Hertfordshire cllr highlights need for cyclists to show more ‘care’ for pedestrians

County councillor Jane West has highlighted the need for cyclists to show care towards pedestrians, as part of a discussion on future transport policies.

Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 2:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 2:10 pm

On Tuesday, September 8, a meeting of the council’s growth, infrastructure, planning and the economy cabinet panel discussed the latest draft of the council’s local transport plan, known as LTP4.

At the heart of the plan is a drive to increase the number of journeys that are made in the county on foot , by cycle or by public transport.

But at the meeting of the cabinet panel, Cllr Jane West suggested there should be a greater emphasis within the plan on the ‘care’ needed to be shown by cyclists to pedestrians.

Hertfordshire County Council offices

And she told councillors that on two occasions she had been ‘abused’ by cyclists when walking.

After highlighting the increase in the number of cyclists, in recent months, she said: “I am concerned that we are not putting in the bit about cyclists needing to have some degree of care for the person walking.

“I have had two incidents where I have been physically abused by cyclists because they seem to feel that I should jump into the edge so that they can go by me.

“I am sure I am not the only person this has happened to.

“[. . .] As a driver I don’t expect people on cycles to leap on to the verge so I can keep going.

“And I just think cyclists need to be aware that they have some duty of care towards the person walking – and that it’s not the assumption that because there is a cycle mark on the pavement that it is their right of way.”

Executive member for growth, infrastructure, planning and the economy Cllr Derrick Ashley said he thought that was “a fair comment” – suggesting there could be a campaign on the issue.

And he said: “We want to encourage people to cycle but at the same time we want to encourage everybody to be considerate towards other road users.”

The county council’s Local Transport Plan – known as LTP4 – is designed to set the overall direction for transport in Hertfordshire.

And it includes policies and aspirations for infrastructure and services for the period until 2031.

At the meeting council officers presented an annual progress report on LTP4, which was adopted by the council in 2018.

The report highlighted a number of highways schemes designed to make travel easier for pedestrians and cyclists and other projects, including the Stevenage family walking trail, cycle training and road safety training.

It also pointed to the creation of the Enhanced Intalink Partnership, the Hertfordshire Health Walks programme and the Rights of Way Improvement Plan, as well as the Living Lab, which is testing and piloting ‘innovative transport solutions’.