A Grimsby man who was fined £750 when the bike he was riding on the pavement struck a five-year-old child has claimed that he was forced to ride there because the adjacent road was too dangerous.
The Grimsby Telegraph says that the child who was struck has been left scarred despite reconstructive surgery following the collision, but added that the cyclist, 29-year-old David Cox, insisted that he was only cycling on the pavement because of the dangers presented by the road.
Mr Cox said: He said: "I have lived in the area all of my life and I know that the road is dangerous, so I always cycle on the path. A friend of mine was killed on the crossing on the road, so I don't want to ride on it."
However, presiding magistrate David Stenton said that was not an acceptable excuse, telling the cyclist, who was found guilty of cycling without consideration, and of assaulting the child: "By not cycling on the road you put your own safety ahead of others, and the consequences of this could have been much worse. People have been killed by cyclists in similar incidents."
While that final sentence may be true, official statistics reveal that more than 250 times more pedestrians have been killed in Britain over the past decade in collisions with motor vehicles compared to those involving cyclists.
Last year, Jim Fitzpatrick, then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, said in a written reply to a question in the House of Commons that 29 pedestrians had been killed in Britain in accidents involving cyclists between 1998 and 2007, compared to 7,692 who were killed in collisions with motorised vehicles.
Nevertheless, the family of the child injured in Grimsby are calling for police to do more to enforce laws against people cycling on the pavement, and the Grimsby Telegraph is inviting readers’ views on the subject through the story’s comments thread.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.