Letter of the Day: Not many turned up to Pedal Portsmouth out of 203,500

Portsmouth City Council's first ever Pedal Portsmouth cycling event. ''The event is an opportunity for people to try cycling around four miles of Southsea's roads completely traffic free.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (151553-130)
Portsmouth City Council's first ever Pedal Portsmouth cycling event. ''The event is an opportunity for people to try cycling around four miles of Southsea's roads completely traffic free.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (151553-130)
Grace Hutton after the cut
Pictures by Ellie Pilmoor

Grace, from Cosham, says goodbye to hair in memory of mum while Leanne, from Gosport, did the same for cancer charities

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Sunday, September 27 found many roads in Southsea closed to vehicles so that cyclists could enjoy traffic-free roads in an event called Pedal Portsmouth.

Somewhat reluctantly I have to admire correspondent John Holland’s ability to present numbers to best promote this cause (Pedal Portsmouth, September 29 ).

He tells us that over 3,000 cyclists participated in this event; sounds a good turnout but it is barely 1.5 per cent of the city’s population, which is currently at 203,500.

In this, the most congested city in the country except for London, it is to be expected that casualty figures for all road users will reflect this fact.

However, to quote them as so many per million is rather misleading; a population of a fifth of a million reduces the actual figure for cyclists from 942 down to 188 in 2014 – still too many, but then he gives no supporting data to indicate a) the injuries incurred or b) who, if anyone, was at fault.

Figures for other road casualties in the city would show if cyclists are in greater danger than others when using our overcrowded roads.

Portsmouth Cycle Forum, in a document called ‘A City to Share’, is calling for a whole range of expensive changes to our road network.

If further barring of vehicles from prime routes to allow for exclusive use for cyclists is such an example of their idea of sharing the city’s roads, then I hope common sense will prevail to recognise and protect the true needs of all of us.

Final thought - I can’t help wondering how many/few would have ‘enjoyed’ the empty roads if the weather had been less than perfect?

Liz Tullett

St Andrew’s Road, Farlington