We object to generalisations

WE would like to reply to the letter ‘Is it any wonder folk get annoyed at the cyclists’ (News Guardian, November 24).

As pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, my wife and I strongly object to the sweeping generalisations and outrageous comments regarding cyclists.

It appears that if cyclists ride on the roads your correspondent castigates them for ‘holding up traffic’, whereas if they cycle on designated shared pathways they are ‘harassing innocent bystanders’.

It would be wonderful if there were a complete network of dedicated cycle paths in North Tyneside to separate cyclists from pedestrians and motorists, but unfortunately this is far from the case.

For example:

1. The provision for cyclists along the seafront between St Mary’s Island and Tynemouth Priory appears totally random. Initially there is no provision on the road leading from St Mary’s Island, then there is a dedicated cycle path along A193 (the Links), although the path on the inland side of the road often has parked cars on it.

When the cycle path ends there is no provision for cyclists until Spanish City, then there is a shared footpath/cycle path to Cullercoats, but with no demarcation between the two.

From here there is no provision at all through Cullercoats, then a shared footpath/cycle path with a demarcation line from Cullercoats to the Long Sands.

Finally, there is a shared footpath/cycle path with no demarcation, and then no provision up to the Priory.

It’s bad enough when you have been cycling this route for 30 years, strangers on the official North Sea cycle route must find it very confusing.

2. If one wants to cycle from Whitley Bay to Silverlink, along Rake Lane, the dedicated cycle lane extends for about 25 yards opposite Rake Lane Hospital. The rest of the time you have to make it up as you go along. Even a few dropped kerbs on the service roads would help.

3. There is no provision for cyclists at all along the A1058 from the Broadway roundabout to the Billy Mill roundabout, despite this being a busy road with two schools and a swimming baths on the route.

The footpath and grass verge are wide enough to include a dedicated cycle path.

4. Parts of the cycle lane beside the footpath along Silver Fox Way are completely overgrown with vegetation, and there is no alternative but to cycle on the road or the footpath.

There is room for improvement in the provision for cyclists in North Tyneside.

In the meantime, we agree that some cyclists are inconsiderate, but to claim this is the majority is ridiculous.

When my wife and I are pedestrians, we make allowances for cyclists, and when we are cyclists we do the opposite.

Finally, we hope your correspondent is just as upset about those motorists who drive their vehicles on the footpaths to park, as he is about cyclists. The damage and obstruction caused by this group of inconsiderate road users far outweighs any caused by cyclists.