Drop in standard of street-walking

From: Laura Lomas, Godwin Road, Hastings

While we must applaud the police and courts for the fearless work they do in apprehending and punishing those who drop cigarette ends on our streets, we should remember that there are more serious matters for their attention. One of these is the pedestrian crisis. The standard of street-walking in Hastings has deteriorated considerably in recent years.

The worst and most persistent offenders are the following: women who dart out of shops into the flow of pedestrian traffic on the assumption that they have right of way; teenagers who cannot chew gum and walk in a straight line at the same time; language school activities leaders who take up whole pavements with their unruly charges (I refer to this as the heavy goods traffic of the pavement); young mothers with buggies who slowly travel alongside each other in convoy engaged in animated conversation; people of all ages so absorbed with their phones that they would walk through you if you did not take evasive action.

I’m sure your readers can add further categories of their own to this list of public nuisances. In fact, it seems the only pedestrians one can rely on nowadays are the solitary drunks, who walk in such a deliberate and careful way and warn us of their proximity well in advance by the alcohol on their breath. They are a lesson to us all.

What is the solution? I might even suggest that everybody should be required to carry a valid pedestrian licence, that points could be docked on the spot by all those police constables who would otherwise be engaged in apprehending careless smokers, and that disqualified pedestrians be sent to boot-camps for retraining in their pedestrian skills.