Sustrans chief executive has hit out at irresponsible use of cycle paths by a minority of cyclists competiting on apps such as Strava, among others, saying: "Traffic-free walking and cycling paths are not the place for reckless cycling speed demons."
Shepherd said: "Cycling and walking paths cater to a variety of users by providing a safe, non-threatening environment to travel in. The anti-social behaviour of a very small number of cyclists is making everyone feel less safe – it would be great for the online community to take action by pointing the finger at people doing the wrong thing."
Strava, perhaps the most widely used data tracking and mapping app on mobile phones, does allow users to flag 'segments' as hazardous, should those riding the routes feel racing to be dangerous along a particular stretch.
Shepherd added: “As we continue to campaign for greater respect on our roads, its vital those of us using bikes give respect to everyone, and slow down on walking and cycling paths”
The CTC has also echoed the call for cyclists to slow down, with the charity’s campaigns and policy director Roger Geffen stating:
“The CTC strongly supports responsible behaviour by all road users, drivers and cyclists alike. Equally though, walkers can feel as intimated by fast cycling on shared-use paths as cyclists are by fast driving.
“In particular, people with physical or sensory disabilities have a right to enjoy the great outdoors without being startled, even if they aren’t actually endangered.
“As cyclists, we need to show them the same respect that we want drivers to show us on the roads.”