'The devastation behind carelessness is just unbelievable': Chris Boardman calls for change after mum's 'needless' death

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies

Olympic champion cyclist Chris Boardman has told ITV News of the devastation left by his mother's "needless" death at the hands of a motorist - and his determination to make roads safer for cyclists.

The 50 year old spoke after Liam Rosney, 33, was convicted after admitting causing 75-year-old Carol Boardman's death through careless driving in 2016.

The cycling commentator said her passing had left his family learning to live "around the edges" of the permanent "hole" in the lives.

Carol Boardman suffered fatal injuries when she was hit by Rosney's Mitsubishi pickup truck after falling from her bike at a mini-roundabout in Connah's Quay, north Wales, in July 2016.

She was hit four seconds after Rosney had ended a phone call.

Liam Rosney admitted causing death by careless driving. Credit: PA

Rosney will be sentenced at Mold Crown Court on Thursday having pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial in December.

Boardman, who won gold in the individual pursuit at the 1992 Olympics, said he had been too upset to follow the proceedings.

"I haven't followed the case at all because I couldn't. I knew it would just consume me," he told ITV News as he described the impact of the death on his family.

"It's the hardest bit for me because I can look after myself," he said.

"But watching my sister, and my dad in particular whose partner of 50 years is just gone, is horrific to have to watch. The devastation behind carelessness is just unbelievable."

Carol Boardman had a passion for cycling. Credit: Family handout

Boardman said the family continued to ride and keep alive his mother's passion.

"Cycling was a big part of her life and always was," he said. "It still is a big part of my dad's. It's something that has helped him cope."

He paid tribute to his mum and her involvement "in so many people's lives".

"She was just amazingly positive," Boardman said. "Everybody speaks well of somebody who has died, but you would not meet anybody who could find something positive in everything. And that's gone.

"It's a loss to so many people and in such a needless, thoughtless way."

Boardman, who is a safe cycling campaigner, said he believes the legal system needs changing around death and driving, but qualified he did not want to see more people sent to prison.

"What I want to see is sentencing to reflect the crime," he said.

Chris Boardman brought home an Olympic gold from the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Credit: PA

"I'm going to take away your right to drive for good. You lost that privilege. You chose to be careless.

"I think taking people's ability to do harm away, without burdening society, seems to be a logical step for me."

Talking of the aftermath of the fatal crash, Boardman said: "You use the word 'hole', and that's what it is.

"It's just a big hole and it doesn't go away. You just get used to it being there and you live around the edges of it."

But he maintained his mother's death had not deterred him from his campaign for safer roads.

"It hasn't actually changed anything, but it has perhaps given me some more resolve and some validation that the things I am pursuing are the right way to go," he said.

"What I've been working on was to create safe spaces so that kids could ride to school and people can potter to the shops on a bike.

"That's the best way for me to deal with this in a positive manner, to try and do something that creates a better environment for people who want to travel without cars."