Bikes on the promenade are “hazardous” and cyclists on pavements a danger according to concerned residents.
Mrs S.Collver of Links Drive contacted the Observer to say her husband was knocked down by a cyclist on the seafront which has become “a hazardous place to walk.”
“We have seen large numbers of cyclists dodging pedestrians along the promenade and vice versa,” she said. “Pedestrians and cyclists do not mix.”
She pointed out Rother District Council will review changes after granting access to cyclists and said: “One hopes this is soon to avoid any accidents that are waiting to happen.”
Another reader commented: “It is to the anguish and shock of the residents of Bexhill that in the last few months the cyclists are riding on the pavements in the main streets of our town.
“The cyclists ride at top speed in between the people without due care and attention.
“Some of the cyclists have headphones and are using mobile phones while on the bikes riding on the pavements, which can cause serious accidents.
“ Pedestrians, both elderly and young families with toddlers face an increasing problem of safety, from speeding cyclists.
“ Can the authorities possibly fine those responsible as this is disgraceful behaviour? “We demand our pavements be returned to pedestrians, and to ban cyclist from using them.
“We have also noticed cyclists riding at full speed between pedestrians on the seafront with no lights when it is dark early evening. Total disregard for anyone’s safety.”
Ian Hollidge of Bexhill Wheelers, who helped campaign for the promenade to be open to bicyles, agreed that a few cyclists have “total disregard” for safety.
He confirmed cycling on a pavement carries a £500 fine but added: “The problem is complex and the solution easy. “Some cyclists see the highway as unsafe and I agree for the untrained and novice cyclist it is, also children under the age of 12 are not criminally responsible, and a fine cannot be imposed.
“Hence some see fit to cycle on the pavement.
“This does not mean it is their right of way, or should be allowed. In some areas as per Gunters Lane and Turkey Road outside the schools there is shared space on the pavements where cyclists are allowed without any problems.
“ So as you can see it is a grey area and common sense should prevail.
“I also share the concern regarding safety for all user groups pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of all ages and abilities. To this end there are meetings arranged with ESCC and the PCC Katy Bourne. I’m willing to meet anyone at anytime to discuss the issues regarding cycling on unsuitable areas and how we are working with ESCC to make Bexhill safer for all user groups.”
The main problem of road safety is with cyclists and vehicle drivers not following the spirit or the letter of the Highway Code. I really am sorry that someone has been knocked down by an irresponsible cyclist - the majority of cyclists do not want to injure anyone or themselves in a collision, and a speeding cyclist, ie one over 20 mph should definitely be on the road. Fortunately accidents between cyclists and pedestrians are few as stastistics show, however as accidents between motorists and cyclsts are on the rise and this is the area where I try to devote the most energy.”