I WOULD like to bring to your attention a problem that I have encountered on a number of occasions during my time as a Harrogate resident.
I live on Otley Road. Our residential car park is at the front of the building overlooking the Stray. When exiting the car park onto Otley Road, there is a constant risk of colliding with anyone cycling along the pavement. Some of the residents have personally trimmed back our perimeter hedge in order to give us more visibility to cyclists and help avoid a collision.
The other day, I noticed a car travelling behind me and indicated with plenty of time that I was turning left into our car park. I had earlier noticed a cyclist on the left hand pavement travelling from the junction with Trinity Road up Otley Road, but had no idea what speed he was doing.
When I turned left into our car park, I was aware from my side window that the same cyclist had jammed on his brakes and almost collided with my car. He would have been in my blind spot and not visible on my left-hand wing mirror. He had obviously accelerated up the pavement and not aware that he was invisible to me!
When I parked the car, the young man (who had earphones in his ears, linked to an iPhone) got off his bike and started hurling a torrent of foul language and verbal abuse towards me.
I remonstrated that he shouldn’t be cycling on the pavement and that it was illegal and dangerous. He then verbally threatened me with extreme physical violence.
In other parts of Harrogate, I often see young people speeding along the pavements, oblivious of the dangers they represent to themselves and pedestrians and motorists alike. Unfortunately, I do believe that it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or even killed on Harrogate’s pavements.
From: Ciara Humphreys, Skipton Road, Keighley.
DURING the pandemic, people in West Yorkshire have rediscovered the simple act of walking. It has allowed us to stay healthy, happy and connected to those around us.
But lots of us still struggle with narrow, cluttered, uneven pavements; crossings that prioritise cars rather than people; and growing numbers of speeding vehicles.
It is time we redesigned our streets around people not cars. That way we can all continue to enjoy the benefits of walking and healthier, happier communities.
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