Tuesday 17 February 2009

This is how it ends. Mark Pointer, died 2009

Up on the downs, where the road across the park, Stoke Road, meets Ladies Mile, there's a sign post covered in flowers.

The one at the top says "to my dear brother, taken too soon, love your partner in crime -your ever loving sister Nicky/Richard"

What happened? According to the Evening Post, Mark Pointer, age 36, was on a motorbike which collided with a Vauxhall Vectra. The car driver was treated for shock; the motorcyclist didn't survive. The police have a sign up asking for witnesses. That's all we know.

Somebody died here. Mark Pointer's brother and sister are mourning him; so are his friends and the rest of his family. For the rest of their natural lives, they are going to remember him, and often think "if only..." -if only he'd not gone out at that exact date and time, if only he'd taken a different route, if only the car had done something different, if only Mark had done something different. Those regrets are pretty hard to cope with; there's no easy way to avoid them, and often its mixed with guilt -"if only I'd ..." Sadly, it's too late for any of them -someone died motorbiking over a park in Bristol, and regardless of the underlying causes, they are gone.

Bristol doesn't (yet) have a Ghost Cycle program in operation. We need one for motorbikes as well as bicycles.


Chris Hutt said...

Many years ago I was hit by a car at this location. I was cycling northbound along Stoke Road and the car came from the side road, Ladies Mile, failed to notice me and clipped the back of my back. A fraction of a second and it could have had much more serious consequences.

In those days Ladies Mile only had a nominal 60 mph limit (so speeds of up to 70 mph were common) and was used as a rat-run (as it still is). It's a long, straight road so vehicles approaching the Stoke Road junction tended to be going too fast.

All of which may or may not have any relevance to the recent tragedy. There was a proposal a few years ago to close Ladies Mile to through traffic, to reduce the severance of the Downs, but it wasn't progressed for fear of upsetting motorists.

Salgo said...

Sorry to hear about your accident Chris, hope you made a full recovery.

Unfortunately, we don't know what happened due to a lack of witnesses so it's hard to speculate on the incident including blaming speed, poor driving, riding or anything else.

I live on Rockleaze Road the closure of Ladies Mile to traffic would cause myself and other residents to drive massively out of the way.

Our first option would be to either go around the one way system at the top of Blackboy Hill which would cause a major congestion for all traffic including buses. I'd be very concerned about the safety of people crossing the zebra crossings if people get delayed too long.

The other option would be to go all the way around Circular Road (by the sea walls) which would be a real concern for the safety of everyone using the downs - not to mention ruining the general ambiance.

Put some speed cameras on Ladies Mile by all means, but I fear closing it will cause more accidents then it prevents

Chris Thurling said...

I walked past this spot on Sunday and read the note from his sister. Really tragic.
If it's impractical to close Ladies Mile during the week, it would be great if if closed at the weekend so that walkers and cyclists could enjoy that part of the Downs free from boy racers in their "pimped" up Vauxall Novas!

SteveL said...

Given the roads go through a park, speeds of 20 mph would be good. Also

* could circular road between ladies mile and the ice cream van be closed to cars?

* does there have to be right hand turn from Ladies Mile into Stoke Road? It increases risk with little reward.

* the junction at the other end of Ladies mile is pretty bad on bike or car.

* Parking is an issue on stokes road -commuter on weekdays, footballers and others at weekends. Could the parking be managed for better junction safety?