We need to look at the bigger picture

I have read various letters relating to the new traffic arrangements in Earsdon Road with some interest, as from a current traffic engineering background.

I feel that many writers simply look at the current problem from their own personal point of view, ie, the danger of cycling, the long wait at the new lights, the timings etc.

What we need to establish is the bigger picture. I note that some state they have ‘used this road for a decade without any problem’.

But they forget that vehicle ownership levels have dramatically increased in those years, where multi-vehicle ownership per property is the norm.

Indeed, the new estate will attract young families, both needing to work no doubt to afford the mortgage, and using two vehicles in and out of the new estate, not withstanding young adults living with parents that will also contribute to the increased carriageway demands.

The new lights weren’t, as one letter stated, a waste of money; they were probably financed by a developer contribution which was needed to cope with new levels of demand.

If drivers complain about the time waiting at the lights, again, look at the bigger picture, do you need to be using your car every journey?

How many of us (very few I imagine judging by the amount of empty buses and footpaths) think about each journey we make, whether or not we need to use the car.

I note that only two per cent of us commute by cycle, compared to 30 per cent in Cambridge and similar levels in the Netherlands.

We need to address improving these levels and at the same time lower the lack of fitness of our aging population.

I am over 60 and commute by cycle every day, rain and shine.

The journey is not always pleasant, but I consider the risk implications of each journey.

I note that the recent cyclist letter confirms what we already know, that a right turn at Earsdon roundabout is dangerous.

I personally would not attempt that manoeuvre knowing the levels of impatience and tolerance of drivers.

A better solution would be to utilise the off-road cycleway and light controlled crossings from a safety point of view.

Understandably road cyclists will state they can’t ride off-road with 23-inch tyres, but strangely enough, I can and do.

How many cyclists are using the new bypass road cycleway? I see the majority using the road, which rightly annoys drivers.

Referring to the complaint about the new traffic lights and being told they were being monitored by traffic experts. Why is scorn placed on their findings? Does owning a car grant that person detailed highway design knowledge? Would we question in public a doctor’s diagnosis bearing in mind we own our bodies?

People need to look at the bigger picture rather than their own minor niggles.

The Earsdon Road layout will have to cater, no doubt, for the 5,000 other new houses that will continue to be built in the area, even though the roads are oversubcribed already.

Name and address supplied