To all those proponents of cyclists’ rights who have filled your columns with demands for greater protection and access to our streets and highways, let me redress the balance on behalf of pedestrians.
Last Saturday morning, while waiting at the corner of Shandwick Place and Queensferry Street in Edinburgh, I was startled by a cry of “Bike!” and turned to see two, shall I say, older gentlemen in full Lycra gear on what I would term racing cycles with fully loaded yellow panniers cycling towards me.
As I backed out of their way I received a cursory, and begrudging, “thank you”.
Nothing really amiss here, you may think, but this was on a public footpath in an area where the road has been, for what seems an eternity, closed to road traffic because of tram works.
As many Edinburgh citizens may know, there are a number of highly prominent yellow and black “Cyclists dismount” notices fixed to the Heras fencing in this area.
Also, it was on a weekend morning, with pedestrian footfall building up.
Obviously this was of no concern to these cyclists, and one can only wonder what those tourists who were in Shandwick Place at the time made of this ignorant and arrogant behaviour.
So to those who want law changes to accommodate cyclists, I would suggest that they start taking steps to put their own house in order before making demands of local and central government.
Maybe the government should introduce legislation. How about making cyclists pass a proficiency test, to be registered or licensed, and have third-party cyclist insurance?
This would let the cycling lobby know that this is not just a “one-way street”.
DAVID J MACKENZIE