Mrs J Green, Leeds
It was interesting to note your article of July 3 about the rights of cyclists, and also Phillip Marsden’s letter of the same date.
I find it somewhat unfair on motorists who have to pay tax and insurance and ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy before they can take to the road. They have several other hurdles to overcome not least the narrowing of the carriageway to allow for the cycle ways, the bus lanes, traffic calming and other road furniture. It seems that the cyclist does not have any such restrictions, no requirement to show any identity, he need not produce insurance. Apart from couriers and people who use their bikes for travelling to work their use is mainly recreational.
As Phillip Marsden observed in his letter, they do hold up other traffic taking up the middle lane sometimes two abreast.
I find it shocking that cyclists are not compelled to make use of the new £29m cycle ways considering the upheaval and delays caused to everyone by their conception. If they become littered who is responsible for their maintenance, surely this should have been considered during the planning stage?
The question now is who else could make use of them if the cyclists prefer jousting in heavy traffic? It is a lot of money down the drain for a white elephant. Today I travelled from Seacroft to Bradford and didn’t see one cyclist on the cycle path, three or four parked cars, but no bikes.
So for all the would-be Wiggins, you are on to a good thing, although I’m not sure about the healthy lifestyle since you will still be breathing in noxious fumes from the tax paying motorised vehicles on the road, including buses and HGVs who need all the space they have left. They have to abide by the rules, no red light jumping or pavement riding for them, and speeding is impossible when ambling behind a trail of cyclists at 20mph.
Bikes are best
Paul Annis, by email
Philip Marsden (YEP Letters, July 3) states that bicycles are not an effective form of transport.
First, he complains that a bicycle takes up as much road space as a car; this is manifestly untrue. Occasionally, to avoid hazards on the left, or to move out in order to make a right turn, a cyclist needs to move to the right and occupy the whole lane, but most of the time cyclists are out of the way of drivers.
Mr Marsden’s next claim is that “a car does not hold up traffic”. Does he really expect anyone to believe this? Cars often hold up traffic, as do buses, vans, heavy goods vehicles, and all other classes of road user.
Mr Marsden says that “it is common to see a single cyclist heading a queue of traffic hundreds of yards long”. On all the occasions when I have seen such a phenomenon, the queue of traffic was already there, because it was a busy time of day, and the cyclist had simply worked his way up to the head of the queue by filtering past the slow-moving cars.
Mr Marsden also claims “it is not possible to do a weekly shop with a bicycle”. This is news to me: I have been doing a weekly shop with my bicycle for the last fifteen years. In the course of Saturday morning I visit eight or ten shops and the public library as well. I use a large external frame backpack in which I can carry more than 15kg. Some cyclists use pannier bags or a trailer to increase the amount they can transport.
My bicycle is certainly a highly effective form of transport: much faster than bus travel, much cheaper than car travel, and far more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly than either of those alternatives.
Mick Kenworthy, via email
I fully agree with P Rhodes comments about Greg Mulholland.
This gentleman should not be lost to politics - he is one of the few gentlemen who is true to his word and we need him back.
We’re not united
Upper Rodley Road, Leeds.
Comments from Alan Shipman highlight how disunited our supposed ‘United Kingdom’ is.
We have one Head of State and one UK Parliament at Westminster, yet in Scotland and Northern Ireland some laws are quite different.
In fact, the only unity that exists is on taxation with Income Tax, VAT, VED, and duties on petrol, alcohol and tobacco etc charged the same throughout the UK - the big difference being in what taxpayers get in return.
For example - only England pays NHS prescriptions, tuition fees, hospital parking and for care of the elderly as - thanks to our incompetent politicians trying and failing to ‘buy’ votes by granting devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over the years - we in England remain at a permanent disadvantage.
What’s even worse, the minority Conservative Government, now believed totally dependant on DUP votes, will likely have to pay substantial bribes, aka increased public spending on Northern Ireland, to secure them.
Scotland managed 300 years without a Parliament, always getting a bigger share via the Barnett Formula, Wales never had an Assembly, only Northern Ireland by virtue of being geographically separate and joined onto another country, merited its own government.
Now with Brexit, is it time to go back to the drawing board? Scrap Welsh and Scottish devolution, and re-unite Ireland as Germany was in 1989. The only alternative might be for England to seek independence.
Tony Winstanley, Castleford
In reply to Terry Watson (YEP July 5), Jeremy Corbyn is not “strutting about as if he has won the election”.
Tony Benn once said that there are two types of MP - the signpost and the weather vane. What he is doing is putting forward the same policies and beliefs that he has held since joining the Labour party. Corbyn has never deviated from his beliefs. Time and again over the years his preferred policies have been defeated and even though he still does not command a majority, the scale of support for him after years of vicious verbal attacks is phenomenal and he has every right to look pleased. That is the signpost. Stick to what you believe in.
Then we have the Tory wobblers. Now, only three weeks after supporting the continuation of austerity and sickeningly cheering the blocking of any pay rise for public sector workers, they are fighting to get on TV to say “scrap the cap.” Why? Because Corbyn was right and they know it. That is your weather vane. Just go with what you think people want to hear at any given time.
As for who won the election, well, no party did. The required number of seats to win a general election was not achieved by any party but one change that did happen is to see the Tories and their apologists squirming and, like overgrown schoolchildren, stamping their feet.
As for losing support of true Labour party members he certainly hasn’t lost mine. As for being a Marxist, I’ve read plenty, seems fine to me. Get over it, as those who voted remain are continually told.