CYCLING: Transport system is inadequate

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I have written to North Tyneside Council a number of times over the years about our increasingly busy roads and lack of investment in cycle tracks. I still remain disappointed by its response to this and feel this issue is never addressed or understood properly.

The use of alternative means of transport in the region is sadly declining.

I am a car driver, but choose to travel to work by scooter or bicycle for fitness and environmental reasons. I want our youth to not have to suffer from our over-use of polluting vehicles.

Unfortunately, the amount of cars on the roads in the region is increasing, drastically it seems. This is worrying for our health, our road system in the future, and our safety.

I know how stretched resources are for the council because we seem to have a government opposed to anything public, but I implore it to act now on this because things can only get worse with population increase and the government’s house-building drive. We need to match this building/baby boom with a suitable transport system, and I don’t mean just widening roads.

On the issue of cycle routes, why haven’t we copied the idea Newcastle City Council has adopted by putting armadillo barriers between cycle lanes and cars? This seems like an easy solution to one problem.

Our cycle routes are not suitable for commuting. The surfaces are, in the main, in very poor condition and not suitable for most bikes, and the good tracks are very short and usually direct you to a busy road or a path which is in such bad condition that it slows you down to a crawl and risks damaging your bike.

I am currently forced to travel up the old Coast Road as it’s the better of two bad routes. I have to travel on the road for much of this journey, and let me tell you, it’s scary, especially in the dark. Drivers often make life difficult for cyclists and don’t understand how scary it is to have a large vehicle speed within inches of you.

Before the old argument of ‘but you don’t pay road tax’ is raised, I’d like to say yes I do, and so do many/most of my fellow cyclists because most of us also own cars and/or motorbikes, but only use them when necessary.

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