I SHOULD like to place on record the situation regarding pedal cycle access around York Racecourse during Ascot.

Your March 22 report which quoted me as "blasting" the city council may have given the impression we are at loggerheads.

This is not the case. I must publicly apologise to council officers concerned if my discussion with your newsroom colleagues has given a different impression. The Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) is now content with the principle of reopening Terry Avenue to taxis, as a "one off" for Ascot.

There remain some concerns about potential conflict in the Millennium Bridge area, with its pedestrian and cyclist users.

We hope to iron out these concerns through a discussion with council officers.

They will then surely recommend an optimum solution for all users. York's council has striven to maintain cycle routes open around the racecourse area.

We understand that where the Sustrans path from Selby crosses the racecourse, this will be closed for periods during each race.

That is exactly what happens at all race meetings. Otherwise, all regular walking and cycling trips to work, school, shops etc will still be possible.

We are naturally disappointed that those residents who may choose to pedal to the Ascot meeting will be unable to.

That mainly reflects the concern of the security services, that a bike bomb may be left lying around!

So York will be deprived of the sight of toppers and tails, on two wheels.

However, residents can help during Ascot week by cycling rather than driving, for some short, local journeys.

Paul Hepworth,

Press Officer,

CTC North Yorkshire,

Windmill Rise,

Holgate, York.

Updated: 09:28 Thursday, March 24, 2005