VERITY LUSH: Cyclists are not fair game and ‘up for slaughter’ on our roads

Cyclists must not be used as sitting targets
Cyclists must not be used as sitting targets

COMMENT: People need to have viable alternative to driving

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I was astounded to read comments on The News Facebook page, in relation to an article about cyclists not being given enough room on the roads.

When I looked, every single person was being derogatory about cyclists, in terms of how they should be taxed, how they should wear helmets, how they should do this, that and the other.

Not one sensible comment about how yes, perhaps motorists should give them more room.

Because I hardly think, that just because a cyclist doesn’t pay road tax, they are therefore fair game and up for slaughter on the roads of Portsmouth.

For goodness sake, these are people. They have families and babies and friends and lives. Get a grip of yourselves before you start waggling your superior little pitchfork and have a think about the realities of this.

Perhaps cyclists should pay tax, yes cyclists should wear helmets, but the article was asking whether or not drivers should give them more room.

When I read the article, not one person had actually responded to the question. And the answer, blatantly, is yes.

Cyclists have several tonnes of metal heading towards them at high speed, with no bodily protection, and their fragile skulls encased in a mere helmet (hopefully).

Just because they choose a fitter form of transport and a non-polluting one, it seems to enrage some drivers – who seem to think their road tax payment means they actually own it and gives them the right to pass judgment on others.

I used to cycle years ago – with my daughter on the back of the bike – all over the city.

The vast majority of drivers were excellent, but my own mother has been knocked off her bike, as have several other people I know. And on the same night as the article in question, another appeared about an accident on Northerrn

Parade involving a cyclist who had been badly injured by a lorry.

Interestingly I didn’t spot any of the earlier commenters crawling back out to give a few of their wise words of judgment to the poor victim.

PLAYING ‘DODGE THE DOG POO’ AT MOUNTBATTEN CENTRE

Given that the Mountbatten Centre is a much-used city facility, I find it astounding that the lighting around the park area is so poor in late autumn and winter.

If you have to walk from the track or tennis courts back to the main car park, there is one point at which lighting simply runs out.

You have to navigate the paths (which you can’t see from a distance if the moon is hidden), or risk a game of Dodge the Dog Poo on the grass in front of the pool.

This seems bonkers given the number of dog walkers, runners, customers of the centre, and general public who use the area. A couple of street lights certainly wouldn’t go amiss.

RUNNING TO REMEMBER

For any runners out there looking for a local 5/10km over the next couple of weeks, Rural Running has organised a Remembrance Day run on November 11, starting at Fort Nelson.

The run is in support of the Royal British Legion and will start after a two-minute silence.

Admittedly there may be a small hill involved (the clue is in the fact that it’s being run around the top of Portsdown, eek) but the atmosphere promises to be fab and the entire Rural Running team, from my past experience, is extremely friendly and supportive.

Aside from gorgeous views, there is also a delicious little bit of bling at the end in the form of a poppy-themed medal.