Information sought in connection with incident in Braintree last month

Police in Essex have issued an appeal to find a cyclist who failed to stop after colliding with a pedestrian who suffered a broken neck in the incident. He has been left paralysed and will never walk again, reports the Braintree and Witham Times.

The incident took place at 9pm on September 23 as 63-year-old Terry Pace was walking on a footpath between St John’s Avenue and Rifle Hill, close to his home in Braintree. It was not reported whether or not the incident took place on a shared use path.

So far, police have been unable to trace the bike rider involved in the incident and anyone with information is urged to call the central road policing unit on 0300 333 4444 or 101.

While the issue of cyclists reportedly putting pedestrians at risk by riding on pavements and footpaths often features in the local and national press, recorded incidents resulting in death or serious injury to pedestrians are, thankfully, rare.

Earlier this year, Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom, highlighting the case of 17-year-old Rhiannon Bennett, who died after being struck by a bicycle in 2007, introduced a proposed Dangerous and Reckless Cycling Bill in the House of Commons under the 10-minute rule.

The cyclist in Rhiannon’s case, Jason Howard, was subsequently convicted of dangerous cycling and fined £2,200.

There has always been some doubt about the exact circumstances of the incident, with a policeman involved in the case telling the BBC that Rhiannon was on the road, not the pavement as has often been reported, at the time.

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning was reported at the time to have pledged his support to the bill, although the DfT said that no decision had been made regarding the issue.

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.