I HAD been under the impression that there was a political move to encourage people to use their bicycles, exemplified by the stated aim from Holyrood that 10 per cent of all journeys should be by bicycle by 2020.

Recent events, however, show that while some politicians are “talking the talk”, others are unwilling to “get on their bikes” (to mix a couple of metaphors) and create cycling facts on the ground. This is exemplified by the recent decision not to extend the Bears Way segregated cycle route in Milngavie (“Cycling policy that is all over the place”, Inside Track, The Herald, October 6) and the decision by South Ayrshire Council to rip out the newly installed Holmston Road segregated cycleway (“Councillors vote to rip up controversial cycleway following public outcry over lack of consultation”, The Herald, October 7).

It’s not only politicians who seem ambivalent about encouraging cycling. I constantly read in the press articles and letters saying that the roads are too dangerous for cyclists, whilst at the same time furious that cyclists might be allowed the relatively minor protection that presumed liability might give them. Simultaneously, frequent writings express outrage that a small minority of cyclists have the temerity to cycle on pavements, whilst saying nothing about the fact that many of our urban pavements have become de facto car parks.

So what is the future of cycling in Scotland? Segregated cycle routes seem to be deprecated; cyclists are barred by law from using the relatively safe pavements, and the new/returning cyclist is put off by the shrill cries that the roads are too dangerous for cyclists to use.

Unless politicians at all levels take their brave pills and buy into cycling as a mode of transport worthy of significant investment, cycling uptake will stagnate or even go backwards. The window of opportunity to kick-start cycling is now, and I appeal to our elected members at all levels to co-operate in both the setting and implementation of an effective cycling policy.

Bob Downie,

66 Mansewood Road, Glasgow.