SIR: It is certainly welcome to read that Winchester is finally aiming to increase facilities for cyclists. Having been a regular city cyclist in my daily life here for over 35 years, I long for improvement. The introduction of electric bikes will also increase cycling possibilities in our hilly city.

May I suggest that those planning the routes need to try cycling every road included in the scheme? Only this way will the dangers be appreciated. In particular where roads have been coated in a yellow surface to warn of a junction – as in Wellhouse Lane in Headbourne Worthy for example – the surface almost instantly breaks up, creating hollows and dips which are lethal to cyclists. The same happens when the roads have been prettily “cobbled”, as in the area around Kingsgate or the Minster Streets. Again the cobbles rapidly descend into dips which the cyclist must avoid by swerving into the road, and therefore into the path of cars coming behind. The cobbling of the edge of the High Street forces bicycles to share the narrow tarmac stretch with the cars. The same happens where cheap road mending breaks into cracks and holes, particularly dangerous when rain conceals the depth of the holes, so the cyclist must swerve out.

Once again I make a plea for St Peter Street to allow bicycles to travel north to south to avoid the North Walls circuit. Surely a cycle path could feature in the wide grass verges of such busy roads as the Badger Farm Road to give access to Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery?

Cyclists should of course make themselves visible with rear and front lights even in daytime, just as cars do at this time of year – rechargeable lights are a wonderful invention. A high vis jacket helps, plus the compulsory use of a bell, especially on shared cycle paths.

Ever optimistic about improvement…

Jane Harding,

Back Street,

St Cross,