The independent London newspaper

Cyclists and joggers can be a threat

31 July, 2020

• ALTHOUGH there are signs clearly saying bikes are not allowed in Primrose Hill park, many irresponsible cyclists treat it as a velodrome, with no regard for pedestrians or dogs.

I am regularly in the park and have never seen anyone in authority trying to enforce the regulations.

The other day two youths came hurtling down from the top of the hill, doing well in excess of 30mph, deliberately towards me and my dog as we were walking on the lower path, only veering away at the last minute and very narrowly missing us, by inches.

Had we been hit, the impact would certainly have done serious, or even fatal, injury. The culprits not only didn’t apologise but were offensive and clearly relished the event.

When I told one of them I was taking his photo for the police and for posting, he said “go ahead, I’ll pose for you”, and laughed while I called the police. The other said “don’t have a heart-attack”. I reported the incident and have contact details for two witnesses.

I regularly witness such incidents. The other day I saw two guys in their late teens, dressed in black, with hoodies up and backpacks, aggressively doing successive wheelies around a young woman and her small child.

The incident scared the mother and kid. On the neighbourhood website Nextdoor there are several such reports.

The “no-bicycles” regulations should be enforced by patrols with authority to demand ID and issue on-the-spot fines and/or confiscate the bicycle. And the park should have gates that prevent, or at least make it very difficult for, bikes to get past.

Perhaps better, dedicated cycle lanes should be placed alongside the pedestrian paths (although I doubt that either will deter the worst offenders who apparently relish in putting people at risk).

Furthermore when I see a jogger coming towards me I step out of the way, even it means standing in the road or on the grass.

But when a runner comes up from behind, unseen, there is little one can do to keep away. Being breathed on by a runner is akin to an assault, potentially with fatal consequences.

Runners should be forced to wear face masks or, even better, banned from the pavements and park footpaths.



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