SHOPKEEPERS found a badly-injured pensioner slipping out of consciousness after she was knocked down by a pavement cyclist.

The 71-year-old suffered a broken pelvis in the accident on Christchurch Road in Pokesdown, Bournemouth.

She was on her daily trip to buy a newspaper at Boscombe East Post Office when she was knocked to the floor.

Liz Smith, manager of nearby Chorley Burdett Furniture, heard the sound of the bike going over and went to help.

“The lady was slipping in and out of consciousness,” said Liz.

“She was going very pale and quite faint.

“The cyclist just slipped off. I didn’t even see him going.”

She said when she arrived the young man was “leaning over her trying to get her up”.

She added: “He was muttering trying to clear himself of blame and she was chastising him.”

Police are appealing for information and said the cyclist was in his early 20s and of average build with short dark hair. He wore dark clothing.

PC Martin Vaughan of Dorset Police said: “The victim has sustained very serious injuries and it is vital that I speak to him.”

The accident happened around 11.30am last Friday and the incident has sparked more debate about cycling on pavements.

Cyclists face a fixed penalty notice of £30 if they plead guilty to cycling on the pavement, although the Government has issued qualifying advice.

The Home Office said: “The fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so.”

John Hayter, chairman of the Dorset Cyclists Network, said: “Our view is cyclists should be on the road, particularly in places where you can expect to find pedestrians. But you do expect the local authority to make the road safe for cycling.”

He added: “Nationally, there’s been a bit of a muddle in many places where cycle paths have been put on foot paths.”

John Satchwell, Bournemouth Council’s road safety manager, said: “Our accident data does not suggest a significant trend of this type of incident occurring regularly.”