Coun­ter­ing ‘anti-cy­clist rant’

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - AGENDA -

SIR, – David Knight could have taken his time be­fore pen­ning his wordy anti-cy­clist rant (Press and Jour­nal, No­vem­ber 5).

I’ll cite three of its flaws. First, he chose to men­tion the re­gret­table case of a pedes­trian killed by an ir­re­spon­si­ble cy­clist who was rightly pun­ished by the law, but not the far greater num­bers of pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists killed by driv­ers.

Sec­ond, he re­peated the claim that the AWPR will re­duce con­ges­tion and au­to­mat­i­cally im­prove safety on other routes, in spite of abun­dant ev­i­dence that new roads sim­ply in­crease traf­fic through in­duced de­mand. Third, he ad­vanced a bizarre the­ory that

driv­ers make bet­ter cy­clists rather than the in­verse, as in­di­cated by stud­ies show­ing cy­clists process vis­ual in­for­ma­tion faster and are there­fore bet­ter at driv­ing than those who never ride a bike.

The vast ma­jor­ity of cy­clists in this coun­try also drive, thanks largely to trans­port and plan­ning poli­cies that make the car the only prac­ti­cal choice for many jour­neys, fu­elling crises in lo­cal air qual­ity, obe­sity and cli­mate change. Due to the po­ten­tial for con­flict, most cy­clists dis­like shared spa­ces such as Broad Street in Aberdeen.

The cur­rent fudge, like much of Aberdeen, re­flects a lack of both imag­i­na­tion and po­lit­i­cal courage to do some­thing bet­ter. Alan Irv­ing, Red­moss Road, Nigg, Aberdeen

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