A MOTHER has criticised police after her son suffered a broken leg in a 'hit and run' cycle accident and the culprit was not found.

The incident in West Park, Darlington, comes amid growing concern in the town over bikes being ridden in pedestrian areas.

Six-year-old Nathan Dodd was hit by a bike while playing on a footpath on January 24.

The male rider, in his 20s, pedalled off after the accident without checking if the boy was okay.

Police were called to the scene, however Nathan's mother, Vicky Young, said officers later told her they would not investigate because Nathan had been hit by a bicycle rather than a motorised vehicle.

"Nathan's screams were blood-curdling," said Miss Young, 30, from Stanley Crook, County Durham.

"He sustained oblique fractures to his tibia and fibula. We called for an ambulance and he was in that much pain that they called for an air ambulance.

"This has caused a great deal of distress to a little boy but also to our family and he's got away with it - I think it's absolutely disgusting."

The incident occurred as Nathan was playing outside a cafe at West Park village centre while his parents were inside.

Miss Young said the accident was witnessed by a hairdresser.

"The cyclist looked at the hairdresser and then took off when he saw that she was looking back.

"If he had stopped I don't think we would feel the way we do, but he just rode off."

Miss Young, a physiotherapist, said officers looked at CCTV to confirm it was an accident, but did not take statements off the family or the hairdresser.

"I feel the investigation was dismissed before it had even begun," she added.

Durham Constabulary said they were aware of the incident and were examining the force's response.

Councillors recently voted against banning cycling in Darlington’s pedestrian heart following a tragic accident which left a grandfather with life-changing head injuries.

Businessman Brian Coates, 74, suffered serious head injuries and has lost the ability to communicate following a fall in the town centre in September, which his family believe was caused by a group of young cyclists seen nearby who might have startled or struck him.