Laying down a challenge to Heath cycling report

Far from being objective, the conclusions of the report by independent consultants are based on false premises (Report deals a bitter blow to Heath cyclists, H&H January 10). The two principal criteria for assessment are width of path and flow of walkers

Far from being objective, the conclusions of the report by independent consultants are based on false premises (Report deals a bitter blow to Heath cyclists, H&H January 10).

The two principal criteria for assessment are width of path and flow of walkers/ cyclists.

By its own admission, the report recognises that ''there is little guidance on appropriate measures... for shared use'' and that ''there is no major piece of work that has been done''.

This might have something to do with the enormous range of possibilities that could create or avert a collision coupled with a common sense approach.


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Just as a pedestrian may step on to the grass to allow a cyclist past on a narrow path, a cyclist may have to stop dead on a wide path to allow for the meanderings of a small child or even a dog, off the lead.

Just as at times a path may be busy and cyclists have to be slow and wary, at others a path may be empty. The harmonious use of the narrow tow path by the Regent's Canal illustrates how nonsensical the chosen parameters are.

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This leads on to the second premise, that of utilisation or flow. This was measured in a very limited way, ignoring winter usage and term time during the day. Had these been taken into account, the usage statistics would probably show far less usage. What harm would a lone cyclist or even a rally cause on an otherwise empty Heath?

Then look at the implications of enforcement (not covered at this stage). Does it make sense to employ full time enforcement officers at times of limited usage, regardless of the size of the penalties that have been aired ad nauseam here, in previous correspondance?

The report quite correctly draws attention to the issue but I challenge its authors to defend the proposals based on realistic and comprehensive findings.

Alex Shinder

Nassington Road, NW3

What is this? The cycle routes examined are all judged to be unsuitable for shared use except the route that covers the steeply downhill path between the Cafe and the Lido?

This being the path where nobody wants to cycle up, but everyone wants to freewheel down? What kind of reasoning do these consultants subscribe to? I'd love to know.

joss

Caversham Road, NW5

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