I have just read Mr Beale’s diatribe (Obey the rules, letters, September 21) about cyclists. It is mostly incorrect, so can I put him right?
I am a cyclist (I gave my car away when I realised it was doing about 1,200 miles a year and I was doing 6,000 on my bike).
I no longer do that much as I am unable to, due to being born in 1931 and feeling my age.
All the local councils do not assist cyclists as they all make the cycle paths subservient to any side road where it joins a main road.
Classic examples of this are at Broadmarsh, Havant and the new path along Northern Parade in Portsmouth. These are both main routes for everyone, but if you use one as a cyclist then you have to stop/give way at every side turn. This is not the case if you are in a car.
So why would cyclists use them if they want to get anywhere? However, when I ride on any path where the crossing point on a side road is set back from the main road, then I have to cut through the stationary traffic waiting to exit on to the main road because they are blocking the crossing point.
Is that weaving through traffic? This would not be the case if the path (with priority) just continued alongside the main road.
The only other times I pass stationary or slow-moving traffic on the inside (which I am allowed to do) is when I am on a cycle path which is on the road.
But this is very often blocked by cars that have just overtaken me and pulled on to the path, instead of staying on their part of the road.
All cyclists have a number on their bikes. It’s on the bottom bracket area, so you will be able to find it when you knock one down.
Recently that was nearly me as I was on the cycleway at the northbound Eastern Road junction with the A27 roundabout when the lights changed and I slowly started over the carriageway when I noticed a car still speeding towards me.
I managed to stop or I would have been hit by one of your perfect motorists jumping the lights.
Cyclists are also fined for, as Mr Beale says, ‘indiscretions’, so no change there.
Nearly all motorists that I know still think that they pay a road tax, but Churchill did away with that about 90 years ago. The car tax you pay does not go towards the roads, but just into the general government funds. So you have not bought the roads, although you think you own them.
As for insurance, the authorities think that above 10 per cent of cars are uninsured so you are not all good boys.
The going rate for killing cyclists or pedestrians until recently has been £200 – and they can go out the next day and do it again.
I think that’s changing soon, I hope.
S K Ginger