Residents ‘concerned and frightened’ over cycling on pavements

A SALISBURY councilor has welcomed changes to the Highway Code but says residents are still “very concerned” and “frightened” by cyclists riding at speed on pavements.

Cllr Atiqul Hoque, who represents St Edmund’s ward on Salisbury City Council, says he has received a number of emails from residents.

He said: “This has been going on for a long time and I am receiving more and more emails about people riding on pavements. This is especially prevalent in Library / Market Walk, High Street, and Fisherton Street.

“According to Highway Code guidance ‘only pedestrians may use the pavement’ but the police cannot be on every street corner and people are scared.

“The changes to the Highway Code are a perfect opportunity to ask everybody to take extra care around pedestrians in the city center and it is my humble plea for cyclists to use the road and not the kerb and thus pose less of a danger to children, elderly and those with disabilities. ”

Changes to the Highway Code came into force in January to improve safety for people walking, cycling and riding horses with priority given to those that are more vulnerable.

The ‘signals and position’ section has also been updated, stating drivers should give priority to pedestrians and cyclists.

Margaret Willmot, who is a committee member of Cycling Opportunities Group for Salisbury (COGS), said: “COGS do not condone cycling on pavements, but cyclists may feel unsafe on the roads where the risks posed by motor vehicles are very real, and currently there are very few safe, direct and continuous cycle routes in Salisbury.

“There are several places in Salisbury – including the High Street and Town Path – where a path is designated as shared use for pedestrians and cyclists. A minority of cyclists behave irresponsibly, but responsible cyclists will slow down as necessary and take due care of others users of the space. ”

Speaking about the Highway Code, Margaret added: “A week after the recent Highway Code changes were introduced a COGS member was knocked off her bicycle on a mini-roundabout in Salisbury which illustrates the true nature of the problem we face. Vulnerable road users, be they pedestrians or cyclists, are far more likely to get injured by motorists than by pedal cyclists.

“Sadly a change in the rules which says that vulnerable road users are top of the road user hierarchy has little effect if there is not much more awareness of these road users by drivers coupled with a step change in the provision of safer infrastructure for cyclists. ”

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