I KNOW from previous Hereford Times letters discussions about pavement cycling and personal experience that it is an issue for many readers, be they pro or anti-pavement cycling in an age of climate crisis.

Issues to consider include the presence of physically frail and vulnerable people, and also how speed reductions can help reduce serious injuries.

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Whether by pre-emptive ‘unauthorised action’ or whatever, many pavement spaces in Hereford are now home to cyclists, mobility vehicles and pushchairs as well as pedestrians, as I have witnessed along the A465 Belmont Road and Whitecross Road. The former allows me a grass verge to walk on, while Whitecross Road can be quite wide in parts.


This week, though, in my hurry as a pedestrian and bus user aiming to get from Sainsbury’s to the bus station for my hourly bus, I accidentally triggered a mini-cycling accident while not realising that the railed-off pedestrian walkway between Sainsbury’s and main road had become an unofficial combination cycle path and walkway. I was behind a lane of pedestrians as two cyclists passed, and – wrongly assuming that there were no other cyclists behind – I stepped out to overtake.

Wrong move! A cyclist following up the rear took a tumble in avoiding me. That was mitigated by the railings and environmentally reduced speed.

London cyclists I knew at least 10 years ago experienced serious injury on icy and hilly roads in north London, leading to weeks in hospital. But this cyclist managed to get up again almost immediately, his blow cushioned by environmental factors while I learned to be more wary in less familiar parts.