September 23: Arrogance of some cyclists a reflection of less polite society

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From: Geoff North, Windsor Mount, Leeds.

IN reply to Mr E Grainger’s (The Yorkshire Post, September 17) which was in reply to my letter of September 12, his comments regarding a separation of pedestrians and cyclists along the riverside walk at Knaresborough would be impractical due to the large number of shops restaurants and toilets on both sides of this path, so pedestrians are moving left and right to visit them.

Any cycle path, therefore, would be constantly being crossed and would defeat its whole object. It could make things worse by encouraging cyclists to travel faster and create a greater hazard.

The comparison with the Tour de France is somewhat invalid as these professional cyclists are on roads cleared of all other traffic and where pedestrians/spectators have been, as far as practical, separated from the cyclists by safety barriers. The need or indeed use of a bell would be totally ineffective at the speeds these cyclists are travelling at. Unfortunately we are seeing now an increasing number of cyclists trying to emulate these professional cyclists by riding at excessive speed in totally inappropriate areas and not fitting mudguards and reflectors, as Mr Grainger has pointed out. Is this going to be a downside of the Tour De France? This trend is against the advice in the Highway Code.

I disagree with the Mr Grainger on his non-use of a bell. The Highway Code recommends a bell should be fitted and surely this is a far more pleasant way of advising other road users of your presence than shouting at them words to the effect of “bicycle” in a loud voice, which is crude and has no semblance of politeness. It suggests a sense of arrogance that the cyclists has the right of way, which he does not, he should be slowing down and preparing to stop when approaching pedestrians from behind. What if the pedestrian is elderly and perhaps deaf.

Elisabeth Baker’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, September 19) reflects, I am sure, the views and experiences of many pedestrians. In my experience, only 10 per cent of cyclists give some type of warning and not the vast majority that Mr Grainger thinks. Why is he so against a bell? This arrogance of certain cyclists is perhaps a reflection, of an inconsiderateness and a deterioration in manners that has been creeping into our society over recent times and if their relation with all other road users on our crowded streets is to be enhanced, a thoughtfulness and courtesy of other people needs to be encouraged.