Bike crash sparks debate over dangers of cycle path

One cyclist has been airlifted to St George's Hospital in London
One cyclist has been airlifted to St George's Hospital in London
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CALLS are being made to improve a Worthing cycle path after a collision between two bikes left a man with a life-threatening head injury.

A 74-year-old man from Southwick was airlifted to St George’s Hospital in London on Thursday (September 11) after colliding with a cyclist travelling in the opposite direction.

The accident happened on the cycle path opposite Brooklands in Worthing. The second cyclist, a 36-year-old Lancing man, was uninjured.

It is believed that neither cyclist was wearing a helmet.

The accident caused much debate on the Herald Facebook page.

Anthony Gammon said: “Those cycle paths are too narrow for both directions.

“I cycle on that route myself a lot and have almost been collided into and people walk on them, too.

“I hope that poor guy is okay as this could have been avoided. Yes, it’s easy to give comments and say what’s what but let’s look at the issue - those lanes need revising.

“It’s a good job a kid wasn’t hurt.”

Stuart Elms said: “Regular users of this section of the seafront cycle path will know that the narrow width of the path with its tight bends as at Brooklands and elsewhere, coupled with the shingle that is blown onto it, has long made it an accident waiting to happen.

“Despite many more people of all ages wanting to be able to cycle safely off-road - whether for leisure or commuting - and the prime minister and leading medics trumpeting the benefits of cycling, sadly Worthing Borough Council or West Sussex County Council appear to show little urgency for upgrading from Shoreham through to Goring despite there being £200,000- plus of developers Section 106 contributions for community benefits mostly stipulated as sustainable transport improvements.”

William Morris, chairman of Worthing Cycle Forum, said: “The bike path is approximately 1.45m wide, well short of the Department for Transport’s recommended minimum of 2.5m for two-way cycle tracks. There are issues with encroaching shingle and vegetation, narrowing the path still further.

“A cheap fix might be to swap the pedestrian and cycle lanes over, so that shingle is less likely to spill on to the cycling half. Another low-cost solution would be to make the path joint use for pedestrians and cyclists, as it is further along in both directions.

“If we get the path up to DfT standards we will create a better experience and help reduce A259 congestion.”