Pavements can be shared by both

A nameless person complained about the police taking no action against two cyclists in high visibility gear riding on the pavement ‘at a leisurely pace’ (News Guardian, letters, February 13).

I think the police should be congratulated on taking this pragmatic approach.

Yes, the Highway Code states that cyclists should only use a pavement when it is officially designated for shared use.

However, in practical terms, careful cyclists and pedestrians can share most pavements if each shows the other consideration and the cyclists always give priority to pedestrians.

A bonkers dog on a long lead running around the pavement is probably much more of a tripping hazard to pedestrians than a careful cyclist.

Ranting against cyclists on the pavement is ranting against the wrong target.

Between 2008 and 2012 in Great Britain there were two pedestrian deaths involving cyclists on the pavement.

In stark contrast, 156 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles mounting the pavement, 122 cyclists were killed on the road by motor vehicles in the single year 2012. These figures are published by the Department of Transport.

In the interests of my own safety and protection I cycle on the pavement when I judge it is appropriate and will continue to do so.

Just to be clear – I am not one of the two cyclists in Marine Avenue complained about.

Neal McKay

Whitley Bay