Letter: Economical and British-made , too

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The Independent Online
From Mr Neil Hollow

Sir: Virginia Bottomley is being more than slightly disingenuous ("Big money goes to small projects", 12 September) in saying that "to build 2,500 miles of the cycle routes is not something the Government would have been able to do". As the analysis article pointed out, building cycleways is only a fraction of the cost of building motorways. No, the truth is that this Government has, until very recently, been in love with the car and considered cycling the domain of the poor, anoraks and students. It shows some very early signs of beginning to break this link, but still no signs of introducing an integrated transport policy.

The advantages of cycling were well made in the news analysis ("Can pounds 42 make Britain a nation of cyclists", 12 September); there is, however, another economic advantage other than those mentioned. There is still a large British cycle manufacturing industry left, much of it British- owned (unlike the car industry), producing some funky kit designed with this climate in mind (not California). Cycle manufacture, it should be pointed out, uses less energy than making a car. So, in cycling, people could be protecting British jobs and the environment.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Hollow