I was shocked and disgusted but not surprised to read on the front page of a recent Herald about an elderly gentleman being assaulted in Hampden Park for having the public spirit to challenge a rogue cyclist about the legality of cycling on the pavement. This story comes just weeks after a child was knocked over by a rogue cyclist on the promenade. Incidents between pedestrians and rogue cyclists continue to increase and judging by the many letters in the Herald your readers are sick and tired of it. The Herald did not help matters in the recent incident by appearing shocked that the assailant was in his fifties and not the stereo-typed young adult. Words such as uneducated, selfish, disenfranchised and anti social spring to mind when describing these rogue cyclists but the truth of the matter is that they do stretch across a broad range of young and old so age is not an unifying factor. I know of many young cyclists who ride a bicycle as a hobby, take pride in the maintenance and upkeep of it and observe the highway code and law just as well, if not better than, a lot of motorists, but these people are not the problem. It is the rogue cyclists who have no respect for the law, the police or anybody else who are the problem. They cause chaos with their anti social behaviour all over town particularly along the seafront, town centre, Kings Drive and Seaside areas. The authorities have put up ‘no cycling’ notices tied to lamp posts along Seaside on more than one occasion in the past but these morons just come along and tear the notices down again. Hardly a week goes by without a letter in the Herald about illegal cycling on the pavement in one form or another but nothing ever changes despite the weight of public opinion, so what is to be done? Talking to these people does not make any difference, if you are a member of the public they will ignore, insult, threaten or even attack you and if it is the police they will just pay lip service and then go out and do it again. The police show little interest in enforcing this law despite the fact that there are ‘on the spot’ fines available for this type of offence. If asked why they will cite government cuts and lack of manpower as the reasons. So in order to overcome this problem, protect the public and enforce the law wouldn’t it be a good idea if the police worked in conjunction with the local press (i.e. Herald). All it would take would be to issue several ‘on the spot’ fines a week and then get the Herald to give this high profile publicity in the local paper. As soon as these rogue cyclists read) that they are being targeted, will no longer be able to get away with it and are being hit in the pocket where it hurts them, they will soon mend their ways and realise that lawlessness does not pay. What is the point of having laws if they are not enforced? Maybe I could ask the Chief of Police in Eastbourne to reassure all your readers who are concerned about this problem and let them know what the police are doing or going to do to resolve this problem and protect them from this dangerous and illegal behaviour and restore law and order to the streets of Eastbourne in the way it used to be in the distant past.
Willingdon Park Drive