The fast and the fu­ri­ous


Stirling Times - - Front Page - Kate Leaver

NORTH Beach res­i­dent Gra­ham Ed­wards says it is a mat­ter of time be­fore “lycra lu­natics” cause a crash on the Met­tams Pool shared path.

The for­mer Re­turned Ser­vices League state pres­i­dent and La­bor politi­cian said that as a wheel­chair user he was ac­cus­tomed to nearmisses on the path ev­ery day.

“It is just a bad smash wait­ing to hap­pen. There are so many chil­dren, peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and aged peo­ple who use the path too be­cause there is an ac­cess ramp here,” he said.

“The is­sue isn’t the num­ber of bikes but it is the speed at which some of them go.

“There are con­stant near-misses and if you say any­thing to them, you just get a mouth full of abuse.”

Mr Ed­wards said he had con­tacted the City of Stir­ling twice about the is­sue.

“It’s sim­ply about buck pass­ing; the po­lice are say­ing that it’s not their is­sue to mon­i­tor cy­clist speeds, the City is say­ing they need speed lim­its en­forced,” he said.

“All of this buck-pass­ing is get­ting us nowhere and it is go­ing to re­sult in some­one be­ing se­ri­ously in­jured – some­one needs to stand up and take some re­spon­si­bil­ity here.”

Stir­ling en­gi­neer­ing de­sign man­ager Paul Gi­amov said the City was aware of the sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of fast cy­clists us­ing the path along the coast.

“The stud­ies un­der­taken of the recre­ational shared path at Met­tams Pool have iden­ti­fied that it is an area with the great­est pedes­trian ac­tiv­ity along and cross­ing the shared path,” he said.

Mr Gi­amov said about 30 per cent of week­day cy­clists en­tered the area faster than 30 km/h.

“Not only were the 85th per­centile en­try speeds be­tween 32km/h and 34km/h, but the exit speeds (in­dica­tive of the tran­sit speeds) were around 30km/h,” he said.

“Week­end speeds were up to 5km/h lower but still well above safe lev­els.”

Trigg res­i­dent Karen Sim­monds said she had bro­ken two ribs when a cy­clist hit her at great speed on the same path near Trigg.

“It was about half past six; the sun was just go­ing down and I was on the left side. I turned to head back and the cy­clist smashed straight into me and sent me fly­ing up against the pil­lars be­tween the sand dunes,” she said.

“He stopped but was in a hurry and I think if I re­call I was apol­o­gis­ing to him for get­ting in his way. Af­ter he rode off it re­ally dawned on me what had hap­pened and I be­came very an­noyed. I was in agony and went to a doc­tor that night and I had frac­tured ribs, hence the pain.”

Ms Sim­monds said the path was usu­ally “rammed” with peo­ple.

“It is a real prob­lem – there are kids, prams, peo­ple walk there with dogs and it is only a mat­ter of time be­fore some younger per­son gets cleaned up,” she said.

“There is fric­tion be­tween cars and cy­clists be­cause if they go on the road they are get­ting hit by cars.”

Mr Gi­amov said there were risks in di­vert­ing less ex­pe­ri­enced cy­clists on to West Coast Drive.

“Dis­cus­sions are cur­rently tak­ing place with the State Govern­ment, which is tri­alling a form of speed con­trol de­vice which may pos­si­bly pro­vide the best so­lu­tion for con­trol­ling path speeds,” he said.

“The City wrote to the Com­mis­sioner for Main Roads pro­vid­ing de­tails of the vol­ume and speed of cy­clists and ad­vo­cat­ing for the es­tab­lish­ment of a for­mal reg­u­la­tory speed sig­nage for speeds above the ‘safe’ de­sign speed of 20km/h. “This re­quest was de­clined.” Main Roads was con­tacted for comment but did not re­spond be­fore dead­line.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d462525

Wheel­chair user Gra­ham Ed­wards is con­cerned about cy­clists speed­ing down shared paths at Met­tams Pool.

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