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Last Updated: Friday, 12 October 2007, 05:44 GMT 06:44 UK
Angry drivers 'risk to cyclists'
One of the monthly bike rides in Aberystwyth (picture: Grwp Beic)
Cyclists claim they were abused by motorists
Cyclists taking part in a "friendly" protest calling for more cycle lanes in Aberystwyth claim they have been abused by irate motorists.

Riders have been taking monthly trips around the seaside town for more than a year to highlight their cause.

But during their latest ride involving about 15 cyclists, they claim they were verbally abused and their safety was put at risk by angry drivers.

Police said they did not take intimidation of road users lightly.

Cyclist Kelvin Mason, of Beic Grwp (Bike Group), said the monthly foray around Aberystwyth, known as the critical mass ride, was "law-abiding and friendly".

But he added that cycling at present in the town was difficult, dangerous and discouraged.

"We carry signs informing people what we are doing and we stop regularly to allow any tailback of traffic to pass, giving drivers a friendly wave," explained Mr Mason.

"During the last ride we were assailed with the foulest verbal abuse from some motorists.

'Intimidation'

"Moreover, a number of drivers deliberately drove in a way that not only frightened and intimidated cyclists but put us at real risk of serious injury.

"This level of harassment has, I believe, gone beyond the stage of reporting individual drivers to the police, reports that the police are anyway reluctant to take or follow up upon."

Dyfed-Powys Police urged cyclists to take "every safety precaution" before taking to the roads.

"When it comes to drivers on the road we would ask that consideration is shown to all vulnerable road users and when overtaking cyclists to give them plenty of room," said a force spokesman.

"Any driver or rider that does not drive or ride in accordance with the law will be dealt with and we will not take intimidation of road users lightly."

The force added that police were not reluctant to follow up such incidents, but cases had to be reported and there had to be sufficient evidence to support a prosecution.

Ceredigion Council said improved cycle lanes had been mentioned as part of a study of Aberystwyth.

A spokeswoman said: "The provision of improved cycling facilities within the town and its approaches has been raised as part of the Masterplan consultation.

"This will not necessarily mean the provision of exclusive cycle lanes for there simply isn't the space to provide these on the majority of the roads within the town centre."

The next critical mass ride is on 26 October.



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