‘Right’ way to use the estuary trail

PUBLISHED: 07:05 30 May 2014

I am writing in response to the letter from R Ormerod about the problems he has encountered on the estuary trail (“Cyclists put me off estuary path”, Opinion, May 22).

I completely agree that the enjoyment of this splendid amenity is all too easily spoilt by the selfish and unthinking behaviour of the few.

It is up to all users to be considerate to others and I include not only cyclists but pedestrians, dog walkers, pram pushers and mobility vehicle users.

The estuary trail is on Sustrans route two, which runs from Cornwall to Kent, and it may be of interest to quote from the Sustrans website the following comments on shared-use paths:

“Many young, elderly and disabled people benefit from shared paths. They provide valuable opportunities to travel in a traffic-free environment, and to relax and unwind.

“We all have responsibilities for the safety of others we are sharing space with.

“It’s important not to startle other people, particularly those who are frail or who have reduced sight, hearing or mobility.

“The tranquillity of these paths is something people value greatly, and all path users need to respect this.

“Cyclists tend to be the fastest movers on these paths, but the paths aren’t suitable for high speeds so it’s important to keep cycling speed under control.

“Remember they are for sharing, not for speeding. If you wish to travel quickly, train for fitness or record personal best times, this is better done on quiet roads.”

May I add a suggestion which may help R Ormerod and anyone else who has the same concerns?

If you don’t already do so, try walking on the RIGHT, as advised by the Highway Code when on a country lane with no pavement, then any cyclist following you and keeping left (as even the most aggressive riders will do) will pass safely by and you will be facing those approaching from in front of you.

This avoids the need to be continually looking over your shoulder and may result in a more relaxed outing.

As a cyclist I have noticed that many walkers already do this and it really does seem to help everyone.

John Petty

(via email)

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