PATH: Not the place for cyclists

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Recently, I was walking my dog at St Mary’s Island, along the footpath from the car park.

I was unaware as a cyclist came from behind and tried to overtake me on an incline, a few yards from where two paths join. He was not prepared to wait the few seconds it would have taken to reach the flat ground and lost his balance. Both he and his bike fell onto me from above.

He had passed the gate to the cycle path proper and it had been his choice to cycle on a footpath where there was a clear, suitable alternative.

I was shocked to be laid flat and had to be helped up by another dog walker. At 73 years of age I can well do without this type of incident. Fortunately, there were no broken bones, although I was in pain for a few days.

I chose not to report this incident immediately. However, a few days later the council started work to widen and improve the surface of the footpath, making it still more attractive to cyclists, who already use it frequently.

I contacted a council officer and told him what had happened. Whilst sympathetic, he could offer no solution, such as a ‘no cycling’ sign or clearer signs designating this as a footpath only.

If I fail to clear up after my dog, the council will be all too ready to prosecute me so why is it not prepared to follow up on cyclists who break the law? It appears that the cycling lobby has more clout than the dog walking fraternity, which often is the focus of anti-dog sentiments.

The officer said the man concerned had been an “idiot” and the percentage of such people is small. However, as the total number of cyclists is considerable, this small percentage is significant.

Whilst I appreciate that where there is a single path we have to share, but where there are two paths, why do some cyclists have to indulge in selfish and inconsiderate behaviour where injury may be caused?

I have been back and found this much improved path already being used by cyclists. I would be interested in a response from the council.

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