Cycling Groups Condemn Removal of Philip Pawsey Bike Memorial in Hendra

The recent removal of a roadside memorial for cyclist Philip Pawsey, killed on Nudgee Road at Hendra in May this year, has sparked backlash from the biking community.

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The white “ghost bike” honouring the late 53-year-old cyclist was taken down in late August, reportedly by Brisbane City Council. 

Advocacy group Space 4 Cycling BNE expressed anger after discovering the memorial’s removal. In a social media post, the group said they had contacted the local council who deemed the memorial a ‘potential distraction and road hazard.’

The white bike removed from Nudgee Rd and Long St (Photo credit: Space4cyclingbne/Facebook)

“The white bike was clearly prepared and installed by someone who cares deeply about this issue. It stood as a tribute, mark of respect, and poignant reminder that we all deserve to be able to reach our destination safely, however we travel. We will not be so easily erased,” the group stated.

Mr Pawsey (Photo credit: Philip Pawsey/Facebook)

The white ghost bike was chained to a street sign at the intersection of Nudgee Rd and Long Street, where Mr Pawsey was struck whilst passing through on his bicycle. According to witnesses, he was dragged under the turning truck and killed instantly. Skid marks at the scene appeared to confirm the fatal collision.

Photo credit: Space4cyclingbne/Facebook

Space 4 Cycling BNE said the removal deeply upset members of the biking community still mourning Mr Pawsey’s death. The incident renewed calls to improve safety along the notorious stretch of Nudgee Rd, which lacks bike lanes despite heavy use by cyclists. 

There were reports Council delayed changes whilst awaiting findings from the coroner’s inquest, particularly whether parked cars contributed to the crash.

Ghost bike memorials like Mr Pawsey’s are an international tradition allowing communities to honour cyclists killed on the road. Supporters say they provide an important reminder of the need for better bike safety infrastructure.

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Council is yet to provide further comment about the ghost bike’s removal. But cycling advocates say they will continue pushing for it to be returned, along with the safety upgrades that could prevent more tragic deaths on Nudgee Rd.

Published 15-September-2023