Out in the Field: Seafront cycling debate is on fire

Aaliyah  Raj on Eastbourne seafront and enjoying cycling SUS-141007-130927001
Aaliyah Raj on Eastbourne seafront and enjoying cycling SUS-141007-130927001

The whole debate over whether cycling should be allowed on Eastbourne seafront has been ignited again in the aftermath of the incident on the prom when little Aaliyah Raj was knocked down and cycled over by a man on a bike.

Photographs of the four-year-old’s injuries aren’t pretty and, as a parent, if somebody did that to one of my Little Treasures, I would want the man responsible’s nether regions smothered in dog food before letting a couple of hungry, angry Rottweilers loose on him.

People are hacked off that the man is to receive just a police caution but the reality of the situation is that even if he were brought before the courts, he isn’t likely to end up behind bars or hung, drawn and quartered. He will however have to apologise to Aaliyah and her family and that police caution stays on his record – it was agreed to be the most appropriate form of punishment by police and Aaliyah’s parents.

This incident also seems to have prompted a knee jerk reaction from the anti seafront cycling campaign, which is a little unfair as the man wasn’t like the vast majority of cyclists, who do show consideration and a sense of responsibility.

Aaliyah’s family say they have been overwhelmed by the kindness and support shown after the incident and her plight has also touched the heart of a kind hearted group of cyclists from Eastbourne Rovers Cycling Club who have clubbed together and on Sunday will present the little girl with a brand new bike in the hope it will restore her faith in human nature – and cyclists.

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