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Letter: The Main Focus Should Be On Promoting Cycling In Everyday Life

Published on: 29 Oct, 2013
Updated on: 29 Oct, 2013

Cycle Race ClosuresFrom Keith Chesterton

I agree entirely that Surrey’s main focus should be on promoting cycling as part of everyday life: for travelling to work (short distances); shopping; meeting friends; or enjoying being out on the road. It is a long way from that at present.

Surrey’s draft Cycling Strategy does offer many good ideas about making cycling safer for cyclists. But it offers a lot less actions or money to carry them out. We need a commitment to take action.

One of my children cycles regularly in Sweden but just isn’t prepared to brave the car dominated roads and streets of Surrey to ride here. And there are many other would-be cyclists in Britain like her. Cars are the big problem, not cyclists.

On the issue of cycle racing, Mr Ordish muddles up two things:

  • There’s the big official cycling race held once a year, which (see other letter) does close roads on one day, worth it for such an inspiring spectacle.
  • Then there are the 250 other events he refers to. Some of these are commercial events. They are not races. Surrey police have powers to control races already. However, some riders seem to treat them as if they were races. I have taken part in such events myself, but when there were so few participants, nobody would have known they were on.

There can be problems when these become very large, as I am told some of them are. I have taken part in and organised many long distance walks for the Long Distance Walkers Association. But, after environmental problems from large numbers on one particular Sussex event, we took the decision to place a voluntary limit of 500 on any event we organised. And in some areas we limit numbers still further.

It would be a good idea if those organising larger cycling events also brought in voluntary limits.

But some of the problems are from motorists who complain they can’t drive fast enough when cyclists are there. Cars speeding is the biggest problem both to cyclists and to people like me trying to cross the road safely.

We all have to realise we need to share the road space and behave in a civilised fashion to each other. The biggest responsibility lies with motorists. Cars are a lot bigger, go faster and can do the most damage. Then cyclists need to be equally careful where walkers are concerned. They are then, in turn, bigger and faster.

I hasten to add most drivers and most cyclists do behave responsibly but it only takes a small minority to create serious accidents.

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Responses to Letter: The Main Focus Should Be On Promoting Cycling In Everyday Life

  1. Jeanette Redmond Reply

    October 30, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    What has all that to do with me being prevented from leaving my home to spend the day caring for my elderly father? I don’t mind whether you are a cyclist or a driver, or both, I object to your activities preventing me from leading my life.

  2. Lena Walton Reply

    October 31, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Just what right does a cyclist have to imprison me from 7.00 in the morning till 7.00 at night for their own vanity?

    It’s a punishment for just wanting to get on with my life. A prisoner gets more rights then that. And Lycra clad backsides going up and down is not an inspiring spectacle.

    I also would like to know why cyclists insist on cycling on the wrong side of the road up box hill. I’m not driving Chitty Chitty Bang Bang able to sprout wings and fly over the top of these idiots.

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