Yes, let’s get the balance right

I was interested to read the anti-cyclist diatribe spouted by Graham Milward in the Journal and felt minded to comment on his opinions regarding cyclists. Both on The Esplanade route and on the Exe Cycle Trail.

I was interested to read the "anti-cyclist diatribe" spouted by Graham Milward in the Journal and felt minded to comment on his opinions regarding cyclists. Both on The Esplanade route and on the Exe Cycle Trail.

Firstly, Mr Milward informs us that some cyclists are "aggressive and rude".

Obviously, because we dare to use the cycle path marked out for cyclists along the seafront. The clue, Mr Milward, is "cycleway", the definition being "way for cyclists" as opposed to "footpath", ie for "those on foot".

Sadly, a large number of those on foot are unable to cope with the concept of walking either in a straight line, or within a constrained boundary as marked.


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Therefore, it is obviously the fault of the cyclist, if a walker decides to use the cycleway and also the fault of the cyclist if he or she is forced to veer on to the footpath to avoid the walkers. A bit of a double edged sword, don't you think?

Then we have the dog walkers, some of whom seem happy to allow Fido to run off his lead or deposit IED's, (Immense Excrement Droppings) at random for the cyclists to avoid whilst perambulating peacefully along the esplanade.

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Mr Milward writes about the speed of the cyclists in their Lycra. Trust me, Mr Milward, I wear Lycra, it isn't a pretty sight.

Perhaps I need a man in a top hat and tails walking ahead of me waving a red flag, to warn those with an inability to exercise their ears and eyes, before leaping, lemming-like into my path. People's choice of cycling wear has no bearing on their speed whatsoever. Please Mr Milward do not pick on cyclists who wear Lycra, just because it fits your small-minded, stereotypical view of the "aggressive cyclist"!

Then ding-a-ling!, the good old cycle bell gets it in the neck from Mr M... anyone would think that a bell was a legal requirement on a cycle and they were designed to assist the rider to inform other road/cycleway users of their presence.

Oh no, not in Mr M's utopian cycle free walking world they are not. Those nasty violent and abusive cyclists "ring their bells", when "pedestrians, including children, get in their way"... Shock horror!

I must remember, next time I cycle to the Redwing for a pint, if someone steps in my way, I won't ring my bell to warn them I am there, I will just "mow them down", because I wouldn't want to be regarded as rude or abusive. God forbid, that anyone would think cyclists had any right to be on the Exe Cycle Trail at all!

How misguided I was, when I read that the Cycling Charity Sustrans, in partnership with Devon County Council and other agencies, was going to create an estuary-side cycle route, to link Exeter and Exmouth.

I stand corrected by your educated lecture, Mr Milward. For it is obvious from your attitude what your idea of "getting the balance right is" and it certainly won't be tipping the way of the cyclist.

Perhaps, as you feel so strongly about cyclists using "cycle routes", you could let us know why walkers feel unable to use the "footpath" which runs beside the estuary? You know, the path that is for people on "foot", made expressly for people on foot and part of the massive network of footpaths that exist in this country. The number of which far outweighs the minuscule number of dedicated "cycle paths" that exist...... On reflection, maybe it is time to "get the balance right"!

Ian R Woolger,

16 Otter Court,

Budleigh Salterton.

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