Road ban for driver who killed A1 cyclist

A motorist who admitted causing the death of a cyclist taking part in an event organised by Gainsborough’s Trent Valley Road Club has been banned from the roads.

A cycle time trial event on the A1 was scrapped after a competitor was hit and killed by a lorry at Bawtry, a court heard.

Lorry driver Nigel Drake, 43, failed to see cyclist Andrew Ridsdale, also 43, until too late and hit him from behind.

Drake pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was given a suspended prison sentence and two-year driving ban at Nottingham Crown Court.

The incident happened just before 9am on Sunday 18th March last year.

The victim, from Mirfield in West Yorkshire, was riding a bright yellow Principia racing pedal cycle and wearing an orange tabard with the number 4 on it.

“He was wearing the correct, distinctive gear and a helmet,” said Dawn Pritchard, prosecuting. “He was a competent, experienced cyclist.”

The organiser of the time trial, over a 10-mile circuit, said the competitors did not ride on the hard shoulder.

They rode on the carriageway, just inside the white line. The road had been marked up properly to warn motorists.

As a result of the fatal collision, the organiser said he would never race on the A1 again.

Drake, of Low Street, Carlton, Goole, was driving a DAF articulated lorry and was on his second run of the day on the A1. He was heading south and had just passed Blyth services. When he saw the cyclist he steered to his offside but collided with the bike.

Judge James Sampson said Mr Ridsdale’s mother had lost her only son.

Drake was of good character, hard-working and law-abiding and had been traumatised the crash. He had a good driving record and had remained at the scene. But the cyclist must have been visible for some distance, said the judge.

The sentence was 26 weeks’ suspended for a year, disqualification from driving and £1,500 court costs to pay.