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Female cyclist in critical condition following car collision on Ride Across Britain

Lloyds employee taken to hospital following A85 crash near Loch Earn

A female cyclist taking part in the Ride Across Britain challenge has been seriously hurt in a collision with a car.

The woman, an Lloyds employee, was on the A85 near Loch Earn when she was hit around 11.00 yesterday.

She was taken to Forth Valley Royal hospital, where she remains in a "serious" condition.

Her family travelled up from London to be with her, and her team mates led the group out today, according to other riders.

The road was closed for several hours, and traffic was diverted more than 71 miles while officers carried out investigations at the scene.

Today the ride focusses on the A82, where a Lochaber businesswoman who was calling for "assertive action" against RAB and another ride scheduled to use the A82 on the same day, has abandoned the idea of a protest because of lack of local support.

Some 800 riders taking part in the Deloitte Ride Across Britain, tackling the Land’s End to John O’Groats route, have ridden along the A82 between Fort William and Inverness.

Campaign group A82 Partnership, which is demanding the A82 be upgraded and has opposed a change in the road's speed limit from 60mph to 50mph said recently that it was “cycling madness” that the riders taking part in the event would be passing along that stretch of road at the same time as more than 250 people taking part in the Rat Race Coast to Coast event from Nairn to Ballachulish were travelling the other way.

Anita Nicholls, who together with her husband Simon runs a Lochaber-based training firm whose clients are mainly from the voluntary sector, last week said she was willing to organise "assertive action which stays within the law, but frustrates this event and shows the strength and resilience of the Lochaber community in the face of massive disruption and a lack of meaningful negotiation."

It turns out, though, that the community isn't that strongly united against the rides after all.
Ms Nicholls told the Aberdeen Press & Journal that nobody had taken her up on her offer, and she was giving up on the idea.

She said: “It needed to be a community initiative. The organisers are not going to listen if it’s just me. And it’s too late to do anything now so it won’t be happening.

“I’ve been accused of NIMBYism and of planning to do all sorts of illegal things, which we never said we would do. Some of the messages were very personal and hurtful.

“I pointed out that much of the community’s intent was motivated towards protecting the cyclists, as well as ensuring that lives were not put at risk.

“This road is lethal and claims many lives every year. If it becomes blocked, emergency vehicles cannot get through as there is a steep rock face on one side and a 400ft deep loch on the other.

“We rely on tourism in this part of the world to boost our local economy. We do not want to deter cyclists from coming here, but the unique geography poses serious questions that the organisers refuse to accept.”

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