Cyclist hit councillor’s dog

Wednesday March 17th 2021


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A cyclist ran over the neck of a small dog as he cut through a two-metre gap between her owner and another walker on a popular pathway.

Alba, one of two white miniature schnauzers owned by Midlothian councillor Dianne Alexander, was struck as her owner stood talking to a lady and her young daughter on the Bonnyrigg to Penicuik railway path.

Councillor Alexander said that her eight-year-old pet escaped serious injury after rolling out of the way of the back wheel of the bicycle as it sped over her.

She is calling for action to tackle cyclists speeding on the path and failing to use their bells to warn pedestrians.

She said: “The problem is with cyclists who speed down the path and give no signal they are coming up behind you or through your group.

“There is no direct legislation that can reduce their speed limit, but something needs to be done before there is a tragedy of greater proportions.”

Councillor Alexander told a virtual meeting of Midlothian’s performance review and scrutiny committee that her dog survived the traumatic incident on the pathway.

She called on officials to investigate ways to make the route safe for all users.

Speaking about the incident involving Alba, following the meeting, she said she had been standing with both Alba and her other dog Nevis speaking to the woman, with a safe two metres between them.

She said: “The cyclist came through with no warning and did not slow down. ”

Following the incident, the cyclist stopped and apologised, and Alba recovered without needing vet treatment.

Councillor Alexander said: “She had a terrible scare, though fortunately it was not as tragic as it could have been.

“I did not take her to the vet because she was absolutely traumatised as it was, she was able to walk and we kept an eye on her.”

The Bonnyrigg ward councillor said that concerns had been raised about the pathway, which is used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders, by the community in the past.

However, she said the main issue was to do with speeding cyclists.

She said: “We do not get time to bring our children or pets close in, and then there are older or infirm people who cannot move quickly.

“All adult cycles have by law to be sold with a bell, the Highway Code says that cyclists should give way to pedestrians.”

Council leader Derek Milligan said after hearing about the incident he had asked council officials to talk to ward councillors about what action could be taken to make the pathway safer.

He said: “Unfortunately this is not the first incident of this kind to have been reported and it is a concern for users of the pathway.

“I have instructed officers to hold talks with local ward members and see what action could be taken to improve safety on the path.”

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