Helen Parry, Sea Point
Thank you for publishing your very fair article on electric vehicles on the seafront (Off My Trolley, May 1). I am only sorry that you received so much flak.
As for Mr Lazarus on his unicycle, the lawns are more at risk from him than I am. Nor is there any question of forcing him onto the road. I doubt it would be considered a legally roadworthy vehicle.
Walking along the promenade today, it is hard to remember how dangerous it was in January and February.
Then, I walked only feet from a young woman who was knocked over. Not by a surprise vehicle from behind but from one which approached us all head-on, could not stop and careened into her.
Luckily, she seemed unhurt.
Another day, a bike brushed me so closely from behind that the hairs on the rider’s arms rubbed my bare arm. On another occasion, an out-of-control bike hit a legally parked van, causing damage. The rider put on a brave face but it was clear he was in some pain.
Most people enjoy the festive atmosphere where walkers, joggers, tricycles, toddlers, pram-pushers, dog walkers, skateboarders, roller-skaters and conventional bicycles intermingle. If you add electric bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards and Segways, some capable of 45km/* and incredible acceleration, many with first-time helmetless riders, it is certain to lead to accidents, injuries and deaths.
Some bikes weigh 30kg and can carry 120 more, which at speed is quite a missile.
I expect the City has not declared any speed limits because it never occurred to it any would be necessary.
Thank you to Dr Dalvie for his support. Like him, I have long learnt not to make any sudden step or even to raise an arm, while stopping to turn around and check can be equally risky.
I enjoy reading your articles and only hope action is taken before next holiday season.
The EU has limited electric bikes to 25km/* but these are pedal-assisted; when the rider stops pedalling the power is cut off, unlike those rented out here which just continue on.
The UK now imposes minimum age of 14. (ref. wikipedia)