GORDON PYBUS damns cyclists as "a real danger to pedestrians" (HAS, Page 11 Feb 15) before demanding we use a cycle route of his imagination ("there is a cycle path around the ring road") instead of the Pedestrian Heart.

I leave the question of Tim Stahl's evidence that cyclists usually come off worse in collisions with pedestrians to him - he did work for many years in Darlington Memorial Hospital's accident and emergency department after all.

But public evidence does show where cyclists get hospitalised - the ring road, where 45 cyclists have been seriously injured since 1988, and one killed.

Mr Pybus calls for cyclists to "be in the correct setting".

We agree. Please let's look more closely at the bicycle as a unique form of transport, and not as a motor vehicle without a motor.

"Correct settings" are finally appearing here and there in the town, designed with cycling in mind.

But even these "correct settings" are not going to segregate us from disabled pedestrians. Cycle paths are actually very pleasant surfaces for wheelchairs, and I see no reason why they should not be used as such.

As Darlington Cycling Campaign continually stresses, we want to encourage responsible, considerate cycling in the Pedestrian Heart. - Richard Grassick, Darlington Cycling Campaign.


FOR very many years, the centre of the town has been around the junction of Tubwell Row and High Row.

The introduction of the one-way bus system and the removal of the West Row and High Row bus stands has created a backwater of the Blackwellgate area, thus moving the centre of the town towards Northgate.

Now, the council, in its Town Centre Development Strategy, wants to develop shopping facilities at Commercial Street that will move the centre of the town even more towards Northgate and create more of a backwater at Blackwellgate. Perhaps the Commercial Street development should be constructed at the Beaumont Street car park area, with the bus routes extended through to that area.

This would improve the footfall at the Blackwellgate area and at the open and covered markets. If the development is located at Commercial Street, it will eventually lead to the closure of shops at Blackwellgate and less trade at the markets. - L Hume, Darlington.


I TRIED to send an email to The Northern Echo to no avail, so I am sending a letter of condolence about the accident to the rugby player and his father.

We were deeply saddened to read that Andrew Austen and his father were killed in a road accident.

Our grandson, Joshua Smith, played alongside Andrew at Mowden Park RFC, Darlington.

We are feeling for his family and they will continue to be in our thoughts. - Marion and Ray Smith.