YP Letters: Time to change direction over money-wasting cycle lanes in Leeds

From: Shaun Kavanagh, Leeds.

The official opening of the Leeds Cycle Superhighway which has been branded as a white elephant by critics.

I HAVE to totally agree with the letter by Clive Newsome of Harrogate regarding all the shortcomings with the Leeds Cycle Superhighway (The Yorkshire Post, August 16). I cannot support the £30m spent on this project when the road networks around Leeds are atrocious. The cost of cycle lanes is a total waste of money and favours few.

I sympathise with cyclists but to spend such a colossal amount (£30m+) on cycles lanes, which are used by very few people, is nothing short of a criminal waste of public money – which could have been far better spent on the road networks.

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Furthermore, cyclists put nothing into the financial pot, whereas vehicle users do.

The unnecessary spend is made even worse by the comments of Mr Newsome when he, a cyclist having ridden over 300,000 miles throughout the UK and Europe, outlines so many flaws with this scheme.

It appears clear James Lewis, the councillor responsible for transport, and his cronies, have “got it wrong”. More concerning, they are to spend many more millions on another similar “white elephant” project.

Please Mr Lewis, have the sense, bottle even, to call off the waste of money developing another cycle lane project and do something for vehicle users by instigating quality repairs to Leeds roads instead of the “cowboy” repairs continually carried out.

Invariably these temporary fixes often require even more extensive repairs because they have not been planned, or completed properly. Your time could better utilised by such a move for the good of thousands of vehicle users, instead of the minority who use cycle lanes.

Mr Newsome tells it as it is, and his fellow cyclist friends the same, so why, Mr Lewis, have the “crazy lanes”, as they should be called, appeared without proper consultation?

I know it will be said that “experts were consulted”, but it would appear that the right people were not asked for their input and advice. It is easy to appreciate Mr Newsome’s observations, as he is extremely experienced and talks from a practical and not a theoretical direction.

For goodness sake, look at saving the city a fortune by using the millions of pounds to be wasted on similar ridiculous schemes such as cycle lanes, and consult Mr Newsome and his experts. Surely it’s not beneath you and your colleagues to change direction when, clearly, you’ve got it so wrong and have already wasted a fortune.