Let's hear it for bikes – and cars!
I'M coming out and I'm bringing a lot of people with me! Yes, like hundreds of us in Bristol, I am a cyclist with a car. I know it's a lot to take in at first, but it's true. Where do you think we cyclists disappear when the weather's bad? We wrestle the car off the missus, drop the kids to school early and drive to work. How do you think we take our holidays, or get our elderly parents to the doctors or carry the weekly shop for four of us, or even enjoy an evening out dressed in our finest?
I was so fed up reading letters from die-hard cyclists calling motorists morons, and the stubborn drivers calling cyclists idiots that I thought it was time to get out there and confess that, yes, a huge percentage of us have it all, and we're darned lucky.
Why Bristol has to have this them and us approach to traffic, I don't know, but as a cyclist I believe that we should all wear helmets, have front and back lights, stop at traffic lights and observe all traffic signs and not cycle on pavements, as, like a driver, we are in charge of a killing/ maiming machine at speed!
I also would like to see all cyclists carrying paperwork to show that they have passed a proficiency test, which should include lots of questions on the Highway Code. As a driver, I believe that we should be more tolerant of the cyclist, they're entitled to be on the road, give them some room and not yell rude words at them because we're having a bad day. Cyclists please use hand signals (careful), sometimes even I'm baffled as to which way the cyclist in front of me is going, when I'm on my bike.
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Now we're out there, I will say as much as I enjoy my bicycle, I would not even contemplate going into old age without my car, which gives a lot of freedom and comfort.
So, hard-nosed cyclists, bear in mind that one day your knees may ache, your bones will be chilled and the rain will lay you low. Let's give a cheer for the bicycle and the car. I believe that Bristol can cope with both. One word of warning for the future though, once the council has hounded the motorist into oblivion in Bristol and bankrupted retailers and restaurateurs unable to count on parking and business rates, the bike will be the next cash cow, don't be fooled into thinking that Bristol Council is prepared to be "bike friendly" for nothing. I imagine they had their agenda a long time ago and we're all being suckered in.
I WOULD like to add to the ongoing debate over the cycling menace in our city. My wife and I were in the city centre on business (Sept 3). We were patiently waiting on the Marriott hotel side of the pedestrian crossing at the bottom of Park Street. The red light eventually changed to green (no sound warning for the blind). I just stepped out to cross when two maniac cyclists completely disregarded the red light and were a fraction away from crashing into us. I pushed out my arm trying to protect us and nearly pushed the second cyclist off.
We looked back, in time to see them laughing at us. I don't know which is worse, the maniac cyclist on the road or the pavements.
Regarding PC Roger Ibrahim stating that cycling on pavements was a matter of the discretion of officers, no wonder nothing is being done about the problem.
D M Fox
THE letter from Natalie Bennett illustrates the "we are special" status that many cyclists have adopted, not surprising in a "cycling city". The problem is they are still a minority who enjoy road benefits for free have little or no restrictions and believe the highway code is for cars. As a motorist I continually have to stop, swerve and brake to not hit cyclists who ignore traffic lights, cycle in the middle of the road or cross junctions with no regard for their own safety. As a pedestrian I have to have eyes in the back of my head to move quickly when the silent-wheeled warriors attack on the pavements. Cyclists should be taxed and insured and have compulsory safety equipment like lights and an audible warning device. Only then can they start complaining about other road and pavement users.
I AM very concerned about the cyclists on the pavement. I have nearly been knocked down two or three times by the cyclists. I am a frail, elderly woman. I am very concerned about cyclists riding on a pedestrian area. A woman was knocked over by a cyclist on the pavement before, it is very wrong. Please can you investigate this situation as I am very concerned about my own safety while walking in this area.
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