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Councillor speaks out at Bournemouth council's motion over cyclists
A COUNCILLOR lambasted his colleagues for criticising cyclists yet never passing motions ‘when motorists are buried’.
Dave Smith, who rides his bike to the Town Hall, spoke out as his colleagues tried to pass a motion on Tuesday night after a four-year-old girl suffered a broken leg in collision with a cyclist.
Sienna Barnett from Southbourne was injured on the pavement near her family shop in November.
Cllr Smith said: “My heart goes out to the little girl that was injured. Please pass on my thoughts to her family.
“But can we get it into context?
“I suspect there are tens, if not hundreds of people killed on the roads in Dorset every year.
“I never hear anyone come to council when somebody is smashed up on the road, being buried. You don’t come forward with motions then.
“In fact, you get councillors saying keep the speed limit, ‘We want to go fast’.
“We want to be encouraging people to cycle.”
The motion, which was passed, supported police enforcement and urged the council to emphasise that riding on the pavement is illegal.
Cllr Anne Filer said cyclists are consistently ‘the biggest annoyance’ amongst residents’ public meetings in her East Cliff ward.
However, Cllr Dennis Gritt said: “A policeman said to me, ‘What if I have to say to a 12-year-old boy, get off the pavement and ride on roads like Kinson Road’ and then he has an accident’?
“Do you think he could live with that on his conscience?”
Cycling on pavements is illegal. However the Home Office has advised officers not to take action against vulnerable or responsible cyclists occasionally using the pavement to keep safe. Dorset Police said yesterday that 17 motorists had been killed up on Dorset’s roads up until November 4.