Occasional Gedling Eye columnist Graham Finch says he wants councils to start tackling cyclists who prefer pavements to roads…
I regularly walk from my home to Carlton Hill to pop to the shops or place a bet and not a day passes without me having to step several times off the narrow pavement and into the busy main road to avoid being knocked over by aggressive speeding cyclists, who “eff and blind” if I say anything to them.
The law is clear: cyclists belong on the road, not on the pavement. I also cycle, but I do so on the road, not on pavements. If a cyclist feels unsafe on the road because of inconsiderate motorists, then the option is there to dismount or to leave the bicycle at home.
The stress occasioned by having a cyclist speed past from behind at close quarters is considerable and, quite apart from the risk of a collision, because of the absence of fitted rear-view mirrors for pedestrians, is not to be recommended for anyone with a heart condition, not to mention the possibility of serious injury to a lady on foot caused by a determined handbag snatcher.
If and when resources permit, I would like to see the ban on cycling on Carlton Hill pavements most rigorously enforced every day, without exception, not just occasionally as at present, until inconsiderate cyclists, with their misplaced sense of entitlement and of their own importance, get it into their heads that what they are doing is illegal, dangerous, socially unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Lest it be assumed that I am against cyclists, let me assure you that this is not at all the case. I have cycled all my life and still do so, just not on pavements, which were created for the exclusive use of pedestrians. I have also been a driver for almost 30 years and I always give cyclists a wide berth when overtaking. If that is not possible because of traffic conditions, I stay well behind until it is safe for both the cyclist and for me to overtake, sometimes to the annoyance of an impatient motorist behind me.
I welcome any reasonable and safe moves to make cycling both easier and more enjoyable, just not in pedestrianised areas. There needs to be a balanced approach which does not benefit one group at the expense of risking the safety of another. At the end of the day we are all pedestrians, cyclists and motorists at varying times of our lives, or of the day.
A little patience and courtesy go a long way to keeping everyone safe.