Cyclist ready for new A12 demo

A CYCLING campaigner who caused A12 rush hour chaos by riding in the middle of the dual carriageway is set to ignore police warnings and do the same again today .

A CYCLING campaigner who caused A12 rush hour chaos by riding in the middle of the dual carriageway is set to ignore police warnings and do the same again today .

Peter Fox, from Witham, is demanding adequate safety facilities for cyclists along a proposed A12 link road – and said last night he would be prepared to go to prison in his bid to save lives.

His action, which comes only days after two cyclists were killed on the county's roads, has angered police who were called by fed-up drivers around 8am yesterday to move Mr Fox along.

The 45-year-old business consultant pedalled in the centre of the slow lane on the A12 near Witham.

He was highlighting an alleged lack of response by the Highways Agency to his calls for safety measures along the proposed Hatfield Peverel to Witham link road.

Ignoring police warnings, he said his protest would continue – beginning with this morning – until the chief of the Highways Agency visited the area to see how cyclists would be expected to ride just 18ins from the busy A12 without any barrier in between.

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He said: “I'm putting cyclists' lives before lateness – drivers should get up earlier if they're angry.

“I'm perfectly within my rights to cycle on the dual carriageway. I have no fears about being arrested and if necessary I'm willing go to prison.

“But the police will look very silly if they do try to do that. It will be unprecedented.

“They will be saying that motorists have more rights than cyclists and effectively saying you need the permission of the police to cycle.”

Insp Simon Morgan, of the road policing unit at Stanway, labelled Mr Fox's promised repeat performance “unfortunate”, saying it was using up police resources at a time when they were trying to investigate the death of another A12 cyclist at the weekend.

He said: “We would not wish to prevent any freedom of speech, but if called again in similar circumstances we will react as we see fit and as appropriate in the interests of public safety.”

Confirming Mr Fox had raised concerns at May's public inquiry into the proposed link road, the Highways Agency said the Secretary of State would consider them when before taking his decision on whether the scheme should progress.

Meanwhile, police have released the names of the two cyclists killed on roads at the weekend.

Colin Rodd, 64, of Orchard Avenue, Hockley, in South Essex, was killed on the A12 early Sunday morning when his bike was in collision with a red Ford minibus that was joining the Ipswich-bound track at its junction with the A120 at Marks Tey.

Police said Mr Todd was taking part in an open time trial.

Frederick Allen, 74, of Ramsey Road, Halstead, also died on Sunday after riding on the A131 at Penny Pot Corner, south of the town. Police said he appeared to lose control of his bike and fell.

Any witnesses to the A12 accident are asked to call Stanway traffic police on 01206 762512 and those witnessing the A131 incident on Sunday to call Bocking traffic police on 01376 330722.

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