James Danson-Hatcher was on his way home from an afternoon's cycling on the South Downs when he died in a collision with a car at the junction of Devil's Dyke and Saddlescombe Road. The ghost bike was placed at the scene by members of Bricycles, the Brighton and Hove Cycle Campaign Group, who had been calling for a lower speed limit on the road.
James's family welcome the bike, both as memorial and protest.
Alison Swann heard about the ghost bike commemorating her brother "in rather an unfortunate way, through the local paper." James Danson-Hatcher had been killed eight months earlier, at the age of 23. A keen photographer and cyclist, he had spent a spring day cycling on the Downs above Brighton and had been on his way home when he was hit by a car doing close to the 60 mph speed limit. The driver was not prosecuted.
Despite this less than ideal beginning, Alison has become an enthusiastic supporter of her brother's ghost bike, both as memorial and warning. "James was a bit of an activist. He was into green issues and he was a very proficient cyclist. My mum and sister and I all agree that he would have thought it was a brilliant idea. Car drivers fundamentally believe they own the roads. They don't have the 360-degree awareness they need. If ghost bikes can help make people more conscious of sharing the roads, they must be good. I think it's rather beautiful, actually."
(From this article)
James Danson-Hatcher was fatally injured when he was hit by a car travelling at about 60mph near a Sussex beauty spot.
An inquest heard the accident happened at the junction of Saddlescombe Road and Devil's Dyke Road, on the outskirts of Brighton, at about 5.30pm on April 5.
Mr Danson-Hatcher was riding home after a visit to Devil's Dyke when he was hit by a Fiat Bravo.
The inquest heard Mr Danson-Hatcher, who had ambitions to be a professional photographer, was described by his family as a competent and experienced cyclist who regularly rode to Devil's Dyke to cycle across the Downs.
His father told the hearing cycling was his son's main means of transport and leisure activity and said it was a "cruel irony" he died while on his bike.
He said: "I believe he was a competent cyclist and he was experienced in rural and urban environments. He had covered literally tens of thousands of miles."
A police investigation concluded the accident was caused by the actions of the cyclist and that the car driver should not face criminal charges.