A Bath woman who has been confronting cyclists riding on pavements has been criticised for her "ill-informed" views and for failing to abide by social distancing guidelines.
Last month Julie Trollope wrote to the Bath Chronicle saying she felt the police should act against the "menace" of cyclists riding on pavements during the coronavirus lockdown.
"Do these people not know the rules for cyclists which state, ‘You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement’?” she asked. “What could be clearer than that?
She was subsequently photographed stopping cyclists and telling them to stop riding on pavements.
Adam Reynolds, chairman of Walk Ride Bath, has written to the newspaper in response pointing out that according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council guidance, "considerate" cyclists can in fact ride on the pavement.
“Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, so sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required'."
He added: "This police discretion is applied across multiple aspects of road use, for example, breaking the speed limit is illegal, but by discretion, a fine with points is not issued until a certain level of speeding has occurred, not when you exceed the speed limit by 1 mile.
"Considerate cycling on pavements is similarly allowed through the discretion of the police.”
He continued: "It is with some concern that Bath Chronicle’s Richard Mills felt the need to follow Julie Trollope’s letter by writing two articles on her behaviour while she was ‘papped’ by a photographer, showing her getting in the face of people cycling on pavements during a strict lockdown where 2m social distancing should be adhered to.”
He finished by pointing out that despite the apparent emptiness of the roads, there were still very obvious dangers.
"A final point that needs to be made, that despite how empty the roads may appear, all this has done is make drivers more reckless with some areas of the country reporting an 8 fold increase in speeding.
"In fact the number of cyclists that have died on our roads involving collisions with drivers is 12 during lockdown, when it was only 6 for the same period last year."