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Gary Shenton on his increasing anger with cyclists showing disregard to the Highway Code

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: July 16, 2014

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I BEAR no grudge against the majority of the cyclists who travel along our local highways.

But I am becoming increasingly angry with those who show disregard for the Highway Code.

They are the pedal-pushers who ride on pavements, ignore traffic lights, fail to stop at road junctions and so on.

Motorists who adopt a similar carefree attitude are punished by the law, and quite rightly so in the interests of safety to other road users.

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Yet cyclists appear to be devoid of any threat of punishment.

Every year over 100 cyclists are killed and a further 3,000 injured on Britain's roads.

In 2012 overall road fatalities were at their lowest since records began in 1926, but the number of cyclists killed had risen by 10 per cent.

The youngest killed was just eight years old and the oldest 94.

The vast majority who met their death in the saddle were simply daily commuters or young children out for a ride on their bikes.

Despite this shocking increase in cycling deaths nothing seems to have been done to address the problem.

Surely it is time every cyclist was made to pass a driving test, like motorists, before being let loose on our increasingly congested highways. I make this plea in the best interests of pedestrians who are in constant danger from cyclists encroaching on pathways and pavements – quite often at speed.

This dangerous habit of cyclists has been encouraged by the introduction of 'cycle pathways' which are diverted onto pavements on some routes – A520 Leekbrook is an example.

I remember back in the 60s being encouraged to take a cycling proficiency test at school.

The National Cycle Proficiency Scheme was introduced by the Government in 1958, with statutory responsibility for road safety being given to local authorities in 1974, including the provision of child cyclist training. In 2007 the scheme was renamed Bikeability, to take into account the growing popularity of off-road cycling and mountain biking.

More than 200,000 children a year receive cycle training.

But there appears to be little or no direction for adults who sit astride a bicycle for the first time. Cycling groups have called for action to cut bike deaths, which are under threat of growing now that cycling in Britain has become more popular than ever.

The growing interest in cycling has been inspired by the success of the Great Britain cycling squad and in particular that of Olympic hero and Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Higgins.

Cycle training is very important as cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users.

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