LOCKDOWN has lead to a rise in cyclists “speeding” along the pavements in a village near Darlington.

Merrybent resident Diane Craddas said that the number of adult cyclists choosing to avoid using the road and instead cycle on the public pavements alongside it could have “dangerous” consequences.

A cyclist herself, 70-year-old Ms Craddas said she always cycles on the road where possible.

“Since lockdown the number of adult cyclists, young men in particular, choosing to ignore the rules and cycle on the path right outside residential homes has drastically increased, and it is something which needs to be highlighted," she said.

“Just because there isn’t a cycle path, it doesn’t mean they can use the pavement.

“Families use the path when they are cycling with children, and that makes sense because the traffic on the A67 goes quickly. But these adults wearing helmets and goggles and often cycling in pairs or very fast are putting themselves and others in danger.

“These cyclists forget they are silent, and an elderly resident or a child could step out of their driveway and easily get knocked down.”

Shortly after the country went into lockdown, police urged cyclists and motorists to share the roads safely after an increase in accidents involving bikes during lockdown.

The proportion of crashes involving pedal cyclists in the North Yorkshire had risen from 20 per cent to 27 per cent since since lockdown measures were introduced.

North Yorkshire Police Sergeant Kirsten Aldridge issued a statement in response. She said: “We’ve seen a lot more cyclists using our roads recently, from young families and novices to experienced riders.

“The number of collisions involving cyclists has also sadly risen during this time.

“But if drivers and cyclists remember to share the road and stick to the rules this weekend, their risk of being involved in a serious crash can be significantly reduced.”