Preserve our parks for all

John Hywel Williams has raised several important questions about the proposed cycle route across Alexandra Park, which has attracted an unprecedented level of objections from park users.

The decision on what to recommend will go to the council cabinet on January 4.

The route, as I understand it, has already had the money allocated, so the question is where it should go.

There is an obvious answer: to use the unused wide verge alongside Lower Park Road and Upper Park Road, which goes all along the length of the park.

This would be safe for cyclists, a very pleasant ‘green’ route which is also more direct, and would involve no clashes with other people, and may well be cheaper and easier to instal.

If there is some money left over it could be put to cycle training schemes, especially for children.

If anyone is insisting on taking over paths in the park for a cycle route this suggests a determination to put cyclists onto pedestrian areas, which some cycling organisations do advocate.

There are even those who want cyclists to be allowed onto pavements, on principle.

As a cyclist myself, I have been involved in campaigning for better cycling facilities, and was one of the first members of the London Cycling Campaign.

We worked for cyclists, but never at the expense of walkers.

That campaign and others were taken over by the militants who wanted cyclists everywhere, no matter what.

It is a recipe for confrontation and greater dangers for all.

I feel strongly that cyclists should be on the roads and should campaign for other vehicles to respect their right to be there.

If segregated cycle routes can be provided (as with the route alongside the park) then that should be done too, but in many areas there just is no space for it.

So please, councillors, listen to the objections from many local people and organisations and preserve our parks as areas free of vehicles where people can feel entirely safe.

Remember how much effort goes into maintaining their Green Flag status which could be undermined by this.

Allow us to wander, to watch the birds, butterflies and squirrels, to enjoy the trees and flowers, to get some exercise, to relax, to take our children and disabled friends and families, to walk our dogs, to enjoy events in the park, and generally enjoy our lovely green space away from the traffic and other pressures of our roads.

Jean Rogers

Wellington Square

Hastings

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