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Letter: I Fear More Cycling Accidents If Nothing Is Done

Published on: 18 Jul, 2017
Updated on: 18 Jul, 2017

From Eddie Ward

I was very sorry to read about Mrs.Bannister’s incident in Friary Street, [see comments under View from the Saddle: Why Can’t Cyclists Share The Pavement?] but it is hardly unexpected.

There seems to be too many young cyclists speeding down the High Street as well. They seem to take great delight in making people jump out of their way.

Why do they do it ? Because they can.

There is no one to stop them, and none of the multitude of cameras, ever manages to spot them.

If you question them, all you get is mouthful of abuse. It is much the same on the National Trust footpath along the River Wey. Albeit, without too much swearing.

Now that is a race track, with some cyclists using the footpath as a high speed route.

The National Trust have one or two requests for cyclists to give way to pedestrians, but they are in small print, amongst all their other information.

Until the council make proper cycle paths, not shared footpaths, I fear there will just be more accidents like the recent one with Mrs Bannister.

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Responses to Letter: I Fear More Cycling Accidents If Nothing Is Done

  1. C Barker Reply

    July 18, 2017 at 8:50 am

    There’s not even room on Friary Street for pedestrians when the restaurants have all their tables and chairs sprawled all over it. You can’t move on a Saturday.

    Obviously the cyclist who rode into poor Mrs Bannister was taking advantage of the early morning and restaurants being closed.

    Even so, cycling on the pavement is a big no no in my opinion.

  2. John Lomas Reply

    July 18, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Do the cyclists not realise, how easily the walking sticks and umbrellas, carried by the walkers, could become entangled in their spokes when the pedestrian has to take sudden avoiding actions?

  3. Dave Middleton Reply

    July 18, 2017 at 11:10 am

    It is for these very reasons that it was made an offence to cycle on the pavement all those years ago and it still is an offence.

    Sadly, as the offenders are on unlicensed, uninsured and unregistered vehicles, they are almost impossible to identify and unless caught by the police at the time, get away with it.

    When challenged, either a mouthful of abuse is received in response, or the excuse of, “It’s too dangerous to ride on the road” is given; So, you choose to ride on the pavement to improve your safety, at the expense of the safety of the poor old pedestrian?

    I ride a motorcycle and that can be dangerous to ride on the road, so by their logic, should I ride on the pavement too?

    These inconsiderate cyclists could be dealt with promptly if only we had police officers on foot in the town, but of course a “Bobby on the Beat” is rarer than a hen’s tooth these days.

    I am not anti-cyclist. I drive a car, ride a motorcycle and have even been known to ride a bicycle too. I am however anti-ignorant cyclists who ride heedless of consideration of other people and disregard the rules of the road.

  4. Brian Holt Reply

    July 18, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Sadly I gave up walking along the River Wey towpaths for both my brother’s and my own safety.

    I saw today about seven cyclists go onto the towpath at the Wooden Bridge and cycle at speed towards Woking Road. I just hope no walkers met them on a river bend.

    Cycling clubs are no better along the Worplesdon Road to Salt Box Road.

    Early one evening there were 12 of the riding two abreast with their arms out on one alongside them. Not only riding one handed but taking up the middle of the road so no traffic could pass until they turned into Salt Box Road.

    They spread themselves out with no concern for other road users, just think they own the roads.

  5. Doug Clare Reply

    July 19, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    We at G-BUG the Guildford Bike User Group are also very sorry to hear about Mrs Bannister’s accident and hope she has recovered.

    I’m afraid there are bad cyclists as there are bad drivers on the road but one bad apple should not spoil it for the majority.

    We advocate a shared use on footways where they are wide enough but suggest a “share with care” policy and politeness when asking to pass a pedestrian.

    I was on a Boris bike in Paris last weekend cycling along the banks of the Seine and was informed by a policeman that the shared path speed limit was 6km/hr and I was speeding.

    A great idea I thought, where necessary we would advocate a speed limit for cyclists. Cyclists please sign up and join us at

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