A MOTHER has criticised “rude and aggressive” cyclists after one swore at her autistic son.

Mandy Wood said it was not her first bad experience with cyclists.

Now her Facebook post about it has prompted others to complain about “abusive” people on bikes.

Ms Wood and her son Cameron Main, 11, were at The Level in Brighton on Wednesday afternoon when the latest incident happened.

Ms Wood said Cameron had accidentally wandered into the cycle lane.

She said: “I saw the cyclist approaching farther ahead and told Cameron to come out of the lane which he did straight away.

“He wasn’t in the lane when the cyclist came by. The cyclist turned straight to my son, slowing down enough to swear very loudly and angrily and then sped off.”

It reminded Ms Wood of another incident where a cyclist threatened the family.

She said: “I was pulling into a road, went around a cyclist the correct way who was parked further up and he went by and banged his fist on my car window scaring my children – I was also pregnant at the time. It was a very scary experience.”

Frustrated Ms Wood wrote a Facebook post in the public group Brighton People, calling for cyclists and pedestrians to have more respect and tolerance for each other.

The message prompted others to share their experiences.

Sue William James said: “A similar thing happened to me a couple of years ago. I was walking to the bus stop by St Peter’s and had to step into the bike lane to pass someone in a wheelchair. Some guy on his bike, who was nowhere near me at the time, rode by and started throwing abuse at me.”

The online conversation quickly developed into a debate about the difficulties of cycling in the city.

Kim Wilson Green said: “What hacks me off is the cyclists who don’t use the lanes but use the pavements and are abusive to us pedestrians.”

Ruth Hill said: “If cyclists don’t elect to ride more slowly near children’s play areas and public parks, perhaps there should be variable speed limits for them just as there are for cars in areas where pedestrians are at risk.”

Philippe Guyard, defending cyclists, said: “Cycling in Brighton is quite dangerous at times. The cycle lanes are full of oblivious pedestrians walking in and out and car drivers can be aggressive. It can be frustrating.”

Cyclist David Cookson said: “I get fed up of reading that we are all monsters. I stop at lights, too, believe it or not, even at 5.30 this morning by the Old Steine when there was nobody about. I see cyclists like this bloke and others that behave badly and it annoys me too. But I see this behaviour with some car drivers, van drivers, bus drivers and pedestrians too.”

Sian Williams said: “I think it’s safe to say the cycle lanes in Brighton aren’t working as they should be. Congestion is too heavy for cyclists to ride on the road but having them right by where pedestrians walk doesn’t seem to work either. Perhaps there needs to be a combination of better signage for cyclists and pedestrians and speed limits for bikes or go-slow signs in heavily congested areas.”