Despair over the promotion of path

Dear Sir, — I write in response to the letter concerning Biddulph Valley Way or the old railway line as many of us who have walked it since there were still railway sleepers there still call it. 
Mr Weaver makes many excellent comments in his letter and I and many other regular users of this path would agree with them, in particular that the path is now dangerous to walk.
The thought of the five councils wishing to promote this route from Stoke to Manchester fills many local folk with despair. 
While I appreciate that this area and many others are and should be available to be accessed and enjoyed by all, not all who now have the use of the pathway take into consideration other users.
While I appreciate that there is a national obesity crisis on our hands, and local councils and Government alike want to encourage people to become more active, the majority of obese people sitting on their sofa watching Jeremy Kyle or playing on screen games while eating a takeaway would not be incentivised to get “on their bikes” if a gold plated one adorned with £20 notes was placed outside their door.
Please do not promote our pathway any further: we have enough to contend with.
There have always, during the many years that I have walked the path, been horse riders, and most of them (those that are no longer teenagers) are polite, sociable and usually have full control of their mounts. 
I have always called my dogs close if a horse is approaching and stood at the side of the path as they pass, and I expect the same respect. 
This at times is somewhat lacking, and some young riders appear to believe that they are in a rodeo.
Now for what causes more reaction than anything else: what comes from the rear of dogs and horses?
Dog owners are required to clean up after their pet, morally or legally, but what about horses?
I have heard all the arguments from horse owners …. “horses are vegetarian” etc. They well may be, but what they deposit and some of the resulting piles could almost be seen from the space station, and stills get onto shoes, pram and bike wheels. 
Whether harmful or not, it is still not pleasant. Can you not carry a light weight plastic shovel and throw it off the path?
Now to the real danger, the lookalike ninja’s clad in their black Lycra.
Since this pathway was designated as cycleway 55 we are swamped by cyclists who have absolutely no respect for other users. They refuse to slow down don’t allow walkers to get out of the way, and often hurl abuse at those who wish to merely walk. 
Walkers have been told wrongly that this pathway is no longer a “footpath”. 
Other walkers, including myself, have had these maniac cyclists run into them (I was left with a complete tyre mark down the back of my leg). 
In the Biddulph area, this pathway abuts at least two housing estates from which there is direct access to the walkway. It is only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt by a cyclist hurtling past as someone is joining. 
Another danger is the cycles who have motors attached to them, and I do know a family had one of these machines hit them. 
Surely these are even more dangerous and are they even legal as motorised vehicles on a footpath? — Yours faithfully,

LYNNE GOODWIN
Gillow Heath

This article is available to subscribers only.

Login Subscribe