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Council ‘sympathetic towards roadside memorials’ but says sites need to be appropriate for the tributes being left

Flintshire Council has removed a ghost bike left for Carol Boardman following complaints it was distracting drivers and causing visibility issues.

White ‘ghost bikes,’ often decorated with flowers and photographs, are both a tribute to the deceased and also a means of highlighting road dangers.

The trend began in the United States but has become increasingly common in the UK.

Carol Boardman, the mother of former pro rider turned cycling campaigner Chris Boardman, was hit and killed while cycling in Connah’s Quay in July 2016.

Liam Rosney, the pick-up driver involved in the collision, was found to have been distracted by his phone and was sentenced to 30 weeks in prison for causing her death by careless driving.

Deeside.com reports that council workers last week removed a ghost bike which had been left chained to a lamp post at the roundabout on Mold Road where the collision took place.

Flintshire County Council’s Chief Officer for Streetscene and Transportation, Steve Jones, explained: “Streetscene Services received complaints last week from members of the public in relation to a white bike being placed on the roundabout at Mold Road, Connah’s Quay which was distracting drivers and causing visibility issues.

“Initial investigations with North Wales Police and their Family Liaison Officer confirmed that the family were unaware of the placement of the tribute bike, but were aware of a national organisation that place monuments at points were serious incidents have occurred.

“As yet the Council has not been able to identify the owner of the bicycle and it was removed last week.

“The bicycle is currently being stored at the Council’s Depot and is waiting for the owners to make contact to collect the bike.”

Jones added: “The Council is sympathetic towards memorials at the roadside and looks to accommodate tributes wherever possible, however we need to be considerate towards the location with respect to other highway users and sites need to be appropriate for the tributes being left.”

In 2011, the Guardian ignited debate by posing the question of whether ghost bikes may deter people from riding bikes by giving the impression that cycling is more dangerous than it actually is.

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