COMPLAINTS of ‘rogue’ road users in Horsham has driven a district councillor to brand the town’s ‘great deal of reckless driving and poor parking’ an ‘epidemic’.
Christine Costin (LDem, Trafalgar) has called for a ‘safety campaign’ in the wake of public concern over ‘dangerous cycling’.
She said: “Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians should be able to go about their business without the fear of confrontation with road users who have no understanding of what their actions could mean to other people.
“We should be able to expect cyclists to show consideration and proper responsibility towards other road users and to the pedestrians using our local streets; the dangers of such irresponsible cycling need to be highlighted through a suitable safety campaign, naturally those who show a dangerous disregard for others need to feel the full force of the law.”
Mrs Costin’s concern was sparked when Brian Bateman, who lives in the Horsham Town ward, wrote to the councillor after he was confronted by ‘yobs racing up and down West Street on mountain bikes’.
He told the County Times: “I walk to work everyday and my route takes me along the Bishopric and up West Street.
“There are now more incidents daily of dangerous cycling on the street and the situation has got steadily worse over the years.
“I was nearly hit by two people racing up behind me. These were not children they were adults in their twenties. I was so shaken I reported the incident to the police.
“To add insult to injury when I turned to walk into the tunnel past Laura Ashley just off middle street I was nearly hit by a woman on a racing bike.
“This is supposed to be a pedestrianised area. There are warning signs at either end of West Street.
“There are also ‘Cyclists Dismount’ signs in the Market Square which are totally ignored.
“There are too many incidents of this type happening all over town and the people responsible are not all yobs - they come from different social groups and are of varying ages.”
Mr Bateman believes ‘harsher penalties should be put in place before someone gets killed’.
The councillor has since written to Horsham Police in a bid to stamp out the ‘peril’ pedestrians face on the town’s streets.
In response, a police community support officer (PCSO) was called out Tuesday morning (September 20) to patrol West and East Street.
Mrs Costin’s swift action against the rule-breaking cyclists has been praised by the resident, who said: “I thought that her response was very good and very prompt. She did as much as I could ask for.”
A spokesperson for Horsham District Council said: “Horsham District Council’s Street Scene officers and our police colleagues undertake regular work in the town to deter cycling on the pavements. This is an issue which we have to grapple with on a regular basis.”