A REMEMBRANCE bike ride for cyclists who have died on Southampton roads will take place this weekend.

Organised by Southampton Cycling Campaign and members of the city’s Green Party campaigners say they want to highlight the “vulnerability” of cyclists and encourage drivers to take extra care.

And they are calling on the city council to “redouble its efforts to create safe cycle routes in Southampton”.

Southampton’s Green Party candidate for Portswood Katherine Barbour said: “I love this city and enjoy cycling around it - no one should feel scared of taking to two wheels.

"I call on the city council to redouble its efforts to create safe cycle routes in Southampton.”

It comes just months after tributes were paid to 67-year-old John Morris, who was involved in a collision with a lorry on Portsmouth Road, in December.

Campaigners say they will also ride in memory of Derek Witt, 60, from Swanwick, who died on the Itchen Bridge in 2008, and Amber Mattingley, 29, who died on Bitterne Road West, after a collision with a lorry.

They will also remember Greg Dear, 27, Jordan Wickington 19, and Robert Lee, 23,who died on Millbrook Road, Mountbatten Way and Thomas Lewis Way.

Also being remembered at the ride on Sunday will be 32-year-old Richard Gardner, who died on Brownhill Way in December.

The cyclists will start at Woolston Station, and follow the route of those who died.

They will then return to the city centre via quiet roads, the Common and the parks, stopping at New Road East Park Terrace junction to remember chef Sandro Filipik, who died in 2016.

The ride will start at 1.45pm and is due to arrive at Regents Park Road/Millbrook Road by 3pm.

The riders will move on to Brownhill Way by 3.35 pm and finally New Road for 4.30 pm.

Organisers say they want to “remember all cyclists killed by motor vehicles in the city, thinking especially of the two cyclists killed in the last weeks of 2017”.

They added that they wanted to “highlight the vulnerability of cyclists in a transport system that continues to prioritise motor vehicles over other road users;.

Those who have planned the memorial ride also say they want to encourage drivers to think bike and remember that they should slow down and take extra care around cyclists and other vulnerable road users”.

The ride will finish with tea and coffee at the cafe in the park.

City sustainable living boss Cllr Christopher Hammond who is overseeing the city’s £25m cycling strategy said he was not able to attend the ride but added: “We take the safety of cyclists very seriously which is why we are launching our strategy. Hopefully tragedies like these will be avoided in the future.”

The ride happens on April 8

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