A 92-year-old Birmingham man who survived a Japanese prisoner of war camp “without a scratch” has been left virtually housebound after being knocked down by speeding cyclists on the pavement.
Raymond Poland was in hospital for three weeks after he injured his knee in the accident outside his Harborne home.
It was the second time he had been hit by a cyclist on the pavement and said he is now scared to go out in case it happens again.
His accident has prompted police in Harborne to clamp down on the menace of cyclists on the pavement and has warned they are at risk of getting a fixed penalty ticket.
The accident happened in Harborne Park Road last month when Mr Poland, a retired charge nurse, was taking his daily walk to the shops.
“All of a sudden a cyclist whizzed past me, then another one – they were obviously racing each other,” he said.
“I sensed I might be hit so I turned to avoid them and turned too quickly and went down on my knee.”
Mr Poland said one of the young cyclists came back to see if he was okay, but the other one carried on.
He ended up staying in hospital three weeks with the injury to his knee and said since being released his life has changed.
Not only had it left him in pain when he walks, it has also left him nervous.
Five years ago he was hit by a cyclist on a pavement and sustained arm injuries.
“I went through the war and spent three-and-a-half years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp and came out without a scratch but have now been left incapacitated by inconsiderate cyclists,” he said.
Mr Poland, whose was widowed 16 years ago, still lives independently in his own home and until the accident was doing his own cooking, cleaning and tending to a large garden.
But he says the accident has changed him.
“It has made me nervous about walking along the pavement, I’m looking around all the time for cyclists,” he said.
“I don’t understand why it’s accepted and police don’t do anything about it.”
“I go out every day but cyclists don’t give way to me, even though I walk with a stick.
“I ask them why they cycle on the pavement and they say it’s because it’s too dangerous on the roads.”
Sgt Mark Hickman, from Harborne police, said cyclists who rode on the pavements were not deliberately setting out to terrorise pedestrians, they were just “thoughtless”.
“Mr Poland is an example of someone whose quality of life has been impacted by the thoughtless behaviour of certain individuals,” he said.
“It is a lack of awareness and thoughtlessness on their parts.
“We do not want to have to start issuing fixed penalty notices and therefore we would ask cyclists to please consider whether their behaviour impacts on others and to take due care and attention when cycling,” he added.