REGARDING the letter from Derek Sands, drawing attention to cyclists whom he saw behaving illegally. Yes, this is a problem.
What solutions does he suggest? Enforcement of the law is a police matter. Coincidentally, I had already arranged for a police officer to attend the January meeting of Pedals. However, with police funding reduced and uncertain for many years to come, a high level of enforcement is unlikely to be achieved.
I am afraid we live in a world where disobeying the law and general disrespect for fellow citizens are all too common– for example pedestrians crossing roads carelessly, motorists speeding, parking on double yellow lines and on pavements, and cyclists riding on pavements.
Mr Sands ably demonstrates the problem himself by parking “possibly illegally” and saying “does it matter these days anyway” when making the observations that led to his letter!
He draws the conclusion from his observations that the majority of cyclists behave illegally. What evidence does he have for this? Is it not always the case that those who behave in an anti-social manner get more attention, while those who behave properly are unnoticed and rarely given credit?
One cyclist behaving badly often results in the observation “typical cyclist”; in contrast, the bad behaviour of one motorist is unlikely to tarnish the reputation of motorists generally.
For the past 28 years Pedals has been championing the cause of local cyclists and of those who would like to cycle or allow their children to cycle, if only there were more, better and safer facilities.
Pedals most certainly does not encourage cyclists to behave in an illegal or antisocial manner, and members have trained children to cycle properly. We do not condone illegal actions and we are not advocating that the law should be changed to permit the various crimes listed by Mr Sands in his letter.
Despite his implication that we are wasting our time because of the actions of the wrong-doers, Pedals will continue to work with the local authorities to promote safe facilities for cycling, as a low-cost, healthy and environmentally-friendly means of transport.
I invite anyone who would like information about our next meeting to telephone me on 01775 766145