This Week's Issue: Are Mole Valley's roads safe for cyclists?
CYCLISTS have flocked to Mole Valley since the announcement of the 2012 Olympic road race routes, which will come through the district and include several circuits of Box Hill.
But extra bikes have meant more tension with motorists and fears over cycle safety. Last week we asked: "Do you think Mole Valley's roads are safe for cyclists?"
"NO WAY," said Sandra Harris. "The roads are too busy, too narrow in some places and in such bad condition. I have witnessed too many near-misses."
Freda Andrews said: "The massive potholes make the roads lethal for cyclists – not too good for a car's suspension either."
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Richard Brooke said: "No – aggressive drivers and poor surfaces. Needs urgent attention, especially given the importance of the sport to the district."
And Councillor Dave Howarth (Lib Dem, Leatherhead North) said: "No. Roads not wide enough and drivers not aware enough of cyclists."
John Meudell, the Cyclists' Touring Club representative for Mole Valley, said: "If you are very good, very wide awake and very assertive then it's no more difficult than anywhere else.
"But the majority of people aren't like that. Cycling isn't a viable option for many, many people and it should be.
"Surrey County Council needs to start taking the issue of cyclists' safety seriously, professionally and competently."
But while many readers highlighted the dangers faced by cyclists, others said those riding bikes often created the danger themselves.
Commenting on Twitter, Jennie Cochrane wrote: "They would probably be safer if cyclists actually used the cycle lanes provided, which many don't (A24 in particular)."
And Alan McDonald said: "It is not the roads that are dangerous, but the influx of lycra-clad lunatics the vast majority of whom have no concern for anyone other than themselves.
"They rampage around with no regard for pedestrians, horse riders or car drivers, they ignore the Highway Code as they ignore traffic lights. The sooner these clowns are forced to have number plates, tax and insurance the better.
"As for allowing racing on public roads, this is a total disgrace and shows a severe disregard for local taxpayers' right of free movement."