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A few years ago, police tried to prosecute a cyclist who was not using a similar lane, which was on the opposite side of the road to his journey direction.
He would have had to cross a busy dual carriageway to join the start of the path, then again when the path ended.
The cyclist was supported by the CTC, the national cyclists’ organisation, and the prosecution was overturned.
On most urban cycle lanes, cyclists have to give way at junctions with side roads. Peripheral cycle lanes next to roundabouts require cyclists to give way several times if making a three-quarter turn. For cycle journeys where time is of the essence, many confident cycle commuters will elect to remain on the road, as they are legally entitled to. So will many club riders.
The situation is reversed in countries such as Holland, where cyclists get priority in the situations that I have described. The Skelton path suffers from encroaching vegetation, while closer to the A1237 underpass the surface is not good in places.
The underpass was funded by the Department for Transport, as part of an agreement to de-trunk the A1237 and hand over its upkeep to City of York Council.
Paul Hepworth, Press officer, CTC North Yorkshire, Windmill Rise, York.
WITH reference to the letter from Phil Thomas, the reason cyclists are forced sometimes to ride in the road instead of the cycle paths are:
1. Have you ever seen the potholes and drain covers which can damage our cycle wheels?
2. Some of the off-road cycle paths have glass all over them, plus dog walkers and pedestrians who do not always look where they are going.
So unless Phil actually rides a bike, he needs to see it from a cyclist’s point of view, not just as a car user.
Allan E Gaunt, Navigation Road, Walmgate, York.
IN REPLY to Phil Thomas (“Why don’t cyclists use proper paths?’’, Letters, August 22), there is no more obligation on cyclists to use cycle paths where they are available than there is for him as a driver to drive on a motorway when there is one.
Cyclists are free to use their own judgment about whether they are better off on a cycle path or the road. The poor design of many cycle routes means that in many cases the best choice is, indeed, the road. Mr Thomas classes himself as a driver and makes no mention that he ever cycles. Perhaps he should restrict himself to pronouncing on subjects he knows something about.
In fact, faster cyclists should use the road and not off-road cycle routes. The Department for Transport says so, having issued guidance to cyclists, which reads “if you want to cycle quickly, say in excess of 18mph/30kph, then you should be riding on the road”. As it is a great many so-called cycle ‘‘facilities’’ are not safe to use – even at half that speed.
Adrian Setter, Barnfield Way, Copmanthorpe, York.
I’D LIKE to explain to Phil Thomas why I will use cycle paths when safe to do so and use the road as I’m allowed to, when and where I want.
Although I don’t wear Lycra, but do sensibly wear a helmet, I’m a speedy cyclist and often carry loads. Sometimes cycle tracks just aren’t suitable for fast or heavily laden cyclists, and it’s perfectly legal for any cyclist to use the road for whatever reason.
I could pinpoint several dozen places where a cycle path crosses a side-road, meaning that the cycle path user has to stop and give way to traffic on that road, rather than have the right of way if using the main carriageway. Additionally, there are several places where cycle paths are short or are obstructed by street lights, road signs etc.
Regarding the underpasses which allow cyclists and pedestrians to avoid roundabouts on the ring road, these are great if going straight on.
However, if I turn right or left at roundabouts, I use the roundabout like any other vehicle.
I trust these simple facts will allow Phil to stop being maddened by cyclists who use the road in a normal way.
John Cossham, Hull Road, York.
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