08:00 Saturday 27 October 2012

Flat-out cyclist gets backs up at area forum meeting

Written byTIM FLETCHER

A CYCLIST who travels around South Derbyshire on a high-tech bike will ‘kill himself or someone else’, a community meeting has heard.

The man criss-crosses the roads around Repton on a recumbent cycle, where the rider pedals in a lying position, a configuration which is supposedly more comfortable and more aerodynamic than traditional bikes.

But the low position of the machine means it is difficult for other road users to spot, according to attendees at the latest Safer Neighbourhood meeting for the area.

Michael Stanton, who represents Repton on South Derbyshire District Council, said he had a close encounter with the cyclist when emerging from the driveway of his home in Ticknall in his pick-up truck.

He told the meeting: “I was about to pull out when I noticed this wire going past the bonnet with a pennant on it, then I saw this fellow go past lying on his back in a cylindrical type object.

“If it had been one second later I would have killed him. If he gets killed it probably serves him right, but the problem is, he may end up killing or injuring someone else.”

Councillor Stanton’s colourful description of the episode provoked laughter from the audience at Milton Village Hall, but another attendee said the issue should be treated seriously.

The man, who asked not to be named, said the same cyclist had recently collided with the back of his tractor and was now claiming £9,000 compensation as he had to import replacement parts from Australia.The man said: “We see a lot of cyclists on the road and it’s not a problem because we keep out of their way and they keep out of ours, but we just can’t see this guy. He’s out of control.”

The meeting heard the cyclist was routinely followed in a van by his wife, who filmed him ‘for his own protection’ because of the abuse he received from other road users.

However, the bike was entirely legal and taking action against its owner was difficult unless there was evidence he had breached traffic law.

Police Sergeant Steve Todd, safer neighbourhood officer for the area, told the meeting: “If we have evidence of offences we could act, but just cycling down the road on that vehicle is perfectly legal.”

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Stanton said the cyclist risked killing himself or others and suggested he would be ‘better off going to Dignitas’ — the Swiss clinic which carries out assisted suicide.

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