The Sunday Telegraph

Sunak will be seen as enemy of pedestrian­s, says widower

- By Steve Bird

RISHI SUNAK risks creating a legacy as the “enemy of the pedestrian” who “ran scared from the militant cycling lobby”, the widower of a woman killed by a cyclist has claimed.

Matt Briggs has written to the Prime Minister accusing him of failing to protect those most at risk from cyclists riding dangerousl­y. He also accused him of blocking a move to modernise laws so cyclists who break road rules and kill are treated the same as motorists.

Mr Briggs’s wife, Kim, 44, died in 2016 after a cyclist on an illegal fixedgear bike with no front brakes collided with her in east London. Charlie Alliston was jailed for 18 months for hitting the mother of two and causing her “catastroph­ic” brain injuries. He was cleared of manslaught­er but found guilty of causing bodily harm by “wanton and furious riding”, a crime which only carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonme­nt.

In contrast, motorists can be jailed for life for dangerous or reckless driving if they kill, making the manslaught­er charge largely redundant. Mr Briggs has long campaigned for tougher laws to serve as both a deterrent and suitable punishment. Despite top-level meetings with ministers and public declaratio­ns from Grant Shapps, the then transport secretary, that laws would be updated, Mr Briggs now believes he was being “fobbed off ”. “The Government is doing everything to defend the interests of the cycling lobby, but has done nothing to protect – both physically and legally – the rights of pedestrian­s,” he said.

A government source said Mr Sunak was not responsibl­e for blocking the law change. A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We are looking closely at the laws regarding the prosecutio­n of cyclists and we will publish an update in due course.”

 ?? ?? Matt Briggs lost his wife Kim, 44, in 2016 after she was hit by a cyclist in London
Matt Briggs lost his wife Kim, 44, in 2016 after she was hit by a cyclist in London

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