A young woman sustained bruising on Monday evening when her bicycle crashed into “an almost invisible bollard” at the cycle track adjacent to the Carnreagh housing development in Brownlow.
Susan Calvin, 26, who is studying for a PhD in Chemistry at Queen’s University, smashed into the two-foot-high bollard when she and her father, Robert Kennedy, were two miles into a cycle ride from Killicomaine to Oxford Island, a total of eight miles.
“The bollard is grey, the same colour as the track, and totally unmarked on the side from which we were approaching,” said Susan.
“I was a few yards behind dad and simply didn’t see it. The next thing, I crashed into it, the pain was awful and I sustained serious bruising on my legs and abdomen.
“Ironically, the other side of the bollard is marked with red-and-white striped plastic.
“Dad phoned a relative on his mobile and I was taken to A&E at Craigavon Area Hospital, where I was seen right away and had to have three hours of treatment.
“I seem to have burst a few blood vessels – the swelling is serious – and I have to go for follow-up treatment.”
Michael Wheatley, who lives at Carnreagh beside the track, said, “It’s been a regular occurrence since I moved here 11 years ago. In fact, neighbours tell me that Susan was the second victim on Monday night.
“We cannot see the point in these bollards stuck in the centre of the track. They don’t stop cars from going onto the track, and any bollards should be positioned on entrances from roads near the track and not on it.
“The early years of the track were the worst before cyclists got to know about the bollards – they’re at regular intervals – but this still happens regularly.”
Susan has had to stay off Queen’s for the most of the week, even though pressure is building with her PhD course ending in the autumn. Her husband David – doing a PhD in English at the University of Ulster – was shocked at the bruising his wife suffered.
He said, “We want it resolved before more cyclists are injured. The bollards serve no purpose whatsoever. They should be removed.”
Councillor Kenneth Twyble, a representative for the area, said that he took a serious view of the incident and would look closely into what measures should be taken.
A council spokeswoman confirmed to the paper that “designated cycle tracks” are maintained by the Department of Regional Development.