'Cycling should be encouraged in Northampton...but don't declare war on the motorist'

Letter to the editor

Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 11:16 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 11:20 am
Library picture

Since the end of August, the proliferation of high visibility cycle lane separators (whimsically dubbed “wands”) are eye-catching – but not in a good way.

As a result, almost 60 per cent have been knocked over since installation because heavy lorries with wide loads are unable to get past these “wands” without hitting them.

And emergency vehicles are held up needlessly because there is no place for cars etcetera to move over when stationary.

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If you want to ruin the appearance of a decent residential area, this is the way to do it.

Have the local authorities declared war on motorists?

I don’t believe there are many who would choose to cycle more, even with clearer roads and new cycle lanes. Who would want to cycle to a hospital, for instance, or anywhere unless absolutely necessary on a dark, winter evening?

Yes, bikes do cut down greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants but almost certainly are not the answer to turn transport green.

Nonetheless, cycling should be encouraged for health and exercise reasons.

And Northamptonshire County Council promotes this with Ways Through Waterside with options such as Route 536, which runs on three miles of off-road cycle-way from Beckets Park to Upton, being the most popular choice, or the Norbital Route 539, a safe 18-mile circular off-road route around Northampton.

It is a great way of exploring parts of the town you may not have visited before.

I do hope the local authorities will have a rethink regarding the problems with the new cycle lanes, not least because we need the white-van man and the makers and the doers in cars who we desperately rely on for their services and to keep the economy going, not to be stuck in lengthy traffic jams due to narrowing of roads making room for new cycle lanes.

Rosemary Twelftree

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