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. . . cheap at the price

Letters

Roy Aylott appears to be particularly dismissive of cyclists' claims to be entitled to be treated as valid roadusers.

He has 'serious doubts that sufficient funds will be available to meet the ever increasing demands of the cycling lobby'. However, 8,000km of the National Cycling Network cost £300M; that is, about the cost of 22km of motorway.

Aylott points out that accidents are due to human error, which is true.

However, he neglects to consider that most cyclists are killed or injured negotiating junctions, and that typical highway engineers of the past have apparently gone out of their way to add junctions to cycle 'facilities'. It is commonplace to make a cycle-lane give way every time a minor road joins that which the lane parallels - something no other user of the road is subjected to.

On the topic of the Highway Code, he implies that cyclists get what they deserve, because they break the law.

Yet every motorway speed survey gives an average in excess of 70mph.

Does he also advocate halting spending on motorways until car drivers demonstrate less 'general lack of discipline'?

Apparently he considers that the cycling community is immune to income tax. Sadly I can inform Mr Aylott that this is not true - cyclists pay tax too, and I believe the upkeep of the road network to be funded from general taxation. Though irrelevant to a debate supposedly considering safety, I should observe that I would gladly pay road tax for my bicycle, providing it is proportional to the damage it does to the infrastructure.

Ian Smith (M), ian@achrn.demon.co.uk

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