A lively online debate viewed more than 3500 times has been sparked after a cycling event involving some 800 riders pedalled into a safety row.
And now debate leader John Trueman, editor of the online community magazine ‘Midhurst Pages’ has come up with the innovative proposal to use drones to monitor safety.
Earlier this summer a couple driving along a narrow lane north of the Downs near Midhurst, found themselves facing hundreds of cyclists riding up to five abreast and taking up the whole road.
They said they were forced into the verge hitting a rock and bursting two tyres. Cyclists ignored their warnings to keep to one side and they feared there could have been a serious accident.
There were some 800 riders taking part in a ride organised by UK Cycling Events.
“The quadcopter might just introduce a method of surveying ‘quiet lanes’,” said Mr Trueman, “spotting and recording unacceptable behaviour on camera and reporting the offence direct to a police station. Perhaps initially ‘quiet lanes’ used regularly for big events and sportives should be selected.”
He said he did not believe warning signs would deter bad behaviour unless there was a sanction which was ‘rigorously enforce’.
But once people got caught on camera and fined, he believed the word would spread which could reduce the problem.
The cycling lobby believed quads could also help improve safety if used by individual riders to spot danger, said Mr Trueman.
Drones were already being used for sheep farming, monitoring race horses and many other similar activities.
“All very exciting, but do we want them in the South Downs National Park, especially if they contribute to hassle with sportives and big event cycling?”
View the debate here:
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