Man whose wife died in cycle crash 'wins battle'

Peter Walker looking into the camera
Peter Walker says he feels he was "won the battle at last" as the government introduces a new cycle offence law [BBC]

A widower whose wife died after being hit by a cyclist says he was "won the battle", after the government introduced a new cycling offence law.

Diana Walker, 76, was on her way home from a shop in 2016 when she was knocked down by a cyclist in Pewsey, Wiltshire.

Her husband Peter has spent the last seven years campaigning for cyclists who cause deaths or injuries to face specific charges.

He said he "feels relieved" after the government decided to make death by dangerous cycling a serious offence.

A framed photo of Diana Walker
Diana Walker died in hospital two days after she was struck down by a cyclist [BBC]

Under the change, dangerous cyclists could face up to 14 years in prison.

The government said of the law change: "Cyclists who kill or seriously injure because of dangerous cycling, or who kill through careless cycling, [should] face the same penalties as drivers and motorcyclists who do so."

The flagship Criminal Justice Bill was debated in the Commons on Wednesday night, following campaigns by families of victims of dangerous cyclists.

It also followed campaigning by Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith, who said cyclists should be accountable for "reckless" behaviour.

Mr Walker said he had spoken to Mr Smith about his campaign for changes to cycle offence laws.

“It’s the same as any death on the highway, however it’s caused, the outcome should be exactly the same," said Mr Walker.

After Mrs Walker was killed, an investigation by Wiltshire Police found that no crime had been committed.

Speaking to the BBC in 2023, Mr Walker said: "She was a fantastic wife and a fantastic mother, and I am certain it wasn't her fault whatsoever."

Concerns by the coroner at the time led to changes in Wiltshire Police's operating policies, meaning that crash investigators would be sent out to all serious accidents involving cyclists.

Mr Walker said the police should have conducted a full investigation immediately after the fatal accident - the same a withs any road traffic accident.

"It should have been done [but] at the time Wiltshire took the attitude that a cycle doesn’t have a motor therefore they haven’t got to do anything," he said.

Peter Walker is sititng at his dining table and looking through a folder
Mr Walker has been waiting for the results from a consultation on cycle offences since 2018 [BBC]

In 2018, The Department of Transport (DfT) launched a consultation into the legislation surrounding cycling offences.

Six years later, the results of that consultation were published on Wednesday night.

“I feel that at last I’ve won a battle, said Mr Walker.

"That [is] if a cyclist kills a pedestrian then it should be treated the same as any other road accident."

Follow BBC Wiltshire on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to us on email or via WhatsApp on 0800 313 4630.

More on this story

Related internet links