Cyclists and pedestrians must respect each other

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We can understand why some people take to the pavements when riding their bikes.

The roads can feel treacherous if you’re on two wheels and all those around you are on four.

When you add in the fact that many of our roads have never felt busier, what with the sheer amount of traffic competing for space, it’s no surprise that some cyclists do stray onto pavements.

But there are dangers in doing that too – as the young lad who had his leg broken when he was hit by a cyclist can testify.

Bikes and pedestrians don’t mix and when the two collide, the consequences can be painful.

On this occasion, the coming together appears to have been an unfortunate accident but it highlights the need for cyclists to dismount when they enter a pedestrianised space.

However tempting it might be to stay in the saddle while tackling the ramps near the Gosport ferry, this just goes to show why it isn’t a good idea.

Efforts to prevent this happening again have now been made and we praise all those involved for their prompt action.

It comes at a time when police in Gosport are reminding cyclists not to ride their bikes through the town centre – and we’re sure that’s a warning that applies to many more of our streets and seafronts.

There are some who might feel that dishing out penalty fines is a touch heavy-handed.

But riding a bike in a pedestrianised zone is a crime – so the £30 fine should be applied and used to discourage people.

There’s also a place for a lighter touch and that’s where the importance of teaching children good bike skills comes in.

Parents and schools should make sure children know the basics and are kitted out in the right way to make sure the next generation of cyclists are competent on the roads.

Proficiency schemes can work in tandem with fines, patrols and signs indicating where cyclists can and can not ride.

We all have a duty to ensure that we respect those around us and that means helping to keep each other safe.