Cyclists are taking to social media to defend themselves and lay the blame for Guild Wheel safety issues on dog walkers.Advertisement
In an article published by Blog Preston last week, walkers around the Guild Wheel complained about cyclists not stopping or slowing down when passing by, with some people having been injured by speeding bikes.
Many people have taken to the comments sections online to say the issue does not just lie with cyclists, but also dog walkers who use long leads for their pets.
In comments on Facebook, John Edmund Gangy said: “Funny how the polite cyclists are hardly mentioned nor the massive increase in people not having their dogs on leads nor groups of people blocking the path oblivious of other users.”
Rod Carter thinks more people should remember the area is a shared space. He said: “Unfortunately it’s inundated with dog walkers with long leads and walkers who don’t listen and spread themselves across the path and ignore that it’s a shared space.
“There are millions of miles of footpaths in UK but few dedicated cycling places. The lack of a bell may be a common gripe but walkers don’t pay attention.”
Dave Canning added: “As a walker I actually find people with stupidly long dog leads a greater hazard and less considerate than cyclists.”
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Those speaking in support of cyclists on the Blog Preston website included Bobcarolgees, who said: “There are some dog walkers who either don’t have the dog under control or they’re on a long lead. Only last week there was a woman near the marina, she was on the left of the track and her dog was nearly 3 metres on the other right hand side on a long lead.”
Prestonian said: “The worst are dog walkers with those damn extendable leads or non at all. That’s the only time I’ve had an issue,” while Bikerboy said: “Some of the rudest people I have encountered on the guild wheel have been dog walkers with their ridiculous retractable leads.”
Aidan Turner-Bishop agreed: “As a regular cyclist on this route my betes noires are dog owners with dogs off the lead or, worse still, on long extendable – and often almost invisible – leads across the path.”
The shared footpath is used regularly by dog walkers, cyclists and walkers and is a 21-mile walk around the scenic routes around Preston and Brockholes Nature Reserve.
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Anne Topping Slater walks her dog around the Guild Wheel but says she is considerate of other people using the shared space, “I walk my dog a lot around the Guild Wheel and Ashton Park. I use a long lead but always reel it in whenever I see either another walker or a cyclist.”
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Stuart Ingham agrees with Anne, saying: “We walk our dogs, use bikes and walk around the Guild Wheel, it’s just about having an awareness of your surroundings.
“If there are a group of you walking don’t take up the whole lane, walking dogs don’t use a long lead, riding a bike be aware of hazards and breaking distances, it’s not that difficult really is it?”
In a statement, Councillor Robert Boswell, Cabinet member for environment and community safety at Preston City Council, said: “The Guild Wheel is a great asset for Preston as a shared cycle and walking space, including the riverside paths. There is appropriate signage along the route, which is regularly reviewed.
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What do you think should be done to improve safety concerns in shared areas around the Guild Wheel? Let us know in the comments below.