THE decision by one police force to allow cyclists to ride on pavements, when it is against the law, is ridiculous if new statistics are anything to go by.
It has been calculated that there has been a 47% increase in collisions between cyclists and pedestrians in the past seven years with 2015 resulting in a total of 408, Keith Gudgin tells us.
Not including towpaths
Accidents rose from 274 in 2009 to 408 in 2015. But this does not include collisions on the narrow towpaths between cyclists and pedestrians, of which many have been reported.
In several collisions, pedestrians were killed and the cyclists were subsequently prosecuted for reckless behaviour.
No longer pursue
The statistics were released after a police force in a North London borough stated it would no longer pursue cyclists seen riding on the pavement.
Research by analysts Mapmechanics found over the seven years period, 3,476 people were injured, 696 of them seriously. The Department for Transport figures showed accidents between cyclists and pedestrians left 525 casualties, including two deaths.
Cyclist Philip Benwell, who knocked down a schoolgirl and left her for dead after jumping a red light in 2013 was jailed for just a year after admitting causing grievous bodily harm.
Another cyclist, Darryl Gittoes, knocked down a 73 years old woman in Hereford while riding without brakes and a flat rear tyre. The victim died nine days later, and the cyclist was also jailed for just a year in 2015.