Letters: Cyclists have same rights as all other road users

Artist's impression of the proposed Boroughmuir High School. Pic: Comp
Artist's impression of the proposed Boroughmuir High School. Pic: Comp
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Having read letters from L Blackhall and V Radzynski in the News (October 31), I felt compelled to reply. While as a cyclist I agree that all bike users should make themselves visible, avoid cycling on the pavement and never go through red lights, there were a few points made that I’d like to address.

Firstly, cyclists don’t pay road tax because no-one does. Road tax is a misnomer for Vehicle Excise Duty and as cyclists are not using a motorised vehicle, they don’t incur it.

Cyclists and traffic. Pic: Comp

Cyclists and traffic. Pic: Comp

Secondly, it is not true to say “we (car drivers) have more right on the road than they do”. All road users have equal rights on the road – cars, bikes, tractors, horses – everyone. A simple check of the Highway Code will tell you that.

It is only through good manners that cyclists cycle to one side of the road to allow other road users to pass them. As for riding two abreast, I don’t think I have ever seen this in Edinburgh, other than where a parent is looking after a young cyclist.

Thirdly, regarding the tram tracks – while cyclists will steer clear of them whenever they can, that is not always possible. Unless we are going in the same direction, we will have to cross them at some point. When they are wet, they can be slippy and I expect pedestrians to be complaining about them over the winter too.

Finally, cyclists have never said that they want cars off the road, they simply want enough room on it to be able to travel around the city safely. Please remember that the majority of cyclists also drive a car, and if they couldn’t cycle in Edinburgh, then it would add to the current congestion.

When cycling around Edinburgh I see both good and poor examples of cycling, driving and walking. We can all look for faults in society groups, but please don’t tar every member of that group with the same brush.

Raymond Lovell, Roslin

Act of interest in country’s future

WhAT is the problem with Alan Cumming buying a flat in Scotland to enable him to vote in the referendum? (Letters, October 29).

He is an itinerant by profession, and why should it matter anyway?

It is not patronage, as suggested by the self-proclaimed “angry” letter writer Jeremy Lewis, but passion – a passion Mr Cumming so believes in that he is prepared to go to this much trouble

There is no ulterior motive – unlike that suspected of certain other high-profile Scots

Ewan McGregor, for instance – currently bellowing the “better together” anthem from LA . His agenda is obvious – he does not want to upset his London-centric luvvie chums

Sean Connery, Allan Cumming and Brian Cox, to name a few, cannot have the spurious finger of suspicion pointed at them – what could be their motive other than a genuine interest in the future of Scotland and its people?

We should be grateful for their contribution – from whatever shores.

And as for Mr Cumming thereafter renting out his flat – well good on him! There is a general shortage of accommodation in Scotland – or hasn’t Mr Lewis heard?

Phil Cowan, Laverockbank Avenue, Edinburgh

No justifying council move to alter bridge

It may well be that the council is concerned about the safety of children travelling to the new Boroughmuir school, pictured below, when it is built, but that does not justify altering Viewforth Bridge.

The pavements are wide enough and it is up to the pupils to use them sensibly. Furthermore, traffic does hurtle over the bridge. Viewforth is the only direct link between three main roads – Bruntsfield, Gilmore Place and Slateford/Fountainbridge.

If the council has some spare cash, then I suggest it repairs some of the dangerous potholes appearing in Polwarth Gardens and Dalry Road.

CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens Edinburgh

Singing the praises of a great performance

I HAD the privilege of being invited to a free Love Music Community Choir concert on Wednesday evening in the Usher Hall.

I was very impressed with the variety of songs and the singing was simply fabulous.

The applause this choir received from the large audience was more than well deserved and half an hour was just not long enough.

I would like to say well done again and a very big thank-you for a very pleasant evening.

This is definitely one of the good projects that Edinburgh City Council is involved in.

Elizabeth Henderson, Whitson Walk, Edinburgh

Dangerous Dogs Act now has more teeth

The proposed changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act to cover attacks on private property are welcome.

In the last ten years the majority of fatal dog attacks were on private property.

It is hoped that Parliament will back these proposals and they will come into law next year.

Owners whose dogs kill will face 14 years in jail. If a dog injures someone the owner could be imprisoned for five years and if a dog attacks a guide dog the penalty will be three years in jail for the owner.

Having looked at reports of these incidents, it would appear that the majority of the dog owners live in social housing.

Many dogs are being pushed out in the mornings to roam, create filth and be a danger to others.

It should be made a rule of the tenancy agreement that if they have dogs then any complaints about their anti-social behaviour would see them evicted.

Even better would be regulations forbidding any dogs in such properties.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow