All road users need to respect each other

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Monday 19 September 2016 16:09 BST
Around 75 per cent of fatal or serious cyclist accidents occur in urban areas
Around 75 per cent of fatal or serious cyclist accidents occur in urban areas (Getty)

As a commuting cyclist and weekend driver I understand that we all have to share the road: most drivers and cyclists do a very good job of it. Most drivers are polite and respectful to cyclists, and most cyclists very law abiding and understanding in return. I do see the odd cyclist slipping through red lights, usually very tentatively and not causing any problem to anyone. On the other hand I am regularly faced with illegal driving that does cause risks to others.

Why are vehicle drivers obsessed by cyclists and red lights? I agree we should all stop at red lights but why is it OK for drivers to stop on the advanced cycle lanes (Rule 178), to park on yellow lines (Rule 238), to park within 10 meters of a junction (Rule 243), to park on a pavement (Rule 244), to not give priority to people crossing side roads (Rule 170), to park on school zig-zag markings (Rule 238) and to drive above the speed limit (Rule 124)? All of these risk the safety of other road users much more than a cyclist tentatively slipping through a red light.

In response to Sean O’Grady’s objection to helmet-cams. Firstly, there is a massive market on dash-cams so cyclists are far from alone on this. Secondly, I don’t currently wear a helmet-cam but am close to buying one purely to record the evidence of the roughly monthly road rage from drivers who feel they have the right to be aggressive and abusive in response to any slip of my rule abidance or, most often, for just existing.

While I totally agree it is too dangerous out there and I am very frustrated that it is unsafe for my children to cycle to school, “Get off your bikes” is no solution to urban congestion nor the fitness crises gripping the NHS. We need a much more enlightened policy on shared road use.

Mark Dunlop

The Lib Dems have a real chance of a comeback

I do not want any packs or deals with rival Political Parties, to unseat the Conservatives.

The Liberal Democrats are thankfully different from Labour, The Greens, SNP and so on. Whereas, I suggest, many Conservatives are in fact quite Liberal, and it is for them to defect.

The Liberal Democrats have to win as many Constituency seats as possible. Not hand any away, to another Party who are also anti-Tory.

The Liberal Democrats need to encourage more new members to the Party, and defections, from both of the centre ground Conservative and Labour supporters.

UKIP are now finished.

Prime Minister Theresa May is not going to find any help from the EU, to secure a deal which suits her. We, the UK, are on the brink of isolation.

Unless her small majority, in our Government, is reduced to the point that a “vote of no confidence” could be passed, and then an early General Election, before Article 50 is triggered.

Messrs Johnson, Fox and Davis are not going to present us with any package that would be workable, outside of the European Union.

The Liberal Democrats have everything to play for, without being dragged down by rival opposition Parties.

Richard Grant

Who is Lord Kinnock?

Here we go again. Lord Kinnock rolled out on BBC TV in order to criticise Jeremy Corbyn’s likely continuing leadership of The Labour Party. Corbyn is unelectable, he argues. Ok, we get it.

But Mr Kinnock forgets that he personally led Labour to two disastrous electoral defeats in 1987 and 1992. In an era of Tory recession, high unemployment and high interest rates, Kinnock still managed to make the Labour party completely unelectable. Criticise Corbyn if you wish, but he has not yet contested a general election nor lost one.

Nor as he danced infamously upon Brighton beach, falling into the sea, and just days before a general election he was expected to win.

Paul Dodenhoff

We should let private schools become grammars again

I take Rosie Millard’s point about the end of the private school, but she should remember that quite a few of them used to be grammar schools, albeit under the direct grant system. Would she object to them regaining that status? Clever children who couldn't afford their services would find their doors open. Of course, the un-chosen would still be cast into outer darkness.

Dr Jo Russell

Prostitution is not a viable career path

Strange things happen in our modern world, but I cannot see that “my wife/ daughter/ sister is a prostitute” (insert gender term as required) has quite the ring to it that any normal person desires.

They might struggle to attract unpaid interns too.

Michael Mann

Brussels’ actions show why we voted for Brexit

The EU leaders can have a summit without the UK being present but the UK cannot discuss possible trade deals. I voted remain, but it is such nonsense coming out of Brussels that drove some of the Brexit vote.

Graham Seaton
Leighton Buzzard

An open letter to Boris Johnson

We the undersigned write further to our to demand in the strongest possible terms that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office brings every possible pressure to bear on the authorities in Saudi Arabia to ensure the safe return of Amina Al-Jeffery to the UK without delay.

On Wednesday 3 August 2016, Mr Justice Holman, Judge at the Family Division of the High Court, ordered that by Sunday 11 September 2016 Amina’s father permit and facilitate her return to England and Wales and pay the air fare. The deadline has passed and Amina and has not returned. Mr Al-Jeffery is therefore in breach of the court order.

Amina Al-Jeffery, is a 21 year old British national who grew up in Wales. Under instruction of her father and not “of her own free will” she was taken to Saudi Arabia when she was 16-years-old. She has since been held “under constraint from her father”, with “constraint upon her means of communication with the outside world” and is being “prevented by her father” from leaving Saudi Arabia. She has described being held in inhumane conditions, being physically abused, deprived of food and water and refused permission to use the bathroom.

Mr Justice Holman recognised that the Saudi Arabian authorities will not protect Amina, stating that if Amina “were to run away, the police far from offering her protection from her father, would put her in prison”. Significantly, Mr Justice Holman also said: “This British person does require protection…and she is currently in a peril from which she requires to be rescued”.

Given that that Amina’s father has failed to respond to the court order, it is imperative that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office now acts without delay to ensure that British Citizen Amina is immediately safeguarded and returned.

Diana Nammi, Executive Director, Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO)
Cris McCurley, Partner at Ben Hoare Bell Solicitors LLP
Vivienne Hayes MBE, CEO Women’s Resource Centre
Dr. Phyllis Chesler, Emerita Professor of Psychology, Author, Activist
Nasreen Rehman, Rights' Activist and Historian
British Muslims for Secular Democracy
Umme Imam, Executive Director, The Angelou Centre
Shahda Khan MBE, NE CEDAW/ Women's Network
Polly Neate, Chief Executive, Women’s Aid
Donna Covey CBE, Director AVA (Against Violence and Abuse)
Maryam Namazie, spokesperson, One Law for All
Eleri Butler, CEO, Welsh Women’s Aid
Pragna Patel – Director of Southall Black Sisters
Carolina Gottardo, Latin American Womens Rights Services (LAWRS) 
Shamshad Iqbal, Senior Domestic Abuse Advocate, Angelou Centre
Parveen Akhtar, Senior Domestic Abuse Advocate, Angelou Centre
Rosie Lewis, Deputy Director, Angelou Centre
Zlakha Ahmed MBE, Cheif Executive Apna Haq
Estelle du Boulay, Director, Rights of Women
Gita Sahgal, Director, Centre for Secular Space
Gwenda Nicholas, President NCWGB
Gina Khan, OneLaw for All spokesperson, women's rights activist
Anne Jones, Domestic Abuse project worker Bangor Womens Aid
Jatinder Kaur Bahra, Educator/Advocate for Partnership in Ending Harmful Practices.
Pam Saleem, Housing Services Manager Ashiana Network, London
Julia Hobbs, Chief Executive, Glyndwr Women's Aid
Lynne Sanders, Director - Swansea Women’s Aid
Dr Amanda L Robinson, Reader in Criminology & Co-Director of Research (Impact), School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
Helen Swain, Chief Executive Officer, Cyfannol Women’s Aid
Karen Ruskin, Head of Fundraising and Communications, Solace
Dr Joanne Payton, Researcher and Women's Rights Activist
Deeyah Khan, Filmmaker, Founder of Fuuse
Mutale Merrill OBE, Chief Executive, Bawso
Rhian Bowen-Davies, National Adviser for Violence against Women, other forms of Gender-Based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
Emma Boyd Women’s Rights Advocate
Rashid Begum, Solicitor
Zarin Hainsworth, OBE, Chair of NAWO
Mandip Ghai, Solicitor, Senior Legal Officer, Rights of Women
Sarah Green, Co-Director, End Violence Against Women Coalition
Dr Adrienne Barnett, Lecturer in Law, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Brunel Law School and member of the Advisory Group of Rights of Women
Claudia Belem –Domestic Violence Advisor
Annette Lawson OBE, Ambassador, NAWO
Jade Quirke, Solicitor, Hodge Jones and Allen LLP.
Mary Mason, Chief Executive Officer, Solace Women’s Aid
Olivia Piercy – solicitor and legal officer – Rights of Women
Gudrun Burnet, Director, Salus Specialist Training.
Dr Maddy Coy, Reader, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University
Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, Research Fellow, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University
Yvonne Traynor, CEO, Rape Crisis South London
Aliyah McQueen, Senior IDVA, Victim Support
Dr Damian McCann. Consultant Family Psychotherapist, Barnet CAMHS NHS Trust
Sophie Rowan, Young Women and Girls’ Advocate, NIA
Kim Wallace, Referral and Information Officer, Housing for Women
Siddiqa Chowdhury, BME DVA Floating Support Worker, Supporting Communities
London Borough of Camden
Cllr Reema Patel, London Borough of Barnet
Holly Thomas, Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisor, Camden Safety Net, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Tanya Tracey, Advocate, NIA

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