Letters: Selfish bike users cannot have it all their own way

Cycling on pavement. Picture: Rob McDougall
Cycling on pavement. Picture: Rob McDougall
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I read the article about the car owners having to prove that they were not liable for knocking down a cyclist (News, October 29).

Have the cyclists thought as to why they have had so many near misses and sometimes get knocked down?

Home Secretary Theresa May. Picture: Getty Images

Home Secretary Theresa May. Picture: Getty Images

We drivers are not blessed with extra special vision to see in the dark. When you suddenly come across an unlit black thing moving at a slower pace, it takes a minute or two to register that this is in fact a cyclist.

Or when they pop out of a junction without looking and cycle in front of you as if they own the road. We pay road tax, we have more right of way on the road than they do.

No lights front or rear, and many a time no headgear at all. No high vis jacket or reflectors. The police would soon pull us over if we had no lights or reflectors on our cars.

Come on, let’s make it law that they can be seen, night and day. That they don’t ride two abreast, cycle on pavements and cycle across pedestrian lights, or through red ones because they think they can.

They should have to have some sort of insurance so we can claim against them when they knock us down as we are crossing the road at a pedestrian crossing and they cycle through.

Or if they run us over as we step out of our gates or out of a shop door because they are on the pavement.

This cannot be all one way.

L Blackhall, East Preston Street Edinburgh

Demand for rights is quite astounding

don’t blame tram tracks for cycle accidents (News, October 23). The lines can clearly be seen.

What is wrong with cyclists, do they not have any grey matter between their ears? How wide do they think their bikes are? There is plenty of room and the answer is to steer clear of them – surely even cyclists can do that.

Cyclists want vehicles off the road and now they are bleating about the trams. Considering they do not pay a penny towards the upkeep of the roads they use, their demands for rights are astounding.

V Radzynski, Colinton Mains Drive, Edinburgh

Going underground in city would be ideal

I DISAGREE with Gavin Corbett (City aim should be to leave car at home, Letters, October 24).

I stay 15 minutes’ walk from my job in the West Port but I like to take my car as I have a place to park it and it gives me five minutes more leisure time at home.

Both trams and bikes are vehicles from the past. Why could the council not have gone the full way and given Edinburgh an underground system, with better facilities for buses and car parking? Now that I would have liked.

Colin Smail, Viewforth Gardens, Bruntsfield, Edinburgh

Hapless Tories were helped by Scots cops

We have been subjected to successive visits from Osborne, Hammond, Cable and now May, Cabinet Ministers lecturing us on the dangers, (financial, military and security), facing an independent Scotland.

They have also tried to persuade us that the possession of substantial oil resources is a liability, rather than an advantage. The latest tirade from Theresa May, left, is a little too rich. This is the Home Secretary who sat on her hands, like a constipated teddy bear, gazing helplessly at the street riots in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham and elsewhere in England.

Boris Johnson and David Cameron had to break their holidays to return in panic and the trouble was not sorted out until Scottish police had to emulate the Seventh Cavalry and head down south.

Osborne and Cable struggle ineffectively with a growing deficit approaching £1600 billion; Hammond presides over a Royal Navy which failed to see off a couple of Icelandic gunboats and May shares information with an “ally” that hacked into the conversations of the leaders of Germany and France.

Theirs is indeed a “terrorist attack” to be feared by Scotland.

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Private schools are a net gain to society

Parents who choose to send their children to private schools, and pay for the privilege, are reducing the cost of education for the rest of the tax-paying population. To ignore that point – as Kenneth Baird does (Letters, October 30) in his argument against private schools – is just lopsided cherry picking.

There are many other reasons why private schools are valuable. For example, the high quality education they generally provide is just one reason why parents of 25 per cent of secondary pupils in Edinburgh choose to make very considerable sacrifices. Overall, the net gain to the community is quite overwhelming.

Cllr Cameron Rose, Conservative Group Leader, City Chambers

How terror of belt kept pupils in line

IT makes me really angry when I see and read of the behaviour of some of our youngsters today.

At primary school I vividly remember the teacher going into her desk and extracting her belt, putting it on her desk for all to see. She made it clear the next person to step out of line would be belted.

You could have heard a pin drop in the classroom as we were all terrified of the dreaded belt.

I only experienced it once in primary school, but that was enough to stop me ever wanting to experience it again.

Even when I got to secondary school I made sure I behaved myself and was never belted.

I have gone on to be a law-abiding citizen with respect for others. How things have changed since they banned the belt.

George Robertson, Edinburgh