Survey shows Bristolians want cyclists off pavements
A POLL for the Post has shown that Bristolians are overwhelmingly against cycling on the city's pavements.
Over the past two months people have been voting in our online survey, and three-quarters of the thousands who responded want cyclists to stick to the roads or cycle lanes.
In August, a campaign was launched by Bristol Older People's Forum and East Bristol Advice and Information Centres calling for police to take action against people cycling on pavements.
Our poll was set up in response and more than 4,000 people voted at our website, www.thisisbristol.co.uk, with 3,130 of them saying cyclists should not be allowed on pavements.
Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Jon Rogers, a keen cyclist, said: "Everyone is united that anti-social cycling on pavements is not to be tolerated. But I do recognise there are times where people can cycle on pavements in legitimate circumstances.
"Problems only arise when a cyclist is anti-social, because they are riding too fast while there are people around.
"The most important thing is that if people do cycle on pavements, they must put pedestrians first."
Dr Rogers, a retired GP and cabinet councillor, said he was not surprised by the results of the survey.
He said: "Most people would not regard a five-year-old riding a cycle on the pavement as anti-social.
"If you had asked, 'Is it OK for a five-year-old to cycle on the pavement?' then I think you would have had exactly the opposite result."
Adrian Roper, regional director of sustainable transport charity Sustrans, said the way to eradicate cycling on the pavement was to give those on two wheels better options.
He said: "The results of this poll make interesting reading as I would have expected a far greater percentage of people to vote for the 'no' option, given that it is something that cyclists are not meant to do.
"What it points to is the fact that many people, when using their bikes, feel safer using the pavements than using some of Bristol's roads, which further points to the fact that better facilities need to be provided in Bristol particularly along some of the main routes in and out of the city centre."
Sustrans was today launching a campaign calling on the Government to integrate cycling to school into the national curriculum, giving youngsters regular training in cycle safety and maintenance.
Bristol Older People's Forum chairwoman Judith Brown said she was not surprised by the poll.
"The fact that so many people have voted against cycling being allowed on the pavements is an indication that there is a lot of strong feeling about it," she said.
"It also shows that the council really should be doing something about it and taking the issue seriously. I want to make the point that Bristol Older People's Forum is not anti-cycling, and no one wants to see a cyclist knocked down on Bristol's dangerous roads.
"The answer is that the roads need improving so that cyclists feel safe to ride on them, and when they don't, all we ask is that they get off their bikes and walk until they feel it is safe to ride on the road again."
Question: Should cyclists be allowed to cycle on pavements?
Yes: 1,091 (26%)
No: 3,130 (74%)