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Menace on wheels

Mosman Daily

Thursday 5 December 1996
The Pedestrian Council of NSW, headed by Mosman's Harold Scruby, has called on the State Government to take urgent action against dangerous bicycle courters

Mr Scruby, chairman of the council, joined with director of Bicycle NSW, Warren Solomon, at a rally in Martin Place on Tuesday. They urged the Government to immediately implement recommendations contained in a report by parliament's committee on road safety, Staysafe.

The recommendations include effective regulation of bicycle courier activities, particularly in regard to pedestrian only areas.

The committee concluded a compulsory system of accreditation was required and has called for a review and restructuring of penalties applicable to cyclists who commit traffic offences.

It also recommended the Government look into wider footpaths, designated cycling paths and the development of new road links.

In a joint statement, Mr Scruby and Mr Solomon said they were concerned because the report had been "gathering dust for six months".

They said: "The community has had enough of certain bicycle couriers who behave like urban cowboys and seriously jeopardise pedestrian safety and upset the amenity of the city.

"One pedestrian and one bicycle courier have already been killed due to outrageous behaviour and lack of consideration for others. The amenity of the CBD is being compromised by their open flouting of our laws and the attraction of the city as a retailing centre is being substantially diminished."

Mr Scruby and Mr Solomon blamed employers of the couriers who had an "eyes wide shut" philosophy to the problem. They were also concerned law abiding bicycle users were being given a bad name.

Paul Gibson, MP and chairman of the Staysafe Committee, councillor Julie Walton, chairman of Sydney City Council's traffic committee and Bill Healey, director of the Retail Traders Association NSW, gave their support to the rally.