Reader’s letters - Tuesday December 16, 2014

Video image of the moment a car pulled out in front of cyclist Mike Inkley (see letter)
Video image of the moment a car pulled out in front of cyclist Mike Inkley (see letter)
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Blame in the wrong place

What does the inappropriate response from several road users, (LEP December 13), about the seriously injured, blameless cyclist, say about a small but vociferous number of British motorist’s blame game attitude.

This is especially so in regards to drivers crashing into vulnerable road users. This rider was smashed into by a shocking demonstration of dangerous, selfish driving, This driver was shown turning right from a side road, sees the left lane ahead is blocked by traffic. He doesn’t wait, but drives up the right hand lane and hit’s the oncoming cyclist head on. The motorist’s reckless stupidity was caught on a clear video, of the accident. He was found guilty in court.

Yet, in-spite of this clear evidence about 37 per cent of those who comment in the Post looked for wild, spurious and imaginary reasons to blame the badly injured cyclist. Unjustified comments like; the rider may have been going too fast, the cyclist was partially to blame and thus caused his own injuries, bikers should pay road tax, drivers have blind spots and there is no evidence the driver was rushing.

Another driver has cameras fitted to his two vehicles. He thinks it is relevant to write and lists a series of unrelated incidents, by stupid cyclists, caught on his cameras. In this wide ranging rant, against cyclists, none of these incidents he mentions are related to the serious accident in question. Would these judgemental people dream of blaming an innocent badly injured victim, instead of the violent thug convicted of hitting him with a heavy metal object?

This buck passing, as shown above, is typical of vociferous minority of bad UK drivers when causing accidents, or near misses, to cyclists. It speaks volumes as to why serious accidents to cyclists are increasing. It is not surprising that, all too often, these buck passing motorist protected by a steel shell, safety crumple zones, seat belts and air bags frequently drive aggressively past vulnerable road users. Many of these motorists, when challenged are very abusive and totally ignorant of what the Highway Code instructs in regards to driving carefully past cyclists.

Also, about 37 per cent of those whose comments were reported, in the Evening Post, said the convicted driver got off too lightly, not even a driving ban.

Brake, the road safety charity, cycling and pedestrian’s organisations say that, all too often, vulnerable road users who are killed or maimed, by bad drivers, are badly let down by the inadequate and lenient punishments handed out by our legal systems. This is in stark contrast to most northern European countries where all vulnerable road users, including cyclists, are given much greater protection, by the law. Generally drivers are better educated and take much more care when cyclists and pedestrians are about. This care is demonstrated by their very low road accident rates, including those to vulnerable road users.

It is long overdue for those responsible for road safety, in the UK, to take stronger measures to greatly improve safety for our vulnerable road users.

Peter Ward, former Preston magistrate and chairman of the Guild Wheel Committee

Where was the local engine?

Further to the report about the Fire service from Penwortham attending an incident at Morris Place, Ribbleton, (LEP December 12) could someone kindly explain why the nearest fire and rescue on Blackpool Road did not attend?

Surely time is of the essence, and having to go across the town would take several minutes.

I seem to remember a similar incident in August where Penwortham Fire Brigade attended an incident at the M55, and the injured party was sent to Lancaster Hospital.

Again, time was important, and it does beg the question as to why the nearest emergency services were not used. Can anyone clarify?

Interested Citizen, Ashton, Preston

Help needed to set town free

Bexhill on Sea in East Sussex has just begin a campaign to have its own town council and we need to hear from the people in Morecambe who won the right for your town.

Here we view the task as something of a David and Goliath act, as the large district council wants instead to have nine parish councils cover our town of some 42,000 people. It seems to many a move designed to divide and rule and also wasteful – nine councils all talking about many common issues.

I am sure we can learn much from Morecambe’s experience, not only in campaigning but also the benefits and costs of having our own council.

If any of those who fought for a town council or those running the council can find the time to send me information I would be very grateful. It would help us create history for our town.

Alan Whitt, 27 Ridgewood Gardens, Bexhill on Sea, TN40 1TS

Our church has not gone away

Stephen Guest’s letter (letters December 12) starts with “after two years of closure,” St Walburge’s has never been closed.

Quote, “Faith is still not known to those who used to attend the Church”. Mr Guest, get your facts right first, as a parishioner of St Walburge’s and the Sacred Heart, for over 43 years, I, along with many other long term parishioners, who still worship at St Walburge’s, attend Mass in the Ordinary Rite celebrated at St Walburge’s every Saturday at 6pm. This is the Vigil Mass for our Parish of St Walburge’s and the Sacred Heart.

We have welcomed ‘The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest’ into St Walburge’s and we are working with them, helping to maintain this iconic building as a Catholic place of worship.

We have, in the last few months, donated £5,000 to the restoration fund from last year’s fund raising efforts and hope to do the same in 2015. I must mention we would not have survived as a church, without the support of English Heritage.

We cannot thank them enough for their financial support of this amazing, Grade I listed building. Our Christmas Eve Vigil Mass this year at St Walburge’s, is at 6.30pm. All are welcome. Last year at our Christmas Eve Mass it was attended by over 350 people. Please come along, we would love to meet you again.

A Frediani, via e-mail