Mobility scooters and cycling

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.

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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.

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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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