A few points
PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 March 2013
My original letter was simply to point out that unless people were observing the safety rules themselves they should not be writing to you to complain about others.
I did not intend to write again but the letter from Chloe Fox raises some points that I would like to comment on.
The Buzzard Regional Cycle Route, to which she refers, does not use the old railway track between Bear Lane and Littleham as she seems to infer. The notice boards at the entrances to the cycleway have maps that show it going along Castle Lane and down the main road into Knowle.
The boards state that it is the ‘Budleigh-Exmouth Cycleway’ and was opened as a cycleway in 1998.
The board at Littleham also says ‘No horse riding’, as did the ones at Bear Lane and Castle Lane until they were defaced.
The only bridle path near the route is a permissive one, which does not connect with the main track but with a permissive cycleway, which goes down to Daldich Lane.
The Highway Code item about dogs that I referred to says that they should be on a short lead on pavements, roads or paths shared with cyclists or horses. The definition of a road in England and Wales, as given on page 123 of the Highway Code, is ‘Any highway and other road to which the public has access. It is important to note that references to ‘road’ therefore generally includes footpaths, bridleways and cycle tracks, and many roadways and driveways on private land’.
Perhaps someone from East Devon District Council could explain why this route is not a cycle path or a road and therefore the Highway Code does not apply to it.
Could Chloe Fox please tell me what law says that a bell is legally required to be fitted to a bicycle? The Highway Code, page 118 simply says ‘It is recommended that you fit a bell to your cycle’.
It is obvious that a collision between a dog and a bicycle could result in injury to both the animal and the cyclist.
I am sorry that this is so long but I hope that it clears up a few misconceptions from the letter from Ms Fox. I have tried to stick to facts and if there are any more letters to you on the subject perhaps the writers will do the same.
No doubt for years to come cyclists, including children and older people, will still be endangered by dogs running loose on the paths and pedestrians wandering along oblivious of other users and you will still be getting letters complaining about cyclist behaviour.
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