'A ‘cycling champion’ who was knocked out by a pavement cyclist who crashed into her just after she had attended a meeting about cycle routes has called on the police to get tougher on reckless riders.
Emma Robinson, who as town centre manager for Barnes in south west London has been involved in planning improvement to cycling infrastructure in the area, was left badly concussed after the collision in Twickenham in August.
Doctors have said it may take Mrs Robinson, who suffered a blackout the following day and is still affected by dizzy spells, as much as three months to fully recover., reports the London Evening Standard.
She told the newspaper that the incident has left her feeling anxious when she walks along the street.
“It was a very scary moment,” she said. “It was literally moments after I had come out of the offices and the next thing I knew I was on the ground.
“I flew through the air and hit my head which meant there was a lot of blood. When I did come to I remember I had no vision and couldn’t feel my arms and then I just remember this pain in my head.”
The cyclist stopped at the scene but on being told the police had been called, tried to make off.
According to the website Putney SW15, Steven Mindel, the chair of the Barnes Community Association, chased and caught him and police subsequently made an arrest.
Zac Goldsmith, Member of Parliament for Richmond Park, whose constituency includes Barnes, told the website: "Emma has been a champion for cyclists, as well as a brilliantly active town centre manager.”
The Conservative politician, beaten by Labour’s Sadiq Khan in the London mayoral election in May, added: “I’m pleased she has recovered, but appalled by what happened. Clearly the police need to take a stronger stance on this sort of behaviour."
His call for police to enforce the law against those who ride recklessly and endanger others was echoed by Mrs Robinson.
“I am someone who has championed cycling provision but it does need to be balanced,” she told the Standard. “Cyclists need to respect pedestrians and follow at safe speeds. This chap clearly wasn’t.
“I’m a great advocate of getting people on bikes and improving routes so people can get around quicker and easier but with that comes hand in hand with respecting pedestrians.
“I have an element of anxiety when I’m out and the other day as I was crossing in Barnes High Street a cyclist whizzed through a red light and in front of me. I thought it was happening again.
“I’m not sure what can be done but there doesn’t seem to be any significant penalties for cycling on the pavement or for riders who whizz through red lights. The feeling I got from police was that there was nothing they could do in my case.
“Had this man hit an elderly man or my young daughter it could have been a different story,” she added.
The charge most commonly brought against cyclists who have injured pedestrians while riding is causing bodily harm by wilful misconduct by wanton and furious driving, contrary to section 35 of the Offences Against The Person Act 1861.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.