All be aware of others

I would like to respond to the letter from David Levy (News Post Leader, August 21).

I understand his concerns regarding shared cycle/pedestrian paths, but I also have feelings from a dog walker’s perspective.

On more than one occasion cyclists have ridden past me whilst out with my dogs on these shared paths and almost ridden into my dogs.

These are not isolated incidents and many of the other dog walkers that I know have had very similar experiences.

Cycles move quite quickly along these shared paths and if you are facing the opposite direction you have no way of knowing if a cycle is approaching unless the cyclist lets you know by ringing a bell.

I don’t know how you can say that not much harm would be caused to a dog by a machine travelling at speed whilst carrying a 70kg + adult.

My dogs weigh little more than 10kg each and being ran over by a man on a bike could very easily kill one of them.

And in such an incident I couldn’t care less about the cyclist or his bike.

I have contacted the council to complain about these incidents as I see them as anti-social behaviour.

In response to my complaint, I was told that the cycle paths were part paid for by the Sustrans, which explains why they were put down in the first place.

However, I was told that the council were considering putting up some sort of signage asking cyclists and pedestrians to be more aware and considerate to other path users.

As far as I can remember, long before these shared paths were laid down, people could exercise their dogs more freely on the open pathways that already existed and on the rare occasions that cyclists rode past they would slow down and be much more considerate.

Keeping dogs on short leads does not always keep them safe when cyclists ride past at speed as not all cyclists show due consideration.

So whilst I can see your point of view, I would also ask all users of shared pedestrian/cycle paths to be more responsible.

Be aware of other people on the path and try and let them pass if they are progressing quicker than you.

Ride cycles at a speed that is appropriate to the conditions e.g. when the path is busy.

Let people know you are coming – ring your bell or a friendly ‘Hello’ often works wonders.

Always clear up after your dog which should be kept under control on a short lead (Highway Code rule 56). Some people are very wary of dogs.

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