SIR: I refer to the letter in the Chronicle of October 1.

It is disappointing that the writer seeks to set cyclists against public transport as both are means of transport that should be encouraged. Congestion in Winchester is the result of too much traffic and the resultant inconvenience and pollution is not caused by cyclists but by too many cars.

Priority in Central Winchester should be given to pedestrians, cyclists, public transport (particularly if it is electric powered) and then the private car, in that order. If we can reduce the number of cars coming into the central Winchester, we can provide residents and visitors with the ability to choose a more sustainable form of transport. In addition, on hilly roads such as Romsey Road and Stockbridge Road uphill cycle lanes can help reduce delays and we should be encouraging the highway authority to introduce these as soon as possible.

The writer also asserts that cycling will always remain a minority interest and is inaccessible to children and the elderly. There will of course be some who are unable to cycle for reasons of age or infirmity and good public transport links complemented by the use of the private car where necessary must be part of the solution. However, if you look at the age profile of those already cycling in Winchester, I think you will find that many of them are in the 'elderly' category and I count myself as one of them. In addition, with the increasing availability of electric bikes the percentage of those able to cycle in Winchester is likely to increase significantly. Similarly, many children would love to cycle and could cycle to school if there was less traffic. It gives them independence and increases their physical and mental wellbeing. We should not be depriving them of that opportunity but encouraging them and facilitating that choice.

Most cyclists are car drivers but choose to cycle because it is non-polluting, a healthy form of exercise, fun and one less car on the road.

Sue Coles,


Winchester CTC, part of Cycling UK,

Ruffield Close,