Cycling will always lose out when we share roads with cars

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From: Peter Green, Barmby Road, Pocklington, York.

WHILE it was good to see Chris Boardman encouraging the Government to take a more positive attitude on cycling (The Yorkshire Post, March 29), there were very few actual proposals in the article.

Most people are agreed that regular exercise is beneficial, yet a lot of potential cyclists are put off from either cycling for fun, or using a bike to get to work because of having to share the road with cars.

In cycling facilities, we are miles behind countries like Netherlands, Belgium and, over the past 15 years, Germany. there are three positive steps that could, and should, be taken.

1. Change the indemnity law. Many cyclists are frightened of having an accident with a car, and if 50 per cent of the liability in any collision fell to the motorist, as it does in many European countries, then car drivers would be more careful to avoid bikes, and cyclists would immediately have more confidence.

2. Whenever a new road is made, or improved, then add a cycle lane by law. Sharing the road with cars can be risky, and this would gradually build up a network of cycle lanes.

3. Improve facilities in towns. In our town, the cycle lobby is trying to persuade the local council to create an informal ‘cycling inner ring road’ using housing areas, existing paths and quiet roads. This would join up estates for cyclists, and give safe access to schools, shops and medical facilities.

None of these measures would involve a huge cost, and they could well kick start the cycling revolution that many of us, including Chris Boardman, would like to see.

From: Paul Kilroy, Spennithorne Avenue, Leeds.

THE TOUR de France will be a great boost for Yorkshire. However, there may be harmless opportunists seeking to advertise their businesses but equally, there could be potential for embarrassment: others making political statements, campaigning for causes or advertising ideological positions.

Every yard of the route should be inspected within one week of the start.

Leeds city centre will figure in the build-up coverage. It is therefore imperative there is nothing to disgrace us nor create negative perceptions (eg the Kirkgate Quarter).

This is a gift from France to us and is a clear sign of our standing abroad and, perhaps, of our future as a federated region within the EU instead of a service after-thought of London.