Walkway cyclists should be fined
I wonder how many readers saw the excellent front page article in the Bristol Evening Post August 14?
This was instigated by Ruth Bailey, of Bristol Older People's Forum, who started her campaign after meeting an elderly woman on crutches, as a result of being knocked down by a cyclist whilst waiting at a pedestrian crossing.
As she rightly says, 'older people are more at risk because they may not see or hear the cyclists, or may not be able to move out of the way quickly enough'.
This of course applies to people who may be deaf, or partially sighted, like some of my neighbours.
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I know from my own experience how unnerving this can be, and many of us have had several 'near misses' as cyclists speed past on pavements on fast bikes, with no bell or verbal warning.
Some cyclists can be very unpredictable – on the road one minute, and then suddenly veering onto the pavement.
Many have no idea that they can push their bikes along the pavement if they have concerns about their safety on the road.
As I have said many times, two-thirds of cyclists in Bath are very good, but there seems to be a third who just like to make up their own rules without any consideration of the law, or the safety of pedestrians.
This sort of behaviour gives cycling a bad name.
Several cyclists have told me that they have cycled on the pavement in Bath, and been completely ignored by the police – even when they are breaking the law.
Police officers are predominantly young, fit and healthy, and obviously have no idea how an elderly resident would feel in this situation.
The article goes on to say that "Police in Cardiff have been running a 'zero tolerance' crackdown on cyclists after concerns were raised at a neighbourhood meeting. Any cyclist caught on the pavement received a £30 fixed penalty notice".
They are also calling for all cyclists to be insured, and carry registration, as for example in Switzerland.
Southport brought in 'zero tolerance' after a pedestrian was killed by a pavement cyclist some years ago.
This is exactly the robust approach that Bath police should be taking to get the message through to cyclists who break the law!
In the better weather, and particularly at weekends, there are cyclists on the pavement all over the city when I am walking around, and I am constantly concerned about my safety, and that of vulnerable fellow pedestrians.
What do other elderly readers feel about this issue?
JULIE TROLLOPE Bath