MEMBERS of the public are being encouraged to help protect a new “ghost bike” tribute that has been erected at the site of a fatal traffic accident on Ormeau Bridge.A local cycling organisation have designed a new “ghost bike” to replace the one that was stolen by thieves earlier this month.

The tribute, consisting of a racer bicycle sprayed white and fixed to the bridge railings, was placed in April to commemorate Saintfield Road cyclist Michael Caulfield who died at the spot following a traffic collision last year.

The white bike was placed by members of local cycling group Critical Mass, who fashioned it after similar tributes that mark fatal cycle accident spots in the US and other countries.

Following the callous theft, a new bike has been created, this time with the help of Michael Caulfield’s family, and its creators are appealing for locals with spare bicycle locks to help make sure it stays in place for the full period agreed with Roads Service.

Critical Mass member John Wright explained: “Michael’s widow Bernie and their three children helped us make the bike this time, and they were delighted to be able to take part in this tribute to Michael.

“Everyone was so disappointed about the first one being stolen like that, especially as the publicity it got meant the thieves must have known what it was there for.

“We made the new one in the Lawrence Street Workshops, and in order to make sure it stays in place for the full 48 days allowed by Roads Service, we are asking locals who use the road, cyclists or not, to contribute bike locks as they pass by.

“It’s important that it stays in place, not only as a tribute to Michael, but also to highlight the dangers faced by cyclists every day in Belfast, and the need for motorists to take care on the roads.”