Professor Lesley, in his response to Andrew Wright's plea for environmentally friendly bypasses (NCE last week), seemed to put the view that new roads are never environmentally friendly.
He went on to propose that a Dutch quality bicycle network would replace a significant number of short distance car trips and improve the health of car drivers. But he did not mention the big 'if' factor - if only we could get car drivers out their cars and on their bikes!
As a cyclist with thirty years experience as an engineer specialising in traffic and transport, I fear that even if a bicycle network could be created in the many hilly areas of UK, it would not offer an alternative to a road bypass when dealing with motor vehicle through traffic.
When significant numbers of lorries, vans and cars travel through a town and add to traffic congestion, then surely a bypass must be a practical and trustworthy solution? If, in addition, complementary traffic management measures were introduced to thwart through traffic, improve walk and bus access, introduce bicycle networks and cater for local car movement and parking, then bypasses must be an attractive solution.
If we proceed in this way, we might on a fine summer day even begin to coax some local motorists out of their cars and onto their feet or bikes or even on a bus!
Rennie Witt (M), 'Kempshott', off Wilderness Road, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7QP