Cyclists using footpath as a ‘race track’ claims resident

DM16129565a.jpg Jan Rawlings, concerned about cyclists going too fast on Widewater footpath, Lancing after a cyclist hit her dog Millie. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160407-185758008
DM16129565a.jpg Jan Rawlings, concerned about cyclists going too fast on Widewater footpath, Lancing after a cyclist hit her dog Millie. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160407-185758008

A dog-walker is calling for more pedestrian awareness on a footpath from Shoreham to Lancing after a cyclist nearly collided with her pet last month.

Jan Rawlings, 62, of Brighton Road, Lancing, was walking her spaniel three weeks ago along the footpath near to the Lancing Broadwater shops when a cyclist came towards her.

Mrs Rawlings claimed the cyclist had to swerve to avoid a ‘glancing blow’ to her dog which had run out from the side of the path. “The cyclist was riding too fast,” she said. Now, she is calling for cyclists to be more considerate towards pedestrians, despite the fact there are signs placed by West Sussex County Council saying the same thing.

Mrs Rawlings said: “The incident happened around 7am, so they obviously ride to and from work. I feel like a grumpy lady, but I just thought, if I had my four-year-old grand-daughter - whom I take to the beach regularly - using the footpath, the cyclist would not have seen her emerging from the side of the concrete block, and at the speed these cyclists go, she would have been severely injured.

“The majority are quite considerate, but there is a minority who seem to treat the footpath as a race track. Cyclists are used to giving way to pedestrians, but it just seems that some don’t take any notice. I know they are in a rush to get to work, but I also know people who won’t walk on the footpath anymore because they get abuse.”

Adur councillor for Marine ward Joss Loader said: “Obviously, it is a minority of cyclists, and the majority are rather good. In my experience, 98 per cent use bells and are respectful. There is an issue that dogs should be kept on leads. If everyone is considerate, it works well. Cyclists should be going at an appropriate speed but they should not be banned. It’s a case of give and take.”

The Herald contacted West Sussex County Council for comment, but a response was not provided.

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