The BBC report that Nottingham City Council are to remove a ‘ghost bike’ placed in memory of Louise Wright, a cyclist who died after being hit by a lorry in the city centre in July. It is felt that the white-painted bike risks being an obstruction to pedestrians and a distraction to drivers. The council have spoken to Wright’s family and partner about the possibility of building a permanent memorial to her instead.
Wright was killed while riding in rush hour traffic on Lower Parliament Street where the bike is now attached to a lamp post. Speaking shortly after it appeared, Wright’s partner, James Faulkner, said:
"We still don't know the circumstances of the accident yet, but I hope that the ghost bike will help raise awareness of cyclists on the roads. If it can help prevent any future accidents, then it will have served a purpose and could help save a life."
Ghost bikes are both a tribute to the deceased and also a means of highlighting the dangers of the roads. The trend began in the United States but is becoming increasingly common in the UK.
However, there are mixed feelings surrounding them. Last year, Hackney council demanded the removal of a ghost bike chained to railings, while The Guardian has asked whether they might give the impression that cycling is more dangerous than it really is.
Nottingham City Council has spoken to Wright’s family about removal of the bike and suggested instead a permanent memorial close to proposed cycling facilities near where the accident happened.
The council has said that the owner of the bike has a month to collect it before it is removed.