The delivery of at least 4000 people to the Meadows in less than an hour, without gridlock, or parked cars blocking the streets, and the equally silent and invisible evaporation of the crowd from outside the Parliament at Holyrood makes a clear point about why we need to promote cycling as a means to make local journeys in our towns and cities ("Pedal power lobby team calls for safer roads for cyclists", The Herald, May 20).

Would we need to spend eye-watering sums, which surely our cash-strapped councils cannot afford, on by-passes and relief roads, if transport policy planned for making more local journeys by bike?

The Belgian city of Hasselt, taking this line, cancelled the building of a relief road, ripped up tarmac and returned the inner ring road to its former state as a tree-lined boulevard.

Rental values for commercial property went up and local tax revenues rose but the council's borrowing was reduced (no longer needed to build the roads), so it moved closer to balancing the books.

Even ScotRail delivered on Sunday, as the numbers heading back by train (having cycled in from Glasgow, Fife and even further afield) had melted away by 7pm, soaked up by well-managed loading of the trains.

Effectively managed and executed by the Pedal On Parliament team and cycling police officers, it was a great day.

I cycled across to Edinburgh using the old A8 for much of the way.

This broad corridor is now so little used by motor traffic that a smoother surfaced route for cycling could easily be fitted on what used to be a three- lane road.

Dave Holladay,

Woodlands Terrace,


Few would disagree with your recent multi-signatory letter demanding better cycle access and safety (Letters, May 17).

However, as pressure mounts to put the blame 100% on the motorist in the event of a collision with a bike (unless proved otherwise, which is very difficult to do), I have looked in vain for the cycling lobby to offer a simple, but huge, safety measure in return.

Wearing a high-viz vest and having effective lights is elementary. Too many cyclists are effectively invisible in poor light, fast traffic or on country roads, which is madness, indeed criminally stupid, and puts an unreasonable burden on the motorist (whose activity requires much more concentration and hand, foot and eye co-ordination at the best of times).

Legislation could be quick and – surely – uncontroversial and should extend to all roadway users including walkers and joggers.

I would be happy to offer a massive quid pro quo from drivers, too – a requirement to display dipped headlights at all times (just as many of the most cycle-friendly countries, such as Denmark, do).

This would be very cheap and very effective. Just do it.

David Roche,

1 Alder Grove,