YP Letters: Road rage over cyclists’ right of way

Tour de Yorkshire riders tackle Sutton Bank near Thirsk, but did the race do enough to bring communities together?
Tour de Yorkshire riders tackle Sutton Bank near Thirsk, but did the race do enough to bring communities together?
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From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

COLIN Foster (The Yorkshire Post, May 6) may have thought that his remarks will further the cause of cycling. If so, he is quite wrong. His arrogance towards other legitimate road users merely serves to exacerbate the already growing hostility between motorists and cyclists.

Public highways are not the same as “rights of way”. Try cycling along the M1 and see what happens. Only designated public footpaths, bridleways and ancient drove roads confer an absolute right of way to users on foot, on horseback, or when driving cattle to market.

Vehicles, including bicycles, do not enjoy this historic right, though the latter often mistakenly think they do.

Driving licences do not confer a right to use any road. Vehicle Excise Duty is just a tax on vehicles kept on a public road, not a permit to move along it.

It is true that registration plates will not stop red-light jumping or the use of mobile phones while driving, but they do make identification of the offenders easier.

With the sort of arrogance we have come to expect from the cycling fraternity, Mr Foster apparently thinks cyclists, who also commit these offences, should be granted anonymity. That doesn’t seem fair to me.

Only on one point do I agree with Mr Foster.

By all means create (at their expense) special tracks for cyclists. The further away these pests are from me and my motor car the better. Velodromes are good. Cyclists can play in them all day without inconveniencing other road users. And people with nothing better to do can spend entire afternoons watching them.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

AS an occasional driver and fair weather cyclist, I sympathise with Clive Bailey (The Yorkshire Post, May 6).

His sardonic idea to “close all roads to motorists” brought back memories of the Tour de France, when Harrogate’s roads were closed.

It was blissful; no din; no stink; no jams; no horn-blasting; no blocked footpaths; just people walking or cycling round and actually talking to each other – wonderful.

Recently, someone mentioned a French town centre, where cars are banned at the weekend. Worth thinking about perhaps?

From: Michael Clarke, Kirkbymoorside.

THE Tour de Yorkshire was an excellent way of showcasing the landscape of Yorkshire primarily to Yorkshire residents, but it was a disaster as an exercise in the marketing of the county.

There was no national coverage as the day chosen was already full of other events nationwide and international coverage was to sports networks with little or no interest in the county.

To be associated with a sport mired in controversy since its inception, and still with an undercurrent of a drugs culture, was hardly an association made in heaven.

It succeeded in bringing people together to celebrate a five minute event, but as a long term benefit the vast majority might wonder why we choose to spend the vast majority of the tourism budget on a very insular event.

Fine print of medic contract

From: Mark Strickland, C W Strickland & Son Ltd, Kirkbymoorside, York.

I HAVE seen and read a lot of coverage regarding the new contract for junior doctors.

Until yesterday, I did not know the conditions attached to the existing and proposed contracts. I looked at them on the internet, where they are available for all to see. My impression is that the new contract reduces the maximum hours that are able to be worked, and increases the amount paid for a 40-hour working week.

The existing contract appears to increase the hourly rate of pay for the whole week by a percentage that differs for more overtime worked, whereas the new contract only pays the overtime rate for actual overtime worked.

The new contract also requires doctors to declare how many hours per week are worked privately doing locum work, and requires that the NHS, as the primary employer, are given first refusal on this time.

It seems to me that the message being put out by the doctors that they will have to work longer hours, putting patients in danger, is disingenuous, as they will not be allowed to work as long. They will however be paid less money if they do, and will not be allowed to work privately without telling the NHS. I would like to know the facts regarding the dispute, rather than the biased arguments of the two sides.

Fracking’s consequences

From: David Badham, Manor View, Oswaldkirk.

I HAVE been following your fracking debate in your pages with much interest and I am aware that a decision by NYCC on the Third Energy application to frack a well on its Kirby Misperton site in Ryedale is imminent.

I declare myself to be anti-fracking because of the unknown consequences to our beautiful part of the world and the possible repercussions for future generations.

While travelling in Indonesia recently and, in particular, Central Java, I became aware of a fracking disaster in the Sidoarjo region which occurred in 2006 causing a mud flow which the industry has failed to cap for the last nine years and still continues today.