History of attacks on cycle route

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IS THIS cycle path the most dangerous thoroughfare in the Lancaster and Morecambe area?

Following countless robberies and assaults over recent years, police are increasing patrols to try to protect walkers and cyclists.

In the latest incident a woman was kicked off her bike by a yob on the cycle track near Asda supermarket.

Insp Jim Edmonds of Morecambe Police, told The Visitor: “We have increased patrols on the cycle track in order to prevent further offences occurring.

“There will shortly be an environmental visual audit conducted by the police, city council and Highways Agency in order to assess that the appropriate street lighting is in place and hedgerows are cut back to appropriate levels to further increase safety.”

Sheridan Whittaker, 20, who was attacked just a few weeks ago, said her ordeal on the cycle path had affected her so severely that she was terrified to go outside. She was beaten by three men who tried to rob her: “They started kicking me, including my head. No-one was around to help me. It was the first time I had walked ont he cycle track.”

Records of incidents dating back to 1998 include:

*October 10, 1998 - a 43-year-man was walking along the cycle path near the Burger King restaurant (now Frankie and Benny’s) and the West End Road Bridge, when he was assaulted by two teenagers on bikes.

*May 22, 2009 – a 41-year-old man wheeling his five-month-old daughter along in a pushchair on the path near Euston Grove had his head pushed against a wall by two men before being threatened with a knife.

*May 30, 2009 – a 40-year-old man was beaten unconscious on the cycle track near Asda.

*June 13, 2009 – a 16-year-old girl was on the path near Asda when she was approached by a man who repeatedly touched her bum.

*On June 4, 2009 – a 19-year-old student returning to Lancaster University from a night out was robbed near McDonald’s in Morecambe Road.

*August 7, 2010, a homeless man in his 50s was assaulted by someone asking for directions. The victim had been reading a book while on the cycle track under Euston Grove Bridge, Morecambe.

*August 20, 2010 - a woman was assaulted at the side of a cycle path between the Golden Ball pub at Snatchems and Salt Ayre.

*On December 14, 2010, three dog walkers subjected a man to a humiliating ordeal as he walked down a cycle path. The 19-year-old was walking down the bike track off Morecambe Road close to Asda. He was hit with twigs and had lager poured over his head.

*August 1, 2011 - a 37-year-old man was robbed on the cycle path near Asda Lancaster.

*September 2, 2011 - a 26-year-old woman was sexually assaulted as she walked along the cycle path between Longmarsh Lane and the Millennium Bridge.

*On April 4, 2012, a 35-year-old man had a knife held to his throat and was robbed on the cycle track near Sainsbury’s in Lancaster.

The city council said it could not comment on the safety issues relating to the track.

Anyone with information about any of the incidents on the cycle track should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.