Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Ruby Milnes trial: ‘No concerns raised’ about tragedy crossroads
9:18am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
NO ONE had raised concerns with York Racecourse about the safety of a crossroads where a teenage cyclist was killed, a course official told a jury.
Operations manager Tony Lee was giving evidence at York Crown Court, where the racecourse has denied two breaches of health and safety regulations relating to its deliveries.
The trial follows the death of Ruby Milnes, 17, on May 8, 2008.
She was cycling home along the York-Selby cycle track when she collided with a delivery lorry travelling across the track on a private road joining Bishopthorpe Road with the grandstand area of Knavesmire.
Mr Lee alleged yesterday that the road was used on 78 occasions a year for deliveries by the racecourse.
A gate stopping vehicles reaching the crossroads was open, often all day, on 91 days a day for race meetings and events held by many organisations, including City of York Council, he claimed.
The prosecution alleges a hedge prevented Ruby from seeing the lorry as it approached her.
Mr Lee alleged that at a meeting held shortly after the tragedy to discuss ways of preventing a similar incident, the council was more concerned about protecting nesting birds than gettng the hedge cut.
Cycling charity Sustrans installed a barrier across the cycle path more than a year after the incident, alleged Mr Lee. Neither the council nor Sustrans raised any safety issues with the racecourse before the death, he claimed.
The trial was dramatically interrupted when a fire alarm prompted a full evacuation of the court.
Judges, witnesses, defendants, lawyers and others waited on the Eye of York for 35 minutes while firefighters checked the building and declared it safe.
The trial continues.