My bike sat in the shed for years until I finally decided to get it out and use it. I’m not a racing cyclist, I don’t go on long off road cycle rides. I use it for local errands, to go and get the shopping and for the school run. Having got the bike out I realise what I have been missing, exercising in fresh air is still as enjoyable as when I was young and local errands are completed in less time than it would take me in a car.
But there is no denying that the roads are much busier than when I cycled as a child. Some car drivers are great and overtake with care. Others, locked away in their metal safety box, are less tolerant and less observant and unsafe situations result where I end up giving up my right to the road to stay safe.
I have two young children who always cycle the mile to school. We go along some busy roads and to keep safe we have to cycle on the pavements, moving to the verge to avoid pedestrians. However, our pavements are not the safe places we expect them to be. In the last two days two cars have reversed out blindly from driveways obscured by extremely high hedges, missing us by the smallest of margins. Perhaps it’s time for a campaign to maintain hedges to a safe height and for people with difficult driveways to reverse into them so they can come out more safely.
It’s very clear that some roads are not safe places to cycle irrespective of your age. So if we want more people to cycle we need to think about cycle tracks. TTL are currently running a cycle survey, gathering people’s thoughts on which roads are least safe to cycle. We would love to hear your views, so please complete our survey.
Our Transition Tuesday on the 13th December, 7:15pm in Mrs Howard Hall, is called ‘Bring Bikes Back to Letchworth’ and following some short videos on cycling in Scandinavia we will have a discussion on where we could make improvements in Letchworth. All welcome to come and join the discussion.