I nearly fell off my bike!

Cycle path not a waste of money.

I nearly fell off my bike when I read that my favourite cycle path was headlined in the Midweek Herald as a ‘waste of cash’.

It certainly is not. As a member of the Axe Valley Pedallers, I use the new cycle path frequently and it is an ideal way to avoid the dangerous hill on the A35 at Kilmington, where the road narrows just before the crossroads. Traffic at this point can be travelling very fast, after descending along the Axminster Bypass, and heavy lorries are a particular hazard.

Any means of preventing road accidents is good value for money. Cycle paths are an excellent long term investment in sustainable healthy travel. The initial costs are spread over many years of benefit and, unlike cars and lorries on roads, cyclists generate negligible wear and tear. When did you last see a pothole caused by cycling?

The pathway under the already existing bridge alongside the river was an innovative response to the problem of traversing the busy A35 - avoiding the cost of a pedestrian bridge or some other solution - but it can have its difficulties, particularly in winter. Cycle paths do require maintenance from time to time, so that they stay clean and suitable for use, otherwise cyclists and walkers will not use them. Only if they are neglected do they become a waste of money.

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Rob Watson


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