CONGRATULATIONS to Alan Taylor for recognising that getting back on a bike is life-enhancing ("Quick, get on your bike and save yourself", The Herald, May 2).

Mayer Hillman published his research in 1998, but the benefits of his findings are only now being realised by government, health, social, education, tourism and business workers, let alone town planners, roads and transport engineers.

First Minister Alex Salmond said after Saturday's Pedal on Parliament that the event was hugely impressive and that he would undertake to have Keith Brown, Minister for Transport, meet cycling associations. The motion in the Scottish Parliament by Alison Johnstone promoting cycling showed remarkable cross-party agreement and the First Minister said there is consensus and agreement on targets and he wants to see this move on. He is pushing at an open door.

But the door will not be fully open until major obstacles are tackled. The Scottish Government is building more and bigger roads; £600m extra for new motorways and upgrade based on the contention that it is "necessary" for the economy. The only sure outcome is more traffic. Investment in cycling, on the other hand, has massive returns, typically two and a half times on the outlay and an all sorts of fronts. Experience from abroad shows that reducing traffic and removing motor vehicles from towns boosts local economies and vibrancy. Cycling replicates our ancient need for exercise, while providing healthy, sustainable, inclusive and fun mobility. Adopting Alan Taylor's personal and political imperative to cycle would be a good start.

Peter Hayman,

Councillor, Scotland, for CTC, the national cyclists' organisation, 70 Ingram Street, Glasgow.

ALAN Taylor is right to highlight the many benefits of cycling. He is also correct in suggesting that the Scottish Government is more interested in opening motorways and building an additional Forth road bridge.

The Scottish Greens have been pushing the issue hard and intend to remain in the peloton.

We have prompted SNP Transport Minister Keith Brown to invite cycling representatives to a regular meeting of his Road Safety Operational Partnership. We have used limited debate time at Holyrood to secure cross-party backing for a package of measures including more training for children, infrastructure upgrades, a review of speed limits and widespread 20mph zones.

The Pedal on Parliament proved that cycling is part of the mainstream and must be taken seriously.

Alison Johnstone,

Green MSP for Lothian,

The Scottish Parliament,


CYCLING and cycling safety are priorities for the Scottish Government .

Since 2007 we have invested more than £83million on promoting active travel and improving facilities and infrastructure, with an additional £20.25million for infrastructure to support active travel.

Our Road Safety Framework sets out national road safety targets, including a 40% reduction in fatalities on Scotland's roads by 2020.

Fatal accidents on Scotland's roads have fallen by 36%in the past decade, but we all need to make Scotland's roads safer for cyclists.

Getting the next generation on board is pivotal and our target to give 40% of school pupils on-road cycle training by 2015 has been agreed with Cycling Scotland.

Keith Brown,

Minister for Housing and Transport,

The Scottish Parliament,


IT seems from the correspondence to date that cyclists still haven't cottoned on to the fact that being seen and being noticed are not one and the same. You can sport all the high-visibility gear in the world, but if you don't come within a person's field of vision, you are never going to be seen.

You have to be seen before you can be noticed, just as you have to hear before you can listen.

George F Campbell,

26 Bruce Road,