Pedestrians have right of way on footpaths

Peter Flavell, Bergvliet

John Carstens’ letter (“Put dogs on a leash”, Bulletin, November 10) refers.

Let us get more perspective on this matter.

The tarred path that Mr Carsten refers to is approximately 1.5m in width in some areas and a little 1m in the majority of the pathway. This pathway is used by walkers, joggers, horse riders, cyclists, and so on.

If I, or other dog walkers, walk on the pathway with dogs on a leash, it is difficult or impossible for any party to pass without one party yielding, for example, stepping off the pathway. Some cyclists speed along the pathway as though they are on some sort of time trial. In addition to this, very few cyclists have any audible (bells) warning at all.

May I also add that Mr Carsten had no warning device for many years until just recently.

When walking with the wind in your face coupled with the traffic noise from the M3, it is not always possible to hear a cyclist coming from behind, especially when you are getting older. The vast majority of people using this pathway combine quite well and are sociable. It is just a few who are aggressive and have no respect for other users and Mr Carstens has got quite a reputation along this walk for being aggressive to other members of the public. While quoting by-laws, it should be remembered that pedestrians have the right of way on footpaths. The municipality has gone to great lengths to provide for cyclists, making cycle lanes, own zebra crossings, etc. along Firgrove Way.

If he wants to use tarred paths, why not use these facilities instead of having confrontations with the general public by going up and down the path in question at a speed that is inevitably going to lead to an accident.