A PENSIONER who was the victim of an unprovoked road rage attack while out riding his bike has received compensation.

Michael Greenhalgh, aged 65, was cycling with friend Janet Darwell on the A6 near Preston when the incident with a car driver happened in August last year.

After a battle for compensation, the retired Smithills School teacher finally received £1,625.

And he hopes the settlement will serve as a warning to other motorists who have a disregard for cyclists.

Mr Greenhalgh, of Shaftsbury Avenue, Lostock, said: “People in cars do not have the slightest bit of thought for cyclists.

“The injuries I suffered could have been much worse. My compensation makes a point that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable.

“My leg was sore and my fingers were badly cut. If I was still working, I would have had to have had time off.”

The road rage incident happened when a car went past the two cyclists and the driver honked his horn at the pair. Mr Greenhalgh said he waved back politely.

The driver pulled up, got out of the car and stood in the road.

Mr Greenhalgh said: “He made a grab for me and I fell to the ground. We were not pleased with him, to say the least.

“I had cuts and bruises and an ambulance was called, but I didn’t need to go to hospital.

“He was very sorry when he realised what he had done.“ The police were called and the motorist was arrested for a public order offence.

Mr Greenhalgh contacted the Cycling Touring Club (CTC), of which he is a member, who put him in touch with solicitors Russell Jones and Walker.

His bid for compensation was at first refused, but it was granted on appeal by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

Paul Macbeth, who represented Mr Greenhalgh, said: “This is a typical example of the lack of understanding between cyclists and motorists on UK roads.

“There needs to be a clearer understanding between these two groups of road users to prevent unprovoked attacks like the one experienced by Mr Greenhalgh.”

Debra Rolfe, the CTC’s campaigns co-ordinator, said: “Cyclists have just as much right to be on the roads as motorists and it is truly shocking to hear how angry some motorists become when they see a cyclist in what they perceive as their space.

“Road rage is never acceptable. That is why the CTC campaigns for a better understanding between all road users.”

amanda.smith@ theboltonnews.co.uk