Birdwatcher’s anger over speed of cyclists at Farlington beauty spot

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A NATURALIST says speeding cyclists are ruining a nature reserve for other people.

Ray Chiverton takes guided walks around places such as Pagham and Manhood Peninsula, but most enjoys Farlington Marshes which is closer to home.

But the 62-year-old writer says cyclists who share the track along the A27 which runs adjacent to the marshes go so fast he fears one day there could be an accident.

Mr Chiverton, of Sandy Brow, Waterlooville, said: ‘It’s incredibly dangerous for pedestrians.

‘The speed of the cyclists using this path is frightening, especially those coming from the rear.

‘None of the riders seems to have a bell or other warning device to let people know they are coming.

‘The end result is that all of a sudden, a cyclist whooshes past at speed. The noise of the immediately adjacent motorway does not help either.

‘The noise of traffic drowns out the softer noise of a cyclist behind you. I walk along this path with a pair of binoculars watching birds.

‘Sometimes I stop and turn towards a sound or movement.

‘Without looking behind me first, this is becoming an impossible move.

‘Cyclists travelling at speed cannot get out of the way quickly enough if there is uncontrolled movement immediately in front of them.’

Mr Chiverton has suggested measures to slow down the cyclists.

He said: ‘The cycle path would be brilliant if that is what it is – a cycle path. But here, it isn’t. It is a race track for any would-be Bradley Wiggins.

‘They could put signs up saying “caution pedestrians” but personally I don’t like seeing too many signs and cyclists may not take notice.

‘I accept speed bumps may be too expensive so I think it’s worth considering chicanes so that people have to slow down to negotiate them.’

Sustrans, which is in charge of the National Cycle Network, said there is no way of policing the path.

Sam Howard, information and trading officer, said: ‘Sustrans always encourages users to use National Cycle Routes responsibly and respect other users.

‘Cyclists should always give way to pedestrians and other users as is stated on our Good Cycling Code. We expect users to respect each other and use these shared spaces responsibly.’