LETTER: Support safe cycling

I WRITE to support and agree with those who are seeking to promote safe cycling within the Manhood Peninsular.

For many months now the Arun Network U3A cycling group has sought to promote safe cycling facilities, particularly between Hoe Lane, Flansham and Littlehampton.

There is the ridiculous scenario that at the point where the new relief road and the cycle path from Barnham join the existing A259 at Hoe Lane, all cycling facilities end and the speed limit on the A259 changes from 30mph to 60mph.

The problem for cyclists

is that the only cost borne

in mind by those who should be ensuring safety on our roads for all road users is the initial cost.

Like your correspondent of three weeks ago, we too have recently returned from a cycling holiday abroad, our destination was Germany.

There cycling is so well established that, especially for the young and old, cycling is the chosen mode of transport.

It is completely safe and perceived to be safe. The result is that the young head for school on their bikes and the old are not intimidated by traffic, as they are here, and use bicycles to do their shopping, to visit friends and to keep active. Thus local businesses thrive, the older generation stays active for longer and, importantly, remain integrated in their communities. The initial cost of establishing cycling facilities is easily outweighed by reduction in pollution, better health amongst the older generation, flourishing local businesses and enhanced tourism.

In view of the improvements to local infrastructure highlighted in last week’s Observer I appeal to those who bear the responsibility for ensuring safety on our roads to look beyond the initial cost of establishing safe cycle paths and to learn from the example of other countries.

Encouraging physical activity and environmentally-friendly attitudes will, in the long run, save far more than the construction costs incurred. Good habits will be instilled in the younger generation and the older generation will remain integrated for longer in their communities.

Chris Cooper

Vice-chairman Arun West U3A