Reader letter - Motorists don’t leave room
Regarding Christopher Cooper’s rhetorical question about cyclists being too frightened to cycle on the road (YourViews, 14/11/2019): I’m retired now, but when I commuted daily by cycle from Newark Road around ten years ago, motorists simply didn’t leave enough room for a cyclist between their vehicles and the kerb.
Yes, I used to cycle on the pavement, but would dismount in plenty of time, if my approach was at risk of endangering or alarming a pedestrian: a far cry from the idiots who currently spring from behind at 25 mph, clearing the unsuspecting pensioner by a millimetre.
With a degree of justification, Peterborough has prided itself on being cycling-friendly, but focus has tended to be on weekend-cycling families.
Cycling paths have fallen into disrepair and are no longer always pleasant to traverse, offering overgrowth, fly-tipping and more. Where pavements are split between cyclists and pedestrians, it appears that these have been planned and marked out by people who are non-cyclists. It is my (admittedly idealistic) wish that the cyclist should be able to travel from A to B anywhere in the city without encountering other traffic.
Motorists/pedestrians tend to condemn cyclists, particularly in town: I understand that some areas are closed to cyclists, and in fact I’ve had spectacles knocked from my hand by a child on a bike, while walking on Bridge Street; but I used to cycle home from work through town and do not recall anybody consulting cyclists before much of the centre was pedestrianised: in fact, I’ve still never been offered a clear indication of where pedestrianisation begins and ends.
I’m a life-long non-driver, but one thing is clear: whether I travel by cycle or on foot, when someone else is in a car, on a bike or on foot, it’s me that feels obliged to give way.
Thorpe Park Road