Cy­clists are a cause of dan­ger on the roads

The Oban Times - - LETTERS -

Sir, With ref­er­ence to your story about the hunt for a dan­ger­ous cy­clist ( The Oban

Times, June 30), in my ex­pe­ri­ence most cy­clists are con­sid­er­ate and well be­haved, and the very small delin­quent mi­nor­ity aren’t ju­ve­niles or even teenagers but adults who ought to know bet­ter.

They are MOMILs (Mad Old Men In Ly­cra) who spurn cy­cle tracks, race with head down along trunk roads, refuse to wear high-vis­i­bil­ity cloth­ing, care noth­ing for other road users and are a dan­ger to them­selves and oth­ers.

Their be­hav­iour not only causes frus­tra­tion and de­lay but also in­creased fuel con­sump­tion and con­se­quent avoid­able eco­log­i­cal dam­age by the tail-backs they cre­ate for what is, af­ter all, a leisure ac­tiv­ity. It is hard to think of any­thing more self­ish.

We need some changes in the High­way Code and prob­a­bly the law as fol­lows.

Cy­clists should be le­gally re­quired to avoid mo­tor roads and use cy­cle­ways rather than mo­tor roads when­ever pos­si­ble. A case in point is the Sus­trans track from Ben­der­loch to Bar­cal­dine.

Cy­clists who use mo­tor roads out­side 30mph zones should be re­quired to wear crash hel­mets and high vis­i­bil­ity cloth­ing con­form­ing to E471. The min­i­mum should be a gilet, which weighs next to noth­ing and can be ob­tained on­line for around £2. It could prove a life-saver. ‘See and be seen’ is the way to go.

The law should be changed so that it is le­gal to cy­cle along road­side paths out­side built-up ar­eas, ob­vi­ously with due re­gard to pedes­tri­ans (Half­way House to Oban, for ex­am­ple). Many cy­clists al­ready do this and they should be en­cour­aged.

Cy­clists should re­mem­ber that at all times and es­pe­cially on sin­gle-track roads, they have a le­gal obli­ga­tion to al­low faster fol­low­ing traf­fic to over­take safely as soon as pos­si­ble.

John Gosling, Siskin, Bar­cal­dine.

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