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Cyclist had only been doing commute by bike for three days prior to last Thursday's incident...

A West Sussex cyclist left injured at the roadside in a hit and run incident last Thursday has appealed for the driver of the vehicle involved to hand himself in to police.

Warehouse worker James Walby, aged 29, was riding home from work on 3 November on the A24 at Broadbridge Heath near Horsham when he was struck by a vehicle, throwing him more than 20 feet onto a grass verge, reports The Argus.

The cyclist, who comes from Worthing, was wearing hi-visibility clothing and had working lights on his bicycle, and suffered cuts and bruises to his legs as well as a dislocated shoulder in the incident. He had only started undertaking his 50-mile round trip commute by bike at the start of the week.

“I thought that was it and I remember thinking, ‘this is going to hurt’," he told the newspaper.

The Argus said that Mr Walby managed to flag down approaching traffic, with two men stopping to help contact police. He received treatment for his injuries in Worthing hospital and was allowed home later that evening.

Mr Walby appealed to the hit-and-run driver: “Do not be a coward and come forward.

"If I had hit someone I would stop and make sure they were okay. They might be at home thinking I am dead. I would be feeling guilty."

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police added: “We believe there is damage to the passenger side of a blue vehicle and we would ask anyone who has any information to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”

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.

11 comments

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workhard [397 posts] 5 years ago
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Poor bugger....

Far too close to home for me, though I would never chose to ride along that stretch of the A24 myself. I accept that cycling alternatives for the victim are limited and probably longer and as a noob he's probably just taken the obvious route.

Hope he recovers quickly and Inspector Knacker apprehends hit and run spineless tw@t driver. I for one will be inspecting all the blue cars I see in Horsham.

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Coleman [335 posts] 5 years ago
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50 mile round trip commute? Good effort. I hope he's back on a bike soon.

Incredible that someone can drive off like that. How about giving the culprit the usual lenient punishment but then use them as a crash test dummy in a recreation of the 'accident'?

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 5 years ago
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Poor guy. 'Coward' sums the driver up nicely.

We recently spent some time at my sister-in-law's in the area. I was appalled at the way people seem to drive in that part of the world. I have commuted extensively in London, Johannesburg, Essex and Kent, but nothing prepared me for Sussex.

Both the wife and I felt so threatened by the traffic that we decided not to move to the area based purely on that factor. Something in the drinking water?

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monty dog [462 posts] 5 years ago
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Sounds as though he was 'taken out' crossing the exit ramp on the A24? Unfortunately, no amount of high-viz and lights is going to make spear-junctions any safer. No consolation to the rider who I hope has a speedy recovery.

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workhard [397 posts] 5 years ago
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mr-andrew wrote:

We recently spent some time at my sister-in-law's in the area. I was appalled at the way people seem to drive in that part of the world. I have commuted extensively in London, Johannesburg, Essex and Kent, but nothing prepared me for Sussex.

Both the wife and I felt so threatened by the traffic that we decided not to move to the area based purely on that factor. Something in the drinking water?

Nah, just a huge sense of entitlement that, in turn, leads to a lack of consideration for others and other road users in particular. Some of us take a pride in our driving others just take a pride in shaving 10 seconds off their journey times. Which is why I avoid the dual carriageways unless I'm in a tin box.

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monty dog [462 posts] 5 years ago
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West Sussex is the Wild West, I was assaulted by a motorist at 10am on a Saturday morning whilst riding through Midhurst last year. Fortunately the judiciary were less enamoured and fined him £700 for his efforts and I've got a nice scar  14

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Martin Thomas [382 posts] 5 years ago
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mr-andrew wrote:

I was appalled at the way people seem to drive in that part of the world. I have commuted extensively in London, Johannesburg, Essex and Kent, but nothing prepared me for Sussex.

Both the wife and I felt so threatened by the traffic that we decided not to move to the area based purely on that factor. Something in the drinking water?

I'm speechless! I've lived in Sussex for over a decade and I wouldn't say it's any worse here than anywhere else. I'd certainly say it's better than London (where I lived and cycled for the previous decade and a half).

Funny how quickly we form impressions about areas. I'd say Bristol's a nightmare (got badly cut up twice the only time I've ever cycled there), but Telford's even worse (cut up three times and sworn at twice - but again, only been there once). On the other hand I've cycled through Midhurst countless times and never had any problems.

I certainly wouldn't let such perceptions put me off moving to an area though! All I can say, mr-andrew, is that you missed a treat. There's some gorgeous cycling down here (although to be fair virtually none of it is on the A24).

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sloop [22 posts] 5 years ago
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Coleman wrote:

How about giving the culprit the usual lenient punishment but then use them as a crash test dummy in a recreation of the 'accident'?

Now I do like the sound of that! Paint those black and yellow circles on him and test away  3

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 5 years ago
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Martin Thomas wrote:

I'm speechless! I've lived in Sussex for over a decade and I wouldn't say it's any worse here than anywhere else. I'd certainly say it's better than London (where I lived and cycled for the previous decade and a half).

I've also ridden the surrounding area a lot, but we found the trip from Amberley through to Brighton to be hellish, no matter which route we took. The way people seemed to drive left very little room for error - if they hit you at that speed it wouldn't be pretty.

We're heading down coastwards now, more cycle friendly routes.

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scopeland [19 posts] 5 years ago
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I try to keep clear of the A264/A24 if I can, a member of the local club was involved in a serious hit and run on it near Crawley, they never traced him. I do time trial on the dual carriageway in the summer, always use my super bright flare rear light and have a helmet mirror, un-trendy but an incredibly important safety feature. I have cycled in West Sussex for over 20 years and find 99% of motorists are very considerate. I really don't think you can say a county is any worse than another one.

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Martin Thomas [382 posts] 5 years ago
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mr-andrew wrote:

...we found the trip from Amberley through to Brighton to be hellish, no matter which route we took....

Try following the relevant bit of this route: http://www.bikemap.net/route/494068. There's a bit of unpleasantness on the A283 but I wouldn't call it hellish by any means.

If you've got the energy (and you don't mind the coastal slog home along the A259) you can cut right at Steyning and climb Bostal Road for some well-earned stunning views.