Fatal crash bike rolled out for road safety rally

Andrew McNicoll was killed in an accident in Lanark Road in 2012. Picture: comp
Andrew McNicoll was killed in an accident in Lanark Road in 2012. Picture: comp
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HIs untimely death sparked a long campaign for safer cycling on the Capital’s roads.

Andrew McNicoll, 43, was killed in a horrific traffic accident in Lanark Road in 2012.

And now the bicycle he was riding is to become a symbol of the movement for more protection for those on two wheels.

It will be used by campaigners during this year’s Pedal on Parliament, which takes place on Saturday.

Thousands of people from across Edinburgh and beyond will cycle and march on Holyrood to call on politicians to improve cycling safety.

Among those leading the annual event will be organiser David Brennan, who will be using Andrew’s old bike after it was donated by the insurance officer’s family in a poignant show of support for the campaign, which has been taking place since 2012.

Andrew’s step-mum, Lynne McNicoll, had wanted to attend the protest in person, but the serial fundraiser – who co-founded city charity It’s Good 2 Give in 2010 and launched a cycle safety organisation in Andrew’s name after his death – is currently fighting her own battle against breast cancer.

She said: “We very much support what Pedal on Parliament are doing. There just has not been enough improvement in the three-and-a-bit years since Andrew was killed.

“One of the sad things about it was that we needed to do very little to the bike before we gave it to David – there were just a few scratches on it.

“It’s really sad that Andrew’s bike can be there with little scratches on it, but Andrew can’t be there and nor can we.

“It really shows the vulnerability of cyclists. I just want people to be able to get out there and cycle, but it’s not safe enough. It’s just not.”

Organisers said they were expecting a crowd of around 4500, with families and children set to lead the charge.

The event, which is being supported by a range of politicians from across all five major parties, will begin on the Meadows at noon, before moving down closed streets via the Royal Mile to Holyrood.

Mr Brennan, 42, said the use of Andrew’s bike symbolised the fragility of cyclists using roads across the city.

The clinical scientist said: “I think it will be quite emotional. It’s symbolic of what we are all about.

“He was killed instantly, but the bike was hardly damaged at all. It just highlights the fact that we don’t have a protective cage, and how fragile we are.

“I was speaking to a police officer the other day who said he doesn’t cycle on the roads because he doesn’t feel it’s safe. When people like that are saying they don’t cycle, you know something needs to change.

“The message from us is that if politicians are really serious about increasing active travel throughout Scotland, then they really need to make significant changes.”

Campaigner Denise Marshall, who will be leading the Pedestrians on Parliament part of the protest this year, said: “Pedal on Parliament is not about making roads safer just for keen cyclists, it’s about helping our children get to school safely under their own steam.

“It’s about a healthier, wealthier Scotland. But, perhaps most importantly, it’s about telling the politicians what we want and when we want it – and the time is now.”

Fellow organiser and businessman Alex Robertson said: “This is a revolution that will make our streets safer, quieter, nicer places to live.”

alistair.grant@edinburghnews.com