A letter by M Passmore in the Friday 21 February publication of the West Somerset Free Press raises some very important issues.
We agree that the A39 is very dangerous and that drivers can get frustrated with cyclists; that it is a shame that cyclists don’t put the existing cycle path to good use. But, unfortunately, many cyclists don’t feel that this path is a viable alternative to the road. There are a number of reasons for this: the existing path is very bumpy, it’s often littered in places with debris and thorns – a cyclist’s nemesis! -and it is so narrow that passing other cyclists almost requires dismounting. Perhaps most importantly, the transitions from the path to the road are not nearly as safe as they could be. The path is feasible if you’re not in a rush, but for the serious commuter or racer it’s absolutely no substitute for the road.
The Steam Coast Trail are thinking long and hard about plans for a safe network of paths around West Somerset – not only for cyclists, but for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, skateboards and more; a safe network of paths to encourage activity off or away from the A39. They will incorporate the existing paths but be wider and smoother and – in places – will enjoy a beautiful sea view!
‘Friends of the Steam Coast Trail’ is a charity, the objectives of which are to promote and help facilitate the provision of said multi-user path in West Somerset. The trustees of the charity are all cyclists, and we would like M Passmore to feel reassured that many cyclists are definitely helping themselves!