a section too. We and one of the local papers are gathering what people think should be done and I'd love to see some comments here, emailed to stacc at hartleys dot org dot uk or via @stalbansbike on twitter. STACC wants to see safe routes between St Albans and neighbouring towns and this is a key route.

The road gets a lot of road bike use because, as Yennings says, it's really the only practical route out totowards the Chilterns and because coffee at the Hub is really good! It doesn't get much leisure/casual use because it's pretty scary if you're not ised to fast moving traffic: the only off road route from St Albans to Redbourn goes a long way round via Harpenden. The existing pavement is just ridable practical (I've ridden it with my son on the way home from a cafe ride to the Hub and with a few local councillors on a fundraising ride) but it's narrow and bumpy and you have to cross at a point where traffic is really moving quickly. All this means that Herts County council needs to pay attention and spend some cash on a good solution...sometime before Hell freezes over.

Not anti car, just pro bike

posted by mike1727 [6 posts]
20th January 2014 - 19:37

10 Likes

Sadly I know this stretch very well too - it features either as a start or an end to most road rides I do. It is wide and although motorists pass fast, most of them give lots of room. Even so, you do feel exposed riding it.

Thoughts go to the family the Mark leaves behind.

I would love to see Lord Verulam allow a parallel traffic-free route through the Gorhambury estate. That would only get part of the way to Redbourn, but would be a great start.

andyspaceman's picture

posted by andyspaceman [233 posts]
20th January 2014 - 21:30

7 Likes

Was on this road only last week and it is fast. No cameras and long sight lines mean drivers really crank up the speed. But it is wide so there's plenty of space to pass. I would not cycle down it in the dark though.
I can't imagine a lower speed limit would modify drivers' behaviour on its own unless it was backed up by speed cameras or at least mobile units to deter drivers.
Sad news to hear of a death there and a sober reminder of inherent danger of some roads.

nostromo's picture

posted by nostromo [65 posts]
21st January 2014 - 9:29

3 Likes

Horrible news. I wasn't there that day but have been once (never again).

It might help others to know that there is a workaround to avoid it, which I was desperate to work out after being scared witless just getting from Redbourn to Harpenden: go north-west from the Hub up Dunstable Rd, turn right into Luton Lane, which appears as a dead end on Google Maps, go across the pavement (dismounting, naturally), CROSS the main A5183 road and keep going. Then you can use back roads to get to Harpenden and then to St Albans (or of course Luton the other way).

Of course, the Nickey Line Sustrans route runs almost parallel to this but it's no good unless you have a cross bike / MTB.

posted by deblemund [163 posts]
21st January 2014 - 10:08

9 Likes