Excessive vehicle journeys need cut

I write in response to the letter ‘Most motorists are decent folk’ (News Guardian, October 16).

I find it extremely difficult to accept from one of your correspondents that a so called ‘keen leisure cyclist’ could be so negative in their response to what I believe was a positive and forward thinking statement from Tom Bailey representing Sustrans.

I suspect such comments have an agenda and probably to do with parking of a vehicle that will be affected.

Unfortunately these days it appears that the British public’s greatest spiritual need is not God anymore, it is ‘where can I park my car?’

There seems to be an emphasis on local tax payers’ resources being wasted on the implementation of a new cycleway in Broadway. Surely any self respecting cyclist would want more than just a white demarcation line painted on the carriageway, which leads me to believe such a leisure cyclist actually cycles very little.

As a daily cyclist I don’t see any respect from motorists for either cyclists or pedestrians.

Try crossing the road at the newly designed junction of Beach Road around Tynemouth Pool and witness how many drivers fail to stop when the lights change.

Don’t believe me, then look at the two sets of bent barrier railings hit by vehicles since they were put in place. Ask daily commuting cyclists how many times vehicles have given them minimal room when passing or near misses from drivers with poor observational skills or questionable driving licence qualifications.

On a sliding scale, motorists should give way to cyclists and pedestrians and cyclists should give way to pedestrians as a basic standard of behaviour.

Cyclists in Holland actually have priority over motorists at junctions and roundabouts, which seems a sensible way forward rather than just painting some white demarcation lines on the carriageway which are completely useless.

Cyclists on shared use footways should slow down completely and respect pedestrians, those that wish to emulate Chris Froome need to revert to the carriageway and stop being arrogant or cyclists will soon lose any respect from anyone. It just needs you to slow down, say excuse me and thank you and watch the positive reaction.

The Broadway is an ideal opportunity to develop further a new attractive cycle route linking to the excellent Beach Road scheme and should be encouraged.

Tom’s attitude is not controversial it is a positive way forward.

Any proposals that will allow more cycling should be both encouraged and supported.

Our heavily clogged carriageways are evidence that there is a stern resistance from many who accumulate multi-ownership of vehicles per property.

Look at our residential streets clogged with far too many vehicles, our pavements and grass areas obstructed by owners who think it is perfectly justifiable to plonk their vehicle as near as possible to their homes, school or business.

Our sensible 20mph zone residential streets that are self enforcing and generally ignored. Again try maintaining a 20mph speed and watch frustrated drivers behind you.

There needs to be a massive change of attitude in this country. I wonder how many vehicle owners actually ask themselves ‘do I really need to use the car for every journey?’

How much more beneficial would it be to walk or cycle instead?

Important choices to rid our streets of excessive vehicle journeys need to be made.

How about a ‘no car day in North Tyneside’ as a start and then watch the long line of excuses why it can’t be done.

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