Cyclist knocked into river by mobility scooter calls for urgent safety improvements

Bike rider who spent five minutes in water before being rescued reveals two of his friends died nearby after falling in

by Simon_MacMichael   June 14, 2013  

mobility scooter

The cyclist injured after he fell into the River Orwell in Ipswich last week while trying to make way for an elderly woman on a mobility scooter has revealed that two of his friends lost their lives after falling into the river near where the incident took place, and has called for urgent safety improvements to be made.

The cyclist, 29-year-old Richard Mudie, suffered cuts and bruises in the incident on the afternoon of Monday 3 June. Police are treating the incident as a failure to stop on the mobility scooter user’s part, and have appealed for witnesses.

Mr Mudie fell into the river as he tried to make space for the woman, whom he had spotted coming towards him, and has called on Ipswich Borough Council to put up safety barriers to prevent similar incidents in the future, reports the Ipswich Star.

“I slid right in,” he told the newspaper. “My £500 phone was destroyed and all my clothes were ruined. I swallowed sea water, it was horrible.

“That part of the footpath is really narrow because the wall is unstable and so some railway sleepers have been used to prop it up,” he added.

“I really think there should be barriers along that stretch of river.”

Mr Mudie revealed that he didn’t feel any anger towards the woman involved.

“She was in her own little world,” he said. “She probably couldn’t hear me, I don’t think it was intentional – she didn’t realise what she had done.”

Mr Mudie said that after falling into the river, for what seemed “like ages but was only five minutes” a man who was passing by came to his rescue.

“I was really scrambling about, it was so difficult to get out,” he explained.

“I don’t know what would’ve happened if someone hadn’t come along, I would like to thank him for his help.”

The woman involved is described as between 70 and 80 years of age with “mousey” hair. She was driving a red mobility scooter with what are described as “thick wheels.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC David Wright from Suffolk Constabulary, Ipswich on 101.

In its section on Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs, the Gov.uk website lays out the different rules that apply to them, depending on whether they are categorised as Class 2 or Class 3.

Both are subject to a maximum speed of 4mph off the road, and only the latter can be used on it, with an 8mph limit applying.

Additional rules for Class 3 scooters include that they are banned from motorways, bus lanes and ‘cycle only’ cycle lanes – although in this specific case, it was a path alongside the river, not a road, that it was being driven on.

Whether those rules are adequately communicated to and followed by the people who use such means of transport is open to debate.

6 user comments

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Were they travelling towards each other, or did Mr Mudie approach from behind.

Seems very odd that he says she couldn't hear him?

If she's crashed straight into him and not stopped that is one thing, but if he's come from behind and sent himself into the river that's different.

We've all had angry mongrels drive at us in their mobility scooters I'm sure, but this is a bit of a weird one. I think I would have stopped in either case and passed slowly if there wasn't a lot of room next to a river.

Any ideas?

Chiggety check yourself before you wreck yourself

posted by therealsmallboy [88 posts]
14th June 2013 - 13:35

2 Likes

She was coming towards him, added that detail now.

It's possible that his reference to her not hearing him relates to his crashing and falling in the river.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8248 posts]
14th June 2013 - 14:11

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therealsmallboy wrote:
We've all had angry mongrels drive at us in their mobility scooters I'm sure

Hmmm, no, can't say that's ever happened to me. Plain Face

posted by kie7077 [506 posts]
14th June 2013 - 21:52

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Sometimes you try to help and it goes wrong.

I have had this when you see someone who needs some assistance but you end up coming up a cropper because you tried to help. Meanwhile the person you helped trotts off non the wiser.

I feel sorry for this guy as I have had a similar experience.

Giant Rob.
King of the East Midlands

posted by Giant Rob [60 posts]
14th June 2013 - 22:20

1 Like

Footpath narrow, wall unstable, propped up with sleepers, where is duty of landowner or Council to carry out repairs to make path fit for use in all this? Alternatively depending path status it should have signage and protection for users because of dangerous condition.

Distinct worry that the user of the scooter seemed completely unaware of collision, for her safety and that of others on the road and footpaths.

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [494 posts]
14th June 2013 - 23:09

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Hmm "That part of the footpath is really narrow" so what were either of them doing on it if it was a footpath?

posted by davkt [37 posts]
15th June 2013 - 18:56

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