Don't deter cyclists

PUBLISHED: 07:10 09 May 2014


At a time when cycling has never been more popular, Exe trail cycle traffic is up to 110,000 journeys a year and we have the Tour of Britain in Exmouth this summer.

What genius of an idea does some of our more forward thinking town councillors come up with? (Journal, April 24).

That’s right, let’s bar cyclists from our town centre, or more specifically bar them from a planned, signposted and carefully designed cycle route that would bring them through The Strand area.

Have these people never visited Cambridge or Copenhagen? Progressive councils the length and breadth of the UK are investing millions on cycle routes and making it safer to pedal our way around towns.

Cities throughout the world, on all continents, are seeing the benefits of cycling and encouraging us to get on our bikes. But Exmouth? It would appear some are blind to just what those 110,000 or more could get from visiting Exmouth town centre.

So why the panic? Well it appears that certain councillors are concerned over the safety aspect. It’s too dangerous they cry.

One particular councillor, who it would appear has never been to Amsterdam, puts the blame on the fact The Strand has cafés, which, when mixed with people and bikes, is just too dangerous a combination to contemplate! What do they expect will happen? Wave after wave of crazed kamikaze cyclists sweeping out of the sun from Manchester Road deliberately crashing themselves into our shop fronts?

They really need to give cyclists more credit – they are not stupid people.

Of course, they will notice they are in a built-up area and therefore slow down.

Heaven forbid that they may actually stop, get off their bikes and spend some time and money our town centre.

Now wouldn’t that be novel?

There are some at Exmouth council who really ought to be careful what they wish for.

If you tell potential visitors often enough that they are not welcome they may just take you at your word and go elsewhere.

Alan Haywood

(via email)

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