Letter: Jostling for space on the towpath

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The Independent Online
Sir: This country already has a wonderful network of cycleways; it is wide and smooth, goes everywhere and is called the national road network. The trouble is the Government and highway authorities have for many years designed and maintained this network with only one type of user in mind: the fast motor vehicle.

What paltry thought is given to cyclists largely takes the form of getting them off the road onto bumpy "trails". At least the National Byway scheme appears to recognise that cyclists are neither horses nor pedestrians on wheels. But, like the Sustrans national network, it appears aimed at providing a leisure, rather than transport, facility. How many new car journeys - bikes hooked on the back - will they generate?

The real need is for bicycles to have equal access to ordinary roads and streets, for ordinary everyday travel. Then the bicycle can fulfil its potential for reducing pollution, increasing the fitness of the nation and increasing personal freedom and mobility.

C PADLEY

Market Rasen, Lincolnshire

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