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Southend shared space not responsible for cyclist collision
11:30am Wednesday 6th February 2013 in Local News
SOUTHEND’S shared space zone has been defended by council chiefs after a teenage girl was critically injured by a cyclist.
The 16-year-old, from Benfleet, collided with the bike outside Chinnerys bar, in Marine Parade, on Friday evening. She was rushed to hospital and, following emergency treatment, police said she was in a “critical but stable” condition yesterday.
It is still not clear exactly how the collision came about, but bosses at Southend Council said they did not believe the shared space designation was a factor.
Tony Cox, the Tory councillor responsible for transport, said: “Clearly, my sympathies and best wishes are with this young girl and I truly hope she makes a quick recovery.
“From what I understand - and the circumstances around this incident are not clear yet - it did not happen because it was within the shared space area because cyclists should not be on the pavement regardless.
“We must allow the police investigation to be carried out.”
Eyewitness reports of the incident claimed the cyclist, a man in his 20s from Leigh, had collided with the girl on the pavement.
Under British law, cyclists can be prosecuted if they are found to be riding irresponsibly in a pedestrianised area.
However, police said they were still investigating the circumstances of the collision and appealed for witnesses to get in touch.
Anyone with information about Friday’s incident should call PC Paul Calpin, at Laindon road policing unit, on 101.