A Sustrans volunteer has found screws embedded in a £2 million shared use path in West Sussex in what he believes was a “malicious act” aimed at causing harm to cyclists.
The screws were discovered protruding from the surface of the 4.5-kilometre route which runs alongside the A2559 from Bognor Regis to Littlehampton.
The Worthing Herald reports that Adam Bell was clearing the shared used path, which opened in August last year, when he spotted four screws, each protruding between one and two centimetres above the surface.
The screws have appeared during the past month according to Mr Bell, who said: “This was a malicious act.
“They are targeting cyclists or trying to target runners. If someone was running along they could catch their foot and cyclists could be hurt or worse.
"It’s obviously someone who hasn’t got any empathy."
He was able to remove one screw using a wrench, but had to use a claw hammer on the other three.
When he asked workmen if the screws might have been inserted to secure a roadworks sign, they said that they used signs that were free-standing and wouldn’t require fixing.
He had spoken to workmen to see if they could have been put there to fix a sign to the floor, but was told they would use unfixed A-frame signs.
Highlighting other acts of sabotage against cyclists to the newspaper such as tacks being spread on the road or wires being strung across trails, he said: "They are human beings. Just because they are on two wheels rather than four, they are still people."
While he admitted it was a difficult matter to police, he hoped highlighting this particular act could help raise awareness and deter any similar incidents in the future.
The path was funded by West Sussex County Council and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.
When it opened last year, “West Sussex Cycle Forum chairman Geoff Farrell said: “At last – a way to cycle safely between Felpham and Littlehampton!
“The main reason why people say ‘I’d like to ride a bike - but I won’t’ is because cycling is not seen as safe. Separating bikes from vehicles is the only truly safe way.”
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.