Letter: Cycle of safety

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Sir: The letter from Maggie Lloyd (30 January) gives a misleading impression that air pollution from vehicles affects cyclists more than motorists. In fact, despite subjective impressions to the contrary, measurements show that cyclists are less affected by pollution than are motorists, probably because the latter spend so much time in a slouching posture trailing behind other motorists.

These findings are discussed in the British Medical Association's book Cycling: Towards Health and Safety (OUP 1992). The book concludes that even with the Government's gross neglect of cyclist's safety, cycling increases life-expectancy rather than (as generally supposed) decreasing it.

Motorists are more in need of helmets and masks than are cyclists, but also more in need of enlightenment.

Yours sincerely,



31 January