LETTER: Silent cyclists are a menace

I have been aware for some time that when cyclists use footpaths they can be a hazard for pedestrians.

Almost always they are without bells, and I have never once heard a verbal warning of their approach.

In the last week as a pedestrian I have had three near misses involving cyclists who came up behind me. They have all been on the shared footpaths in the Malling Brooks area of Lewes.

Each time there has been an involuntary gasp from me. One of the three, a woman cyclist, apologised.

I am old. I don’t wander from one side of the path to the other. I look behind me before moving to another side. However cyclists come up quite fast and can appear suddenly.

Recently I heard on the BBC News that the number of collisions involving pedestrians and pedal cyclists is on the rise. Not very reassuring. But it is extra sad because I am all in favour of people using cars less and bicycles are one way of doing this.

It would be interesting to know the cyclists’ point of view. Are they aware that for pedestrians they can appear quite suddenly? Why do they seldom have bells?

Could the manufacturers make bicycles with bells as an integral part of the machine?

Caroline Pybus

Farncombe Road, Lewes