”Lethal and Lawless” is how Woody Allen has recently described cyclists in his native New York City. Things are little better on this side of the pond, with Janet Street Porter castigating London cyclists for their inability to stop at red lights and keep off he pavements.
Go to any town or city in the UK and you will regularly see cyclists riding their bikes on the pavement with total disregard to the safety of pedestrians. One worrying new trend is the increasing habit of cycling on rush hour train platforms, often at high speed. The dangers seem obvious to me, but clearly not to cyclists, or to the rail operators such as Merseyrail who seem to have decided to turn a blind eye to the problem.
Pavement cycling is of course against the law, but that doesn’t bother these lycra louts. They are middle class and therefore feel that they are somehow entitled to indulge in their persistent anti social behaviour. This may also explain why the Police and other authorities refuse to act on the issue; handling out Fixed Penalty Notices to the bourgeoisie is simply not the done thing in modern Britain!
Finding reliable statistics on this is rather difficult, although even pro cycling campaign groups admit that an average of three pedestrians are killed per year by pavement cycling. Sadly vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those with disabilities are most at risk from the lycra louts.
So what can we do about it? Sadly, the answer would seem to be very little. If you are brave enough to challenge a pavement cyclist, your reward in most cases will be a mouthful of expletive laden abuse. Asking the authorities for action is likely to be a waste of time.
But don’t despair, help may well be on the way in the unlikely form of Donald Trump, who has apparently told the US media that he hates cyclists.