YP Letters: Cyclists have no right to race on roads

From: Sharon Rudd, Harrogate.

Former Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton at a safe cycling event in Leeds, but do readers need to be taught to observe the Highway Code?

I WAS a passenger the other Saturday afternoon when we turned on to the old A1 – now the A168 – which runs alongside the Allerton Park boundary wall.

There was a large red road sign visible advising of a ‘Cycling Event’. It became clear that this ‘event’ was actually ‘racing’ in that the cyclists were being timed – numerous ‘officials’ wearing high visibility jackets appeared to be recording cyclists’ progress along this stretch of road.

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Aware of the cyclists, my friend drove with care and attention and well below the speed limit for this road.

We carefully passed racing cyclists who had their heads down oblivious to any other road users, until we narrowly avoided a head-on collision with a cyclist overtaking a car coming the other way.

This cyclist was on the wrong side of the road. Cars travelling along the road were having to give the racing cyclists a wide berth on the inside so there is nowhere to go if another cyclist crosses the white lines.

Cyclist after cyclist was – head down – overtaking cyclists in their own lane without even looking behind them!

To the best of my knowledge the Highway Code specifically prohibits ‘racing’ and it is a crime to drive without due care and attention. Cyclists, take responsibility for your own actions! For these ‘Cycling Events’ – cycle racing – road closures need to be applied for to keep everyone safe. It is totally unacceptable to continue to blame all motorists. If cyclists want to race each other and ‘smash’ racing times, they should be on a designated race track or applying for road closures to keep everyone safe.

Challenge car parking costs

From: Amanda Stretton, Motoring Editor, Confused.com.

MANY drivers find parking signage, ticketing systems and stay durations confusing. It’s no wonder private parking firms are finding excuses to issue more and more fines to motorists.

Drivers are being stung with ever-increasing motoring costs, from the cost of fuel being at a 12-month high or pricey car insurance premiums. The last thing they need is over-inflated parking fines.

Our research shows the average driver will rack up almost £10,000 worth of parking charges and fines over a 25-year period – £6,952 of which is spent on car park fees alone.

Those drivers who feel a parking ticket has been issued unfairly should challenge it and report any unclear parking signs to the local council to help other drivers in the future.

No secret meetings

From: Joy Allan, Harrogate.

IT is with growing concern that I read of yet another occasion when Harrogate Borough Council has decided that its discussions will be held behind closed doors and I am pleased Coun Jim Clark sees the danger in this trend.

Regardless of whether or not one feels an application should be granted or refused (and it would seem that there are plenty of reasons for refusal of the application in question), it is unacceptable to the electorate for these discussions and decisions to be made in secrecy.

Leave food firms alone

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

YET again calls are being made (The Yorkshire Post, August 23) for something to be done to stop the rise in Type 2 diabetes. The cause of most such cases is pure and simple – the inability of people to control their intake of unhealthy food.

Surely educational messages should concentrate on this line of prevention rather than expecting food manufacturers or the Government to do something? We are all largely responsible for our own health.

Time to save Venezuela

From: H Santiuste, Coningsburgh Road, Edenthorpe, Doncaster.

HAVING lived on this planet for 80 years, I am appalled by the ineptitude and hypocrisy of today’s politicians in their failure to save Venezuela from economic and humanitarian disaster.

We have a silent Pope; an invisible UN Secretary General; selfish leaders from Russia, America, Cuba, China and Europe all capable of rescuing this stricken nation. Am I the only one who cares?

Threat to our city library

From: Peter Walters, Upperthorpe, Sheffield,

SHEFFIELD’S beautiful art deco central library is under threat, the Labour party having included a pledge to replace it in this year’s manifesto for the local elections.

Sheffield already has a main library, but it needs rejuvenating, as highlighted by the redevelopment plan that Sheffield City Council itself commissioned. This should be the way forward as it probably costs less than building a new library and re-purposing the current one.

Can our Post survive?

From: Tarquin Holman, Marsden Court, Farsley.

I WONDER if the postal services will disappear within the next 10 years? I remember red phone boxes at every street corner, police and AA roadside boxes, switchboard offices and sending telegrams to say we had arrived safe at Scarborough on our holiday.

Now they send a photograph of the hotel by email carried by a phone in their coat pockets. I prefer a personal friendly service. What do others think?