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Call for 20mph limit and lollipop ladies on crossings

A petition has been created calling for speed limits on the Bristol to Bath Railway Path after a rider was injured by another cyclist in a hit-and-run incident last week.

Anne Tuffney, 49, was hit from behind by another rider as she rode to work on July 19. He carried on without stopping , leaving her unconscious with a broken collarbone.

Ms Tuffney told the Bristol Post: “I was aware of a cyclist coming up behind me very fast. I had time to realise that he was far too close to me, when his bike collided with mine.

“The next thing I remember is looking up at a sea of faces and someone removing my bike, which was tangled up in my legs. Fortunately I was wearing a helmet. I was taken by ambulance to Frenchay Hospital, where they stated I had a broken collar bone and was lucky that the bone had not pierced the skin.

“I was so cross initially. I know accidents do happen – but not stopping is something else.”

She told The Times: “I have constantly shouted at people who are going too fast. I even saw two men crash head on because they would not give way to each other.

“In my experience it is not yobs in baggy jeans that are the cause, it is people on their racing bikes on the way to work. Most cyclists are careful and considerate but there are a few using cycle paths like race tracks.”

Ms Tuffney, a mother of two, is still recovering from the crash. Avon and Somerset Police are appealing for witnesses.

Petition against “mayhem and danger” on path

The petition on Bristol City Council’s website was created on July 21, just after Ms Tuffney was hit, by Claire Day. To date it has had 53 signatures.

In the petition Ms Day described the path as “mayhem and dangerous” and said, “We need to make the Bristol-Bath 'Cycle path' Greenway (and other shared-use 'cycle' paths in Bristol) a safer route to travel for cyclists, people who ride bikes to work, children and other pedestrians.

“As a cyclist, I believe it is important to have this healthier route to travel around, but it is not a means to allow cyclist to travel at speeds which are unsafe.”

To reduce the risk of pedestrians being hit by speeding cycists, Ms Day proposed:

“20mph ... should be the greenway speed limit at all times. During periods of increased use, such as school start and finishing times, the [speed limit on the] pathway around schools and parks reduced to 10mph. This can be achieved by having the tarmac a different colour as on the main roads where bus stop/lanes are.

“More importantly, urge Bristol City Council to set up ‘lollipop’ people to help make the areas on the ‘cycle paths’ around school a safer space for both cyclists and pedestrians before more serious accidents occur.”

Bristol City Council spokesman Tim Borrett said: “As with any petition it will follow our normal procedures which, depending on how many people sign it, can mean a debate by councillors.

“We hope that if nothing else this raises the profile of the issue and encourages the minority of inconsiderate cyclists to slow down and take more care.”

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.