From: Howard Bannister, Hutton Lane, Levens, Cumbria.
THERE are very valid reasons why cyclists should continue to be able, legally, to decline to use cycle paths, despite the views expressed by recent letter writers in The Yorkshire Post.
Too many of such paths are simply the result of box-ticking exercises by local government with little thought given to their design and no money spent on maintenance.
Many begin and end suddenly and without logic or sufficient warning. Those paths running alongside main roads frequently give way to minor roads and even private driveways, or the priority is left dangerously unclear.
Shared paths, in particular, can be too narrow to pass walkers safely, or are rendered so by overgrown verges. Even where shared paths are clearly divided by a white line, walkers (and I include myself) tend to wander across it. In short, most paths were not designed to accommodate sporting or club cyclists and are, consequently, not fit for that purpose.
Furthermore, cycle paths are not “swept” by passing motor traffic so broken glass, thorn clippings, loose gravel and general litter remain on the surface and are very rarely removed. Such paths are also seen by the less law-abiding as useful places to park, dump waste materials or drive livestock.
For the above reasons, many cycle paths can be particularly hazardous and/or impractical when riding a lightweight machine at say 20mph, albeit less so for sedate recreational cyclists on more robust and puncture-resistant bikes.
Finally, as a keen walker, I would not be at all happy to see groups of sporting or club cyclists bearing down on me on a shared path and either passing at their normal speed or (due to the inherent instability and being unable to control lightweight bicycles at very low velocity) trying to slow down to near walking speed to do so.
Clegg wrong on migrants
From: David Cook, Parkside Close, Cottingham, East Yorkshire.
SO Nick Clegg is unequivocal: “Freedom of movement between European states is a good thing.” He could also have added “Especially if you’re a Latvian with 15 children!”
Someone should tell him we are a tiny island in a big world. Our roads are already seriously overcrowded. Hospitals are struggling to cater for the numbers imposed upon them. There is a grave need for more houses to be built. The railway system is priced to discourage travellers. Many schools have difficulties with a variety of non-English speakers. Sadly all these problems can only be aggravated as our population increases. The last thing we need is more people, we have too many already, thousands without jobs.
He also states membership of the EU is necessary for goods to flow between nations. Why? Surely Mercedes will still want to sell us cars whether or not we are members? Likewise France has endless dairy products to dispose of and Italy will be happy to supply all the wine we can drink. We also need total control of our borders now with the right to send foreign criminals back home no matter how many pets they have here!
Tech Mayors defy logic
From: David M Loxley, Hartoft, Pickering.
YOUR article “Elected mayors ‘key to tech hopes’” (The Yorkshire Post, August 14) is a prime example of the stupidity of inverting the simple logic of cause and effect with wrongly defined attributes. Perhaps we might blame the election of police and crime commissioners on the increasing plethora of electricity-generating windmills?
Good Lord, that’s costly
From: Karl Sheridan, Selby Road, Holme on Spalding Moor.
I WAS quite staggered when I heard that the House of Lords is full to overflowing – even more staggered when it comes to light that they can claim £300 per day for attending (Betty Boothroyd, The Yorkshire Post, August 9).
I agree that the House of Lords does good work to a degree in preventing some of the sillier aspirations and legislation that the Commons try to get through, but do we really need all these Lords and Ladies? More to the point as taxpayers, should we not be questioning the huge financial drain on our finances that these peers receive especially as they can carry on claiming until they pop their clogs?
The fact that they receive a life long peerage for their service (sometimes questionable) is fine, but maybe put in a caveat that being a member of the House of Lords ceases when the age of 75 is reached? This would allow fresh blood to preside rather than decisions being made by folk too old to understand the reality of modern life. It would also save the country a considerable sum of money!
Make killers pay the price
From: Trev Bromby, Sculcoates Lane, Hull.
IN the last 100 years millions of soldiers and civilians alike have suffered for men who have never faced a court – Kaiser Bill, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Bush and Blair, and cronies. Lest we fail to prosecute the men guilty of crimes against humanity, more will follow.