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Campaign mounted after cycling accident in Haverhill

Joan Key is in a wheelchair after a cyclist crashed into her breaking her elbow and pelvis. Her husband (George) is now campaigning to stop cyclists riding their bikes on footpaths and pavements and riding the wrong way down Haverhill high street. ANL-140306-191043009

Joan Key is in a wheelchair after a cyclist crashed into her breaking her elbow and pelvis. Her husband (George) is now campaigning to stop cyclists riding their bikes on footpaths and pavements and riding the wrong way down Haverhill high street. ANL-140306-191043009

A Haverhill man is mounting a campaign to stop cyclists riding on pavements and footpaths after his wife was badly injured in an accident.

Pedestrian Joan Key, 77, broke her elbow and cracked a pelvic bone after a crash with a cyclist on a footpath outside Leiston Community Centre.

She spent four days in West Suffolk Hospital and cannot walk because she is confined to a wheelchair for three months.

The incident happened two weeks ago when Mrs Key, a former traffic warden in Haverhill, was working as a polling clerk at the community centre for the Euro elections.

She was returning to the centre after doing a good deed - escorting an elderly dementia patient back to her nearby home – when Mrs Key was struck by a cyclist on the pathway close to the community centre car park.

Her husband George, 79, who is mounting a campaign against cyclists riding on pavements and footpaths and cycling the wrong way up Haverhill High Street, said: “She was knocked over and was bleeding badly.

“My wife is 77. If she was a frail 77, it could have been much worse. She has had to have an operation on her elbow, but they cannot do anything about the bone in her pelvis. It will take 12 weeks to heal and she can’t walk.”

Since the incident, Mr Key said he has seen cyclists riding the wrong way down Haverhill High Street, and also weaving in and out of pedestrian shoppers on the market.

He says he is angry and would like to see the police enforce the law regarding cyclists on paths and pavements.

Haverhill town councillor Maureen Byrne said she wholeheartedly supports the campaign and would be raising the issue at the next Safer Neighbourhood Team meeting in Haverhill.

Mr Key, of Fritton Court, said: “I would like to start a campaign to stop cyclists riding their bikes on pavements and footpaths. I noticed cyclists riding the wrong way down the High Street in and out of the market shoppers and I would like to see this practice stopped.

“If a car driver behaved like a cyclist they would be fined with penalty points. Cyclists are not insured and don’t pay a penny to the upkeep of roads.”

Mr Key said his wife was recovering with the help of her family, including the couple’s daughter, an orthopaedic nurse who has taken a week off work, and Mrs Key’s sister who has travelled up from the Isle of Wight.

Mrs Byrne was at the community centre when the accident happened. She said: “It looked dreadful. The man on the cycle was absolutely devastated by what had happened, and kept apologising.

“I am happy to give this campaign my 100 per cent support and will be raising it at the next SNT meeting,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said: “We were called with a report that a woman had been knocked by a cyclist on Leiston Road, causing her to fall to the ground. Both the cyclist and pedestrian were spoken to, and it was agreed no further action would be taken.

“It is an offence to ride a pedal cycle intentionally on a footpath, footway, pavement that is made, or set apart, for the use or accommodation of foot passengers, and a penalty ticket may be issued with a fine. There may also be by-laws in place to prevent cycling on a footpath, footway, pavement, and the penalties would be contained within the by-law which could vary from area to area.

“Safer Neighbourhood Team meetings take place quarterly for people to raise any issues or concerns. The next meeting is on June 16 at Haverhill Arts Centre at 7pm.”

 

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