I READ with interest Mike McTimoney's views (HAS, Page 11, June 19) about cycling in Darlington's "Pedestrian Heart".

I understand his enthusiasm for cycling. We are a cycling family too, but we would certainly not consider cycling in the pedestrian heart.

As a matter of courtesy to pedestrians, we would dismount and push our cycles through town. Pedestrians should not have to give way to cyclists.

Attempting to access my bank on High Row recently, I was stopped from progressing three times by cyclists.

It was frustrating and annoying. I believe that the Pedestrian Heart is an inappropriate place to cycle.

The number of cyclists using the Heart is increasing daily, and it has been good to see recently that the more responsible cyclists are dismounting and walking their bikes through town. I feel this shows respect to young and old alike.

At some point, Darlington Borough Council is going to have to make a decision as to who has right of way - pedestrians or cyclists.

Dismounting in pedestrian areas is a ruling made in other European countries.

It works extremely well and should, perhaps, be adopted by Darlington council. - K Devin, Darlington.


I WOULD challenge the newly-elected council in Darlington to look again at the route of the world's first railway (Darlington to Stockton), part of which is being changed into the outdated style Darlington Eastern Transport Corridor, which is a disgrace for the following reasons:

* The proposed route (from the A66 straight into a bottleneck area) will bring more traffic into town, rather than relieve traffic.

l The actual new proposed road is a single lane which is only marginally better than Haughton Road.

l The council says it wants to encourage cycling. Darlington has received special government support to promote cycling. There are few or no cycle paths being built near schools.

* This monstrosity brings heavy traffic to within 30 yards of a nature reserve, home to one of the few colonies of great crested newts in the country - prot- ected by British and international law.

If the council is serious about helping the people of Darlington, it should spend the money on a proper northern ring road, getting northbound through traffic from Teesside straight onto the A1 and giving Durham access to Durham Tees Valley airport without the need to choke up Darlington. - Name supplied, Darlington.


I READ with interest, and sadness, the recent letter regarding cemetery thefts in Darlington.

My sister and I have, on separate occasions, reported the theft of floral tributes left in memory of our late mother at West Cemetery and we, too, were told by Darlington Borough Council that no thefts had been reported.

This is quite obviously not the case and I am sure there are many other victims of these heartless acts of theft and vandalism who have received the same negative and complacent response from a council that, to put it mildly, "could not care less". - Jennifer M Hardy (Mrs), Middleton St George.