ALL available evidence suggests cyclists should not be banned because of the late night shopping which starts tomorrow night.

York should be setting a good example of catering for pedestrians and cyclists, being the top priority to cut road traffic pollution from particulates, ozone, and sulphur dioxide which are estimated to kill more than 20,000 a year in the UK.

Cyclists pose a very small risk compared with motor vehicles - less than one per cent. In 2000 more than 100,000 Britons died from coronary heart disease. Physical inactivity accounts for many of these deaths.

It is more important to encourage cycling, because the benefits outweigh the risks by a large margin.

Shopping now extends after 4pm and cyclists use the city centre at this time without undue problems, so is not justified to ban cycling and cause inconvenience. The city should give pedestrians and cyclists equal top priority, before motors and plan for this.

Colin Clarke,

The Crescent,

Stamford Bridge, York.

...I AM not surprised cyclists prefer to be fined rather than equip their bikes with legal lights; they probably think they will get away with not paying fines as they do everything else (April 5).

It should be interesting to know how many of the 135 have actually paid their fines.

Fining cyclists is not going to work. The only solution would be to impound their bikes and retain them until they came to the police station with lights and enough cash to pay the storage fee.

Mike Usherwood,

Mendip Close,

Huntington, York.

Updated: 10:11 Wednesday, April 16, 2003