Cars, cycles and pedestrians need to co-exist while respecting each other

In my opinion, many improvements for cyclists have been to the detriment of the pedestrian.

Interesting response in last week’s Brighton and Hove Independent from Becky Reynolds following my article published the previous week.

Becky, who I am sure is an exemplary example of a Brighton cyclist, must be watching a whole bunch of different people to the many selfish cycle users the majority of pedestrians encounter.

Becky tells us that Brighton and Hove has made excellent progress in making the streets more cycle friendly. Unfortunately, in my opinion, in many cases such as on our seafront this has been to the detriment of the pedestrian.

Apparently it is OK to ignore the Highway Code despite it being the law of the land in favour of following a remark made by Robert Goodhill, the transport minister. It seems he suggested that fines for riding on the pavement should not be aimed at responsible cyclists. Well, as far as I am concerned, if Mr Goodhill wishes to change the law then he should put a bill to Parliament in order to do so.

mhIt is not a responsible action for anyone to suggest riding on the pavement is OK. It is not, and is indeed against the law.

It is downright dangerous and inconsiderate to pavement users, particularly the very young and elderly.

I fail to see any reason whatsoever why, when a cyclist feels they are in danger from cars and need to take their bicycle on the pavement, they cannot dismount and walk with their bike like the rest of us.

That is the law as it stands and all we are asking is that we stick to the law.

Apparently many cyclists have a mounting sense of vulnerability while waiting at a busy junction as traffic assembles behind them.

That's a good one. Most of the people I see jumping lights don't stop long enough for anything to assemble behind them, some barely even slow down. While speaking about lights, let me mention bicycle lights, which about 50% of the Brighton cyclists seem to think are not at all necessary.

I firmly believe that we need proper enforcement to ensure that cars, cycles and most importantly pedestrians co-exist while respecting each other’s space.

We also need to seriously look at whether we can really accommodate cycles on the promenade footpath between the Palace Pier and the bottom of West Street. It is way too narrow and on busy days there are confrontations between pedestrians and cyclists wandering into each other’s space on almost a minute by minute basis.

Sometimes councillors have to make unpopular decisions. Like all of their breed, they will prevaricate for as long as possible, but eventually change will be inevitable.

As Brighton promenade gets more and more crowded, eventually there will simply be no room for both and one will have to go.

Unfortunately, I am afraid in the meantime there are likely to be a good few nasty accidents before any action is taken as our elected representatives seem loathe to upset the very vocal bicycle brigade.

Perhaps what the pro-cyclists should be suggesting is that all cyclists take a proper cycling proficiency test before going out alone and as with all other road users, making sure they fully understand the Highway Code.