Pedestrian clipped by cyclist says bells on bikes should be mandatory

A pedestrian who was struck by a cyclist in her local park is calling for a change in the law to ensure all bicycles are equipped with bells at all times.

Currently, all bikes have to be fitted with bells before being sold but there is no legal requirement to fit or use them once out cycling.

Kate Williams from Grangetown says this should be changed after experiencing a collision with a cyclist while walking in her local park.

“I was going for a walk and this cyclist came so fast and clipped my ankle, I was left feeling embarrassed and hurt.”

In the past year, cycling has become more popular than even.

During the first lockdown 1.3 million people in England and Wales bought bikes but that increase in the number of cyclists has gone hand in hand with an increase in the number of walkers during lockdown. Pavements and pathways are busier than ever.

Sara Griffiths, from Pontcanna, says that when she walks along the Taff Trail with her children she feels they are in danger.

“These cyclists come towards you at such fast speed with no warning for children and parents,” she said.

“I think it should be mandatory for all bikes to have bells on them.”

Although it is not law, the highway code suggests that “cyclists should be considerate of other road users, particularly blind and partially sighted pedestrians”.

Cyclists may decide to ride without bells because it affects the weight of their bikes, with some riders preferring a lightweight bicycle because it allows them go faster.

“I think it’s a responsibility for both pedestrians and cyclists, pedestrians should be aware that bikes are around and walk on one side,” says Nathan David who cycles around 50 miles a week.

Gwenda Owen from cycling UK doesn’t think bells should be fitted to all bicycles. She believes that communicating with words is a better way of letting pedestrians know that bikes are coming through.

With many people in cities using rental bikes, such as Next Bikes that don’t have bells on them, their only way to communicate is to shout out.