Mobility scooters and cycling

PUBLISHED: 15:53 11 November 2010 | UPDATED: 15:55 11 November 2010

Through your column, I would like to thank the anonymous resident, who has sent me a note complaining about the problem of cyclists riding on pavements.

He has written to me as I am a local Liberal Democrat and an ex-councillor and assumes that I may be able to exert more influence, but I have no more power to act than any other of my fellow citizens.

I am, indeed, sympathetic to his concerns, for it seems that more and more cyclists have taken to riding on pavements and footpaths.

I would suppose that many people have had encounters with cyclists, who pay little regard to the law.

As I understand, it is unlawful to ride on a public footpath unless it is designated for dual use, but there seems to be little evidence of the police taking any notice of this.

Could it be that it is more profitable to prosecute motorists than cycle riders?

Even when a footway is for dual use, there are often conflicts of interest and it seems that more needs to be done to separate cyclist from pedestrian, a problem particularly noticeable in the summer months along the seafront.

I must admit that, when I was a town councillor and the “improvements” to The Esplanade were being discussed, little or no consideration was given to this matter.

I know that we must encourage cycling, in order to reduce the use of the car and promote better health, but must do so in a way that is safer for all, by providing better cycle ways; even if this is to the inconvenience of the motorist.

Another increasing hazard is the proliferation of the use of mobility scooters; sometimes they ride on the pavement and sometimes on the road (even in the wrong direction)!

I am not so sure that they should be driven on the road at all. One would not deny persons with disabilities the ability to enjoy access to local facilities; indeed this should be encouraged, to improve their quality of life, but do it in a way that is safe and considerate. Perhaps a minor form of testing or training or even licensing might not go amiss.

I have passed these concerns on to the town council, in the hope that they take some interest and take some positive action.

Brian Toye,

241 Exeter Road, Exmouth.

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