A cyclist who collided with a pedestrian on Southend seafront, leaving her with life-threatening head injuries, has been sentenced to four months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months, and has also been ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.
Jason Hurrell, who had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of wanton and furious driving was travelling at “significant speed” when he rode into Olivia George, then aged 16, on Marine Parade at around 9.45pm on the evening of Friday 1 February this year, Basildon Crown Court heard.
The Enquirer reported that the victim spent several weeks in hospital following the incident and is continuing to make “a good recovery” from the injuries she sustained in the incident on Marine Parade.
The newspaper adds that Hurrell could have used a marked cycle path or gone on the road, but instead chose to ride his bike on the footway.
Commenting on the case, PC Chris Rowland of Essex, said: "Cycling on the footpath is often perceived as a minor offence and public nuisance but this case highlights the very real dangers that exist if cyclists fail to ride without due regard for other road users, and pedestrians in particular.”
He continued, "The sentence Jason Hurrell has received today reflects the seriousness with which Courts view this type of incident and should serve to remind all road users of their responsibility to place safety before any other consideration when using the public highway.”
Although it’s not clear from the reports exactly where on Marine Parade the incident took place, concerns were previously raised over the £7.6 million revamp of part of Southend’s sea front back in 2011 that envisaged cyclists and pedestrians sharing space, rather than a dedicated cycle lane being installed on the road.
The council emphasised that cyclists needed to keep their speed in check when using it, with cabinet member for transport and planning, Mark Flewitt saying: “The enhanced paving area at City Beach is designed to be used by both pedestrians and cyclists.’
He added that the council was “looking at ways of managing this designated shared space, but it will not involve the type of engineering measures employed elsewhere on the seafront where sections of pavement have been removed and coloured cycle tracks have been introduced.”
But local resident Carmel Bishop of Shoebury said at the time: “You used to get serious problems, particularly in Chalkwell during busy periods when pedestrians were dodging cyclists. It looks like we’re going back to that.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.