Bicycles

It is a regular feature of my conversation with residents, not frequently, but it appears often enough and is the bane of the more elderly citizenry in Milton ward. Like many issues in the ward its ultimate solution lies within the hands of the perpetrators, who must be encouraged to think beyond their own needs and desires.

Cycling on pavements, in the grand scheme of things, would not feature high on a list of priorities. I would put poverty and saving the planet some way above it. It is, though, a seemingly simple thing to fix – or it should be.

Like much that goes wrong it comes down to education and enforcement. I would add that improving the road network for cyclists would encourage the proper use of bicycles.

I have some sympathy for those who choose to cycle on pavements, and a lot more for those who fear the pavement cyclist.

Along major routes it probably feels safer for the young and inexperienced to navigate on the footpath as opposed to the carriageway. Parents are understandably concerned for their children’s safety and many encourage them to use the footpath – I did too. I have yet to meet anyone who seriously objects to this.

There are, though, many adults who insist on whizzing along at terrific speeds on the pavement with little, if any, regard for those whom the space was designed for – the pedestrian. And it is not just the footpath besides busy roads, it is often the quieter streets too – which should be safe enough for cyclists. A speeding cyclist is not something that anyone wants to collide with, and it causes real anxiety for some who fear serious injury will come their way one day at the hands of an inconsiderate and ignorant cyclist.

The Police tell me that they will ask those cyclists that they see on the pavement to dismount or use the roadway. I am also told that it is not a priority, and those bobbies on foot would not be able to stop a cyclist who flees at speed.

Where cyclists feel compelled to use the footpath they must ensure that they cycle with courtesy and remember that it is a space that belongs to pedestrians.

As a motorist I must add that many cyclists do not adhere to the Highway Code when on the carriageway, often causing some alarm to those of us who do not wish to harm them but feel that their disregard for their own safety and the rule of the road makes us believe that harm is imminent.

As to the law on this issue, read here.

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2 Responses to Bicycles

  1. Steve Buckingham says:

    As a driver, cyclist and pedestrian I hate it when cyclists ride on pavements. It’s also true that some cyclists ignore red lights – sometimes with no good reason but convenience and sometimes because with cars about it can be safest. But drivers have no idea how to behave round bikes, frequently rush past on blind bends and overtake leaving so little room that one slip by the rider and you are under the wheels.

  2. Very politic post covering all sides and I don’t blame you.

    But what do you think about pedestrians having to adhere to lane discipline and rear-view awareness on the pavement owing to faster moving pedallers overtaking?

    Should we have lanes and speed limits on the pavements or just adhere to the bylaws banning such?

    What makes more sense?

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