Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence




  The National Federation do have a small Library of press cuttings relating to incidents:

  Blind, deafblind and partially sighted people are generally unpredictable, as are many elderly pedestrians. They often do not hear a pedal cycle and if they do, they stop or walk directly into the vehicle because they have no idea of its location. That is why it is so important to ensure that the cyclist is safeguarded from the pedestrian. Disabled people, especially those with mental problems or visual problems are a greater danger to the safety of cyclists, because they will protect their space.

  Examples of the problem:

    —  A blind long cane user waits at a bus stop, what he did not know was that a cycle track ran in front of the bus shelter. When he was aware that the bus was coming he walked out and knocked a woman cyclist off her pedal cycle under the wheels of the bus.

    —  A deaf/partially sighted pensioner with mild Alzheimer's was confronted by three mountain bikers. Being confused he lashed out with his stick, to keep his safety space, resulting in two cyclists being seriously injured.

    —  Young mentally handicapped teenager, was unaware of the concept of moving cyclists and was walking on a footway when he wandered into the path of a cyclist—both were injured.

    —  Female guide dog owner was knocked down by a youth on a mountain bike. He admitted seeing her but thought that she would get out of his way. She is now traumatised and housebound.

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Prepared 28 April 1999