There’s been a few rants in the local press about the number of cyclists on the pavement in Tonbridge town centre, especiall over police fining just 1 rider in 12 months.
I have a few thoughts on this:
- I don’t see that many cyclists on the pavements so is there really a problem or is it just our local Courier having a moan?
- Some of the cycle lanes, let alone the shared use pedestrian/cycle lanes are just not well planned, for example by the main bridge on the High Street you end up weaving on and off the road to follow the cycle lane, it’s much more straightforward, sadly just to stay either on the pavement or more dangerously (as it narrows so much on the bridge) the road.
- Many road users don’t respect cycle lanes – people park in them or they cut up cyclists who are obeying the rules of the road (and often it’s not just bus drivers and white van men!).
- Some of the roads are just point blank dangerous – for example in North Tonbridge with cars parked on the side of the road it isn’t possible for two cars to drive past each other, let alone for a cyclist to be on the road too; and then there’s the A26 to Tunbridge Wells or Pembury Road that many people would need to use for a commute to a work place or school, for example.
- Why do mobility scooters, which normally weigh more and often driver faster, have no restrictions – they are allowed on the pavements?
As a cyclist I want to normally cycle on the road – it’s faster, and more straightforward, I don’t have to keep stopping and starting, but sometimes, even in Tonbridge it can be very dangerous cycling on the main road, and especially if I were a young child, I wouldn’t cycle on the High Street, I’d use the path. Whilst that isn’t technically legal I don’t see how it is any worse than a mobility scooter so long as they are courteous and give way to pedestrians.