Access is cited as the key priority. However, pedestrians with sensory loss frequently experience difficulties negotiating pavements and precincts in St Helier and Les Quennevais because cyclists are choosing to break the law by speeding through these areas on their bikes.
Christopher Scholefield states (JEP 21 June), ‘whatever anecdotes your correspondents may have to offer, the statistics show that interactions with cyclists don’t cause significant levels of harm to others’. A local survey to establish Islanders’ views on this matter would indeed be very useful, as I feel sure the statistics Mr Scholefield mentions do not relate to Jersey.
As to his mention of anecdotal reports, I must point out that the Sight Impaired Partnership Board and the dDeaf Partnership Board (JEP 13 June) are reputable channels through which issues affecting members, and the disability groups the boards represent, can be raised and improvements advocated. Those chairing both boards also have personal experience of cyclists compromising their safety as pedestrians.
EYECAN, another reputable conduit of grievances affecting the client group and advocate for positive change, regularly hears first-hand complaints from clients whose safety and confidence are adversely affected by cyclists’ inconsiderate behaviour.
Knowledge of multiple complaints regarding such encounters certainly gives credence to the accident reported by Mike Graham (JEP 15 June).
Although most cyclists are responsible and courteous, a number clearly do not consider the needs of others. While it is understood that cycling boosts health and is environmentally friendly, such benefits do not place cyclists above the law. Islanders, with or without disability, should be able to feel confident that they will not be startled by cyclists in pedestrian areas or else be endangered at pedestrian crossings by cyclists jumping lights.