Disabled pensioner from Finchampstead calls for action over illegally parked vehicles and Wokingham’s ‘kamikaze’ cyclists

A DISABLED pensioner has to carry a first aid kit when he leaves home after being hit by cyclists or bumping into illegally parked vehicles.

Peter Ashcroft, 89, who is profoundly deaf, says he has been “bloodied and bruised” while riding his mobility scooter through Wokingham.

His latest injury included a badly gashed chin he suffered after banging into a lifting gantry placed across a public footpath.

Peter, from Luckley Wood in Finchampstead claims he has even had people using their mobile phone trip over him causing cuts and bruises.

Now he has called for a crackdown on illegally parked vehicles and “Kamikaze cyclists” riding on pavements and footways.

“I didn’t see the gantry because I was concentrating on negotiating the reduced footpath caused by building works on Finchampstead Road,” he explained.

“The builders had not placed any warnings of any sort, nor safety barriers or an alternative footway, with wheelchair ramps. Heavy traffic prevented me from safely using the highway.

“Over the past two years since using my mobility scooter, I have been cut and bruised mostly on the hands, arms, shoulders and legs. I have been bloodied and bruised several times by on coming Kamikaze cyclists riding at speed on foot ways. They seem to have a total disregard for

the highway code or other footpath users.

“Another problem are people glued to their mobile phones or tablets walking with their heads down and deafened by ear plugs. They are totally unaware of their surroundings. I have been collided with so often I now carry first aid items whenever I’m out on my mobility scooter.”

Peter says one of the biggest culprits are contractors working for Wokingham Borough Council. He claims temporary traffic lights and bollards force him off the pavement or footpath while vehicles regularly block access to wheelchair ramps, including those at the town’s library.

“Where vehicles are indiscriminately left on the footway they can constitute a significant obstruction, forcing pedestrians on to the carriageway creating particular difficulties for people with mobility problems, visual impairment or pushchairs,” he added.

“This issue needs to be firmly addressed fully by Wokingham Borough Council but they say obstructions are a matter for Thames Valley Police to resolve as WBC has no jurisdiction concerning vehicle parking, outside of Wokingham Town Centre.”

A police spokesperson told The Wokingham Paper that it was a matter for the council as they deal with parking enforcement in the borough.

And Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, the executive member for highways, said: ‘We are sorry that this resident has experienced difficulties in travelling around Wokingham.

“The needs of disabled pedestrians is a key priority during roadworks and we inspect roadworks to ensure that requirements are complied with.

“We would encourage pedestrians who experience difficulties to inform us so we take the necessary action.

“Unfortunately, we do not have legal power to enforce against vehicles parking on the footway but we will remind all of our contractors of their responsibilities to park in a safe and legal manner.”

Have you been affected by parking on pavements? Send us your views to letters@wokinghampaper.co.uk or reply below

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3 Comments

  1. This morning, with me sat on my mobility scooter, I was again crashed into by Kamikaze cyclist riding on pavement at speed! Cycling on pavements is unlawful! However police have previously told me it does not constitute a traffic accident! Plainly, since being reduced to driving a mobility scooter, on average I have been harassed by kamikaze cyclists at least once each week. That’s despite me avoiding blind corners and putting myself at risk to oncoming traffic, by driving my bone-shaker buggy on the road, at all known cyclist impact sites. Kamikaze cyclist on footpaths are a danger to all pavement users young & elderly. As they completely ignore highway law and highway code. Clearly, I have no problems at all with children cycling on pavements, but adult cyclists that ride on pavements (unless footway is designated as a cycle lane) should be prosecuted to the full measure of the law. I am now looking to purchasing, suitable protective head gear with build in video camera, to record all future impacts with the Kamikaze idiots.

  2. Police Community Support Officers, have zero power to do anything. To be frank they are a waste of tax payers money. Wokingham Council recently wasted £80k of taxpayers obtaining parking enforcement powers for the whole of Wokingham Borough, yet they fail to use these powers even why repeat incidents are pointed out to them. Even with the Council getting these powers the police can still enforce the existing laws, but sadly are to lazy to. They would much rather be on computers trawling through social media, policing hurt feelings

  3. Not parking on pavements but on many occasions jumping out of the way of cyclists using pavements and by their speed and attitude leaving no alternative but to step away sometimes along station road stepping onto the road. These are not children who actually stop and let you walk past but adult’s.
    Isn’t this illegal, isn’t it illegal to cycle the wrong way in a one way street, has anybody in Wokingham ever been stopped and fined.
    I recently ask a community police person, just after a cyclist passed where we were standing by the town hall, why they didn’t stop the cyclist and the reply was we show leniency when no one is at risk to which I replied that I had to step out of the way as did a lady with a child and that I thought it was an offence to which the answer was well we do not have enough time or resore for minor offences such as cycling on the pavement.
    So what do we expect.

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