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Campaigners call for an “end to road violence” after three cyclists, including a 12-year-old boy “killed by motorists” in three weeks in Birmingham

"Reckless driving is endemic in our city," said a campaigner after people gathered at a vigil where one of the cyclists lost his life watched in horror as drivers jumped red lights and sped...

In a letter signed by 15 campaign groups, the Birmingham City Council has been called upon to deliver road safety with the same mindset with which it delivered infrastructure for the Commonwealth Games, in order to bring an “end to road violence” as three cyclists, including a 12-year-old boy lost their lives to hit-and-run cases in three weeks.

Almost 50 people gathered for a vigil for the deceased cyclists yesterday, near the spot where one of the cyclists, Hussien Nur Teklise, father of a two-year-old son lost his life on May 16 after a motorist failed to stop. The vigil, organised by Better Streets for Birmingham, aimed to highlight the thoughtless and potentially deadly actions of motorists behind the wheel.

But even as campaigners stood with placards on the roadside asking motorists to drive safely, some drivers blatantly jumped red lights, switched lanes at the last minute or were speeding — all actions contributing to the horrific risks facing cyclists and pedestrians, Better Streets for Birmingham told

Martin Price, co-chair of the campaign, said: "Four families and communities are sadly grieving their loved ones who were killed by reckless driving. Reckless driving is endemic in our city.

"We need to see a commitment from West Midlands Police to better enforce driving offences, from Birmingham City Council to expedite safe walking, wheeling and scooting infrastructure schemes, and from drivers to drive more thoughtfully. Many of our members drive as well as walking, wheeling, scooting and using public transport. We want to see every Brummie getting home safely."

Since Hussien Nur Teklise’s death, two other cyclists have also lost their lives. A cyclist was killed on Chester Road at its junction with Gravelly Lane in Erdington on May 31, in a second alleged hit-and-run. A man has since been arrested and released on bail.

And a 12-year-old cyclist died after being hit by a car on the A45 Coventry Road near Kings Road on June 8. A motorist involved was arrested and bailed. Flowers and touching tributes have been left to the young victim.

> Calls for urgent action to "turn the tide on aggressive driving in Birmingham" after two cyclists killed in hit-and-runs

Mat MacDonald, from Better Streets for Birmingham, said: “In the hour we were there, we witnessed speeding, red light jumping, cars with illegal vehicle modifications and some incredibly anti-social driving. This type of behaviour can kill.”

In a speech to those who gathered, MacDonald said it was time for action. “The dreadful events of the past weeks needs to mark a line in the sand. Everybody must work together to tackle dangerous driving and quickly deliver safe alternatives for people walking, wheeling and scooting.”

Attendees included Birmingham City Council's cabinet member for transport Cllr Liz Clements, who vowed to do more. “Standing by the side of Belgrave Middleway watching the traffic and driving behaviours for an hour was a very alarming experience. We need massive cultural change.

“The council is rewriting its road safety strategy because we know we need a different approach. And our Birmingham Transport Plan is all about making streets for people and overturning the dominance of the car.”

Better Streets for Birmingham is urging the Birmingham City Council to fast track its plans and ambitions, in the same way it did when organising the Commonwealth Games last year.

“We know that preventing road violence and improving air quality requires better cycling and walking infrastructure. This must happen concurrently with the vision for fewer cars,” wrote the organisation in the letter to the council titled ‘2025, not 2027: Accelerating delivery with a Games mindset’.

“We continue to advocate for the Birmingham Transport Plan and have been impressed by future visions, schemes and strategies. However, this must rapidly translate to delivery.”

The issue of the lack of road safety claiming cyclists’ lives in Birmingham came to the head earlier this week when Adam Tranter, the West Midlands' walking and cycling commissioner, published his open letter to the police and local authority, calling for urgent action to “turn the tide on aggressive driving in Birmingham”.

“We cannot accept this as normal. Everyone should feel safe using our roads but through a combination of design, policy and enforcement priorities, this is not the case,” wrote Tranter.

He addressed chief constable Craig Guildford, police and crime commissioner Simon Foster and cabinet member for transport Cllr Liz Clements in the letter and expressed his desire to “convene an urgent meeting between us all so we can build an action plan to tackle these issues”.

He wrote: “Much progress has been made to build consensus that something has to change but it is now the pace of change that we need to tackle together. We have to turn the tide on aggressive driving in Birmingham. It is everywhere you look.

“A big difference could be made by focusing on what seem like low-level offences, such as illegal number plates or anti-social parking, but that often lead to other more serious road violence and other crimes that blight our communities. There is a huge disparity between the focus these issues are given between neighbourhood team areas, exacerbated by worrying downward trends in prosecutions via third-party dash-cam reporting from members of the public.”

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Adwitiya joined in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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