British Cycling’s Chief Executive, Peter King, reacted as follows:
“I am shocked and disappointed that the Chief Crown Prosecutor should have decided upon such limited legal action following this horrific incident. I strongly back the call made by our lawyers, who are acting for all of the families involved, for a speedy conclusion to the outstanding investigations by the police so that a full report can be made to the Coroner as quickly as possible.
It is essential, that all of the available factual information and evidence, concerning not only the road crash itself but the events which preceded and succeeded it, is made available for scrutiny and detailed analysis.”
The following statement is from Leigh Day & Co, British Cycling’s solicitors, who are acting for the families involved in the incident.
“The families of the cyclists killed and injured in the fatal road traffic collision near Abergele on the 8th January 2006 and their Solicitor are very disappointed and surprised at the decision of the Chief Crown Prosecutor to prosecute only, for the offence of using a vehicle with three defective tyres.
It is hoped that the Police will conclude their remaining investigations at the earliest opportunity, further to which the families look to the Coroner and to the Inquest into this tragedy, to provide the first full opportunity for the entirety of the facts surrounding the lead up to and the happening of this terrible event, to be made public.
When the full facts and all the evidence relating to this matter are released and have been scrutinised, the families will consider with their advisers, the legal remedies and action that is appropriate to be taken.”
CTC Campaigns and Policy Manager, Roger Geffen, said:
“Our first thoughts are for the families of those killed in this terrible tragedy. It highlights the need for a serious overhaul of road traffic law and the priority given to its enforcement. Time and again when people are killed and seriously injured, the message given out by the legal system is that these incidents are nothing more than tragic “accidents”. The victims are disproportionately pedestrians and cyclists, the very forms of transport we most need to encourage for health and environmental reasons.”
The CTC confirms their position with a statement, as follows:
At the time of the collision, the police reported that the driver was within the speed limit and had not been drinking; hence the fatalities were simply a tragic accident. Following protests from cycling organisations, the police apologised for these comments. Yet the courts have still had no opportunity to consider whether or not the speed was appropriate to the conditions.
CTC feels that the episode once again illustrates how road traffic law, and those responsible for its operation, need to reinforce the message that road users have a serious duty of care to one another, and that endangering other people’s lives on the roads is wholly unacceptable