CYCLISTS are being put in danger as tacks are left on a well-used route into Salisbury.
At least eight cyclists have had their tyres burst by the sharp objects, which were left on the path between the Petersfinger crossing on the A36 and Marshmead Close in Alderbury, which is part of the National Cycle Network.
Cyclist Paul Griffiths found two patches of about 800 tacks scattered across the path after his bike tyre was punctured at the weekend.
He is worried that concerned bike riders will instead end up on the busy A36, which he says is a more dangerous route into Salisbury for cyclists.
“I was planning to cycle down there when someone warned me that several other people had ridden over these tacks,” he said.
“I didn’t want to go on the main road so decided to risk it, and before long a tack had gone into one of my tyres and punctured it.
“Whoever is doing this is being very inconsiderate and putting cyclists at risk.”
A sign advising cyclists to dismount in the area has also been removed.
After hearing of several other cyclists who had also suffered burst tyres, Mr Griffiths returned to the area on Monday with a magnet and brush to try to determine the extent of the problem and sweep up the tacks.
“I thought there might be just a few in the Marshmead Close area but when I got onto the footpath I saw there were hundreds,” he said.
“I had to weigh them rather than count them.
“People need to be warned about this.”
Mr Griffiths is a volunteer for the environmentally friendly travel pressure group Sustrans which supports cycling initiatives.
Sustrans has been campaigning to have a cycle crossing over the A36 to make it easier and safer for cyclists to reach Salisbury from Alderbury.
“Sadly there are tragedies where cyclists are hit on main roads and we need to do all we can to avoid this,” he said.
“Now because of the actions of someone who is leaving tacks on the path, more cyclists might be forced to consider risking it and cycling on the A36.”
Wiltshire Police have been informed about the problem and anyone with information is asked to call 101.