Safety calls following teenage cyclist’s death

Pictured is Connor Shields who tragically died on Wednesday night when he was cycling home to Ellon. He was in a collision with a car on A975 junction near Collieston.''(Picture by Michal Wachucik/Newsline Scotland)
Pictured is Connor Shields who tragically died on Wednesday night when he was cycling home to Ellon. He was in a collision with a car on A975 junction near Collieston.''(Picture by Michal Wachucik/Newsline Scotland)

Calls have been made for improved safety for cyclists after an Ellon teenager died following a road accident in Aberdeenshire.

Connor Shields, 14, became the eighth cyclist to die in Scotland this year when his bike and a car were in collision on the A975 Newburgh to Cruden Bay road, near Collieston crossroads, last week.

Earlier this week, lobby group Pedal on Parliament laid two “ghost bikes” outside Holyrood as a memorial to Connor and other victims.

Campaigners are concerned that not enough is being done to ensure the safety of cyclists on Scotland’s roads.

Connor was cycling home to Ellon after an outing to Collieston with friends when the accident happened near the crossroads last Wednesday.

Tributes poured in for the popular Ellon Academy pupil and flowers with poignant messages were left at the crash scene.

Ellon Academy rector Tim McKay said: “Connor was a very popular pupil with a wide circle of friends. He was very bright and combined his academic studies with his love of sport, particularly rugby.

“Connor was a kind and thoughtful young man who will be sorely missed by staff and pupils at the school. Our thoughts are very much with his parents, sister and other family members at this difficult time.”

The teenager played for Ellon Rugby Club’s under 15s.

A spokesman said they were deeply saddened to hear about Connor’s death, adding that they would remember him as “a really happy young boy, so full of life.”

Inspector Ewan Innes, of Aberdeenshire and Moray’s road policing unit, said: “Our thoughts and condolences go out to Connor’s family and friends.

“Connor was in a group of five or six pedal cyclists were were travelling from Collieston to the Ellon area, and I would ask that anyone who mave witnessed the collision, or who has any information, to get in touch with us.”

The 59-year-old car driver was uninjured.

Connor’s funeral will take place at Ellon Parish Church on Friday at 11am.