Walkers must share

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 March 2013

Before you print any more letters complaining about cyclists’ behaviour on shared paths could you please draw path-users’ attention to the following notes.

1. Be aware that cyclists are allowed to use the path.

2. An ordinary cyclist can travel at three times walking speed, 9mph as against 3mph. Expect them to overtake you.

3. Listen for cycle bells. It is no use cyclists having an audible warning of approach, if walkers ignore it.

4. Dogs. Keep it on a short lead when walking on the pavement, road or path shared with cyclists or horse riders. Highway code, page 20, rule 57.

5. Wear or carry something light-coloured, bright or fluorescent in poor daylight conditions. When it is dark use reflective materials. Highway code, page five, rule three.

6. Large groups of people walking together. Look-outs should be positioned at the front and back of the group, and they should wear fluorescent clothes in daylight and reflective clothes in the dark. Highway Code, page six, rule five.

7. Some cycle tracks run alongside footpaths or pavements, using a segregating feature to separate cyclist from people on foot. Not all routes which are shared with cyclist are segregated. Take extra care where this is so. Highway Code page eight, rule 13.

8. Rules for cyclist, Page 22 rule 62. When using segregated tracks you MUST keep to the side intended for cyclists as the pedestrian side remains a pavement or footpath. This would seem to imply that pedestrians should not walk on the side intended for cyclists.

9. The Highway Code, page 20, rule 54, which states ‘You MUST NOT take a horse on to a footpath or pavement and you should not take a horse on to a cycle track.’

The first three are obvious and the rest are taken from the Highway Code that lays down safety rules for all road users.

I have been knocked off my bike by a dog that ran into my front wheel. Very painful, even though I was only riding slowly. I have been sworn at when I asked a dog owner to get the animal under control so that I could get past safely. I have been ranted at to ‘get on the road, that is the place for things with wheels’.

Perhaps it might be an idea for one of your staff to cycle from Exmouth to Topsham or Budleigh to see what cyclist often have to put up with on shared paths.

Jim Beed

Via email

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