Letter: Crowded pavements

Sir: Scott Munn (letter, 10 May) underestimates the force of example. Every cyclist seen using the footway (whether anyone else is on it or not) is an example to others to do the same, and some who do may not be as considerate as Scott Munn thinks he is.

I meet many groups of elderly pedestrians, all of whom, with good reason, now dislike and fear cyclists, though many were once cyclists themselves. In every group there has been at least one with impact experience, though the more seriously injured, of course, never go out again (I know of two deaths following hits by cyclists).

It is the failure of cyclists to realise the effect of their speed, silence and sharp edges on pedestrians, some of whom have impaired sight, hearing or mobility, which is so disheartening. We are always frightened now, as the footway is no safer than the carriageway; less safe, indeed, since the police seem unaware of its existence.