Stolen ‘ghost bike’ returned to family

Andrew Spink, brother of Tony Spink who was killed in 2007 by a lorry, on Ings Rd/Charlesworth Way junction. Council removed the ghost bike that was chained to the fence in memory of his brother, but also as an aid to make other road users aware of cyclists.'w4188a103
Andrew Spink, brother of Tony Spink who was killed in 2007 by a lorry, on Ings Rd/Charlesworth Way junction. Council removed the ghost bike that was chained to the fence in memory of his brother, but also as an aid to make other road users aware of cyclists.'w4188a103

A “GHOST” bike memorial to a cyclist who was killed when he was hit by a lorry has been returned to his family after being stolen.

The family of Tony Spink were shocked last week when the memorial, placed at the road side to mark the fifth anniversary of his death, was stolen.

Anthony Spink

Anthony Spink

The white-painted bike and memorial plaque was a tribute to experienced cyclist Mr Spink.

The writer and artist from Normanton died in July 2007 aged 41.

The ghost bike, fixed to railings near the junction of Ings Road and Charlesworth Way in the city centre, was meant as a powerful warning to motorists to look out for vulnerable cyclists.

His brother Andrew Spink discovered the theft on Tuesday evening. He thanked a member of the public who found the bike and handed it in to police after an appeal.

He said: “It had been thrown into some bushes at the back of Comet down by the Ings Road and Charlesworth Way junction. Whatever the reasons it’s rather a sick twist, and quite hurtful.”

The tribute is displayed for two weeks to mark the anniversary of Mr Spink’s death and in November for Road Safety Week in agreement with Wakefield Council.

Mr Spink said the theft would not stop him placing the bike in the future.

Ghost bikes are tributes to cyclists killed or injured on the roads. A bicycle is painted white as a reminder of the tragedy and in support of cyclists’ right to use the roads safely.

Graham West, the council’s highways network manager, said: “I am pleased that the ghost bike was recovered and urge people to respect memorials like this and the important message that they represent.”

Police are investigating the theft. Anyone with information should call PC 1187 Alan Carver via 101.