Safety fears for pedestrians on St Ives footpath due to badly behaved cyclists

08:00 23 August 2014

The Thicket.

The Thicket.


Pedestrians using the Thicket footpath between St Ives and Houghton have raised alarm about the dangers of using the route due to the behaviour of cyclists.

St Ives councillor John Davies says he has been approached by people concerned that cyclists are not giving warning of their presence to those walking along the path, and are cycling too fast, which could result in a serious accident.

A project last year to improve the path has led to a large increase in the number of users, says cycling officer Patrick Joyce, of Cambridgeshire County Council. Mr Joyce has offered to meet Cllr Davies to help resolve the issue and look at possible measures that could be taken.

He said in correspondence with Cllr Davies that he had been aware of “a degree of conflict” regarding anti-social cycling, adding that it was the inconsiderate few that caused the problems. Cllr Davies said that there had been several near altercations.

“The Thicket path is very heavily used nowadays by walkers, cyclists, and people walking with their children and dogs. Pedestrians have told me that they fear a serious accident will happen because of the speed of the cycles. It has been said to me that a speed warning sign would be useless, and that a physical calming measure needs to be employed.”

Sarah Basser said she had been using the route for five years since moving to the area. “It’s a real shame that over the last six to eight months cyclists have been using it like a race track and some have got entangled in my dog lead. A line marking where cyclists should ride would be the perfect solution.”

Mr Joyce said that the scheme had been “spectacularly successful”, providing a safe route.

“For the first time in recent years children can safely visit their friends in the adjoining villages by cycle rather than being driven,” he said. “Mothers with pushchairs, buggy users and the less able can now access the Thicket reserve or make the trip to Houghton. Previously, this was almost impossible and I view the improvements as a huge success.”

He said signs could be added to encourage good behaviour but thought speed control measures would be ineffective as they would need to be placed at close intervals and would make the footpath unpleasant to use for everyone.

“Our experience is that the problem tends to resolve itself over time as people adapt to the changed environment and learn what is expected of them.

“Increased use almost inevitably means an increase in interactions between users but there is a balance to be struck,” he added.

Do you think something needs to be done to slow cyclists using the Thicket? Email


  • I don't use it 45 times, it's 45 times per week. Also, regarding Filberts Walk. I agree with you. I can't for the life of me understand why any cyclist would want toneed to use this path.

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    Sunday, August 24, 2014

  • I don't think speed reduction measures are required. In my opinion people need to take a bit more responsibility for their actions, by people I mean both cyclists and pedestrians. I use the thicket 45 times a week as both a cyclist and pedestrian. Like it or not, both parties need to be conscious that this stretch of path is used by a variety of different users. Rightly or wrongly, it's just the way it is, unless the council make any changes. As much as cyclists need to slow down and give advanced warning when approaching walkers, some pedestrians could also make a great deal more effort to move over to let sensible cyclists through, we don't all race down there trying to set a new personal best. I've never had an issue as a pedestrian because I'm always aware of impending cyclists and move over no problems. However, whilst out on my bike I've had numerous occasions where I have approached a group of people walking side by side blocking the path. I've given them polite advanced warning whilst approaching at no more than 5mph and even said "excuse me can I squeeze past please" only to be met with either silence and no movement thus forcing me to pass off the path, or "huffing and puffing" and begrudgingly moving over to let me past. That said, the vast majority of times I can walkcycle down there with no issues.

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    Sunday, August 24, 2014

  • So it's bad enough on a pathway that is for pedestrians and cyclists. Spare a thought for those of us the use Filberts Walk between Hemingford Road and St Ives bridge. This a pedestrian path the clues in the name. Plus signs at both ends instructing (red circle with red line through a picture of a bicycle) that there is no cycling. I have pointed this out to all I see ignoring this sign. The responses have been totally ignoring me to f**k off ill do what I want. So good luck with the Thicket Path problem.

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    Mr Dee

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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