AN ELDERLY cyclist who was knocked off her bike on the Brighton Road in mid-rush hour has told how "more than 50 cars" merely drove past her as she struggled to move or breathe.
Anne Gasnola, of Biddulph Road, South Croydon, was cycling back from her morning swim in Purley Pool at around 9.15am last Tuesday when a car pulled sharply out in front of her into the cycle lane by the Royal Oak Centre.
This forced the 67-year-old to slam on her brakes – throwing her face-first over her handlebars on to the road.
"I was very badly winded and couldn't breathe or speak," Anne told the Advertiser.
"My helmet was broken and my jacket ripped. I couldn't move and was just aware of all these cars driving past me while I lay there.
"Eventually after five minutes, a man who saw the accident from the other side of the road came back around and helped pick me up with a lady who was on her way to work.
"I think it's so disgusting that people do not stop to help. Once, ten years ago, I had another bike accident and was knocked out on the pavement – apparently people just walked over me."
Of last week's incident, she said: "The police and the ambulance came. I was treated for my elbow, which had all the skin scraped off it, but there was nothing the police could do because I could not see the registration number of the car."
In a decade of cycling, Mrs Gasnola said she has had four accidents – three of which have happened on that stretch of road.
"Something really needs to be done about cycle safety, or at least about the standard of people's driving. I am scared if I have another accident, it will be more serious," she added.
"I have a feeling this kind of thing would not happen in New Addington – people there would stop to help. Here, people just cannot be bothered and don't care.
"There is a total lack of community spirit – people don't want to get involved and have to give evidence in court against a dangerous driver or something."
The injured cyclist, who works as a beauty therapist, said: "I think that area is getting worse with more and more traffic. All drivers need to do is stay out of the cycle lanes."