Concern over cyclists in Horsham town centre

JPCT 021213 Leslie Brooks, complaining about cyclists. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 021213 Leslie Brooks, complaining about cyclists. Photo by Derek Martin

A pensioner who spent the summer in hospital after he tripped avoiding a cyclist says bikes should not be allowed on pavements in Horsham town centre.

Leslie Brooks, 81, from Horsham, fractured his hip and elbow when he fell in West Street earlier this summer.

Mr Brooks told the County Times that ‘No Cycling’ signage in the town centre should be increased and improved.

Talking about his accident, he said: “I stepped sideways, tripped over my feet and ended up on the pavement.

“He didn’t touch me but he got away as quickly as he could.

“I had a fractured hip and a fractured elbow and I spent the whole summer in hospital.”

Signs prohibiting cycling in West Street were present at the time of the accident but have since been removed.

A spokesperson from West Sussex County Council confirmed that cycling is prohibited in West Street.

The spokesperson said the signs may have been removed due to being ‘obscured by hanging baskets’, but added they would be reinstated in the next financial year.

A ‘No Cycling’ sign remains in neighbouring Middle Street.

Mr Brooks explained that he wants to campaign to protect pedestrians - particularly children and the elderly.

He said: “ I think there is a national drive to protect cyclists from motorists, but not pedestrians from cyclists.

“If you were to take a poll of people walking down West Street, many of the senior citizens are apprehensive to be walking through Horsham on the pavements because of cyclists.

“Enforcement is the real problem, what can be done to prevent it?”

Mr Brooks said that he witnessed another incident earlier this week when a woman was cycling quickly into the subway between Horsham Park and the town centre.

He said: “A lady came cycling at a fair rate. I shouted to her and she shouted back - probably something abusive.

“The subway has toddlers walking through and elderly people.”

Margaret Ashley, who lived in Horsham for more than 20 years before moving away last year, said: “Cycling on the pavements of Horsham is a menace.

“When I lived in Horsham I didn’t feel safe walking around the town, either on pavements or in the so-called pedestrianised areas, and it was just by luck that I hadn’t been knocked down by cyclists as I experienced several near misses.

“Although I miss Horsham in many respects, I don’t miss that.”