LETTER: Vast potential from cycle use

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I doubt whether Surrey and Yorkshire county councils would agree with Horsham district councillor Brian Donnelly that, ‘Cycle paths are a total waste of money’ (County Times South Downs edition January 23, and as reported on www.wscountytimes.co.uk).

Surrey has benefited immensely from the Olympic Legacy as cycling is an extremely popular activity, as well as a means of transport. Yorkshire is hosting the first stage of this year’s Tour de France.

There is vast potential for West Sussex to improve its offering for cyclists and to grow our tourism industry.

This is big business that could support our rural economy, providing local jobs for local people close to home. Think of all the opportunities for tea rooms, bed and breakfast, cycling holidays.

Reducing the developer’s transport contribution from £39,000 to £2 is mind-boggling. Many people from rural areas around Henfield could be accessing the employment by bike - which is a cheap option when you are on a low wage and the bus only runs twice a week.

If councillor Donnelly wants to know how other employers support cyclists, he could look at the cycle pods and showers being provided by East Surrey Hospital to help their staff.

If any councillors are still in doubt about the need for cycle paths, they could also consider the cost benefits to the NHS of having a fit, active and healthy population!

FRANCES HAIGH

(LDem) Horsham district councillor for Horsham Park ward, North Street, Horsham