Streets need to be more civilised places for cyclists

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I WRITE in reply to the letter (News Guardian, January 27) ‘Pedestrians in need of protection from cyclists’.

Perhaps surprisingly the Newcastle Cycling Campaign would tend to agree with Mr Pickles’ observation that at least half of people seen on bicycles in and around North Shields are on the pavement, although we would doubt many would see themselves as ‘cyclists’.

The people Mr Pickles sees weaving along his pavement are local people going about their business who are too scared to use the roads.

North Tyneside needs more of its citizens using their bikes to get to local shopping centres like North Shields.

The alternative of ever growing traffic tailbacks at Silverlink as our towns fill with boarded up shops and our children’s health deteriorates is not pleasant.

North Tyneside needs an active cycling campaign pushing for our town centres to be redesigned in ways that make them safe and attractive places to be for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Newcastle Cycling Campaign wants to work with local businesses, government, schools, pedestrian groups like Living Streets and even Mr Pickles to improve our neighbourhoods.

Surprisingly the 40 people killed on UK pavements and verges each year in traffic accidents are not the victims of irresponsible cyclists, but instead are part of the annual toll from motor traffic accidents.

Make our streets more civilised places and you will see less bikes on pavements.

T BAILEY

Newcastle Cycling Campaign