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'We need to do more to protect cyclists'
A father who has been left in a wheelchair after being knocked off his bike has said more must be done to keep cyclists safe on the roads.
Graham Andrews was flung eight feet through the air after a hit and run in March 2008.
Speaking publically for the first time since the life changing crash, the former engineer said more must be done to protect cyclists.
He said: “On the one hand we are being encouraged to cycle more and leave our cars at home.
“But on the other hand, when cyclists are being seriously injured or killed as often as they are at the moment, it puts people off and measures need to be put in place to reassure that their safety is being considered.”
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The 45-year-old from East Preston has spent the past five years battling for compensation after the life-changing crash.
His lawyers lodged an application with the Motor Insurers Bureau, who compensate victims of uninsured or untraced drivers.
However, the claim was refused on the basis there was no evidence he had been hit by an untraced vehicle.
He went on to contact Irwin Mitchell law firm in 2009 who successfully lodge an appeal on his behalf.
A series of payments has allowed Mr Andrews to undergo intensive rehabilitation, including physiotherapy and spinal treatment.
Asha Vekaria, a serious injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The injuries which Graham suffered in the collision have been life changing for him and he is only now starting to rebuild his life.
“Sadly, we continue to see so many people whose lives have been devastated as a consequence of road traffic collisions, particularly cyclists.
“We have repeatedly called for all road users to take greater care and be more vigilant of others in order to improve road safety.
“We hope Graham’s case acts as a reminder about how important it is for motorists and cyclists to share the roads safely to prevent serious injury.”
Mr Andrews added: “The accident has totally changed my life; I have had to adapt and get my head round the fact that I am probably never going to walk again.
“I am also unable to work due to my injuries.
“I do still have some hope in the back of my mind, but I am now in the routine of living life in a wheelchair.”
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