Greenway cyclists

FURTHER to the article on dogs and the greenway, M Crawshaw states that the greenway is a bridleway and is signed as such.

The bridleway extends to the limits of the Bradford boundary; the rest of the length of Spen Valley greenway is part of Route 66, the national cycle network built by Sustrans, a cycling charity.

Even if the entire length was a bridleway, this still does not excuse dogs being allowed to roam free.

M Crawshaw also disputes the statement by Donal O'Driscoll that the greenway is primarily a cycle route.

M Crawshaw says the signage disputes that. I would have thought national cycle network was a big clue to the contrary.

Who decides the cyclist is going too fast? This seems to be a major complaint from all the pedestrian users of the greenway.

A bicycle will seem to be travelling fast in relation to a pedestrian ambling. As for ringing a bell every time a cyclist approaches a walker, do you want every motorist to sound their horn as they approach you? Surely this would ruin the tranquillity of the greenway.

Plus, the number of people walking along with personal stereo earphones fitted would never hear these anyway. I came across three people doing just this on one trip this week. No matter how hard I rang my bell, they could not hear me, and carried on just letting their dogs run anywhere they pleased off lead.

There were signs all the way along the length of the greenway saying it is not a dog toilet. Most have now been torn down, as have a lot of the metal signs,

According to Sustrans' own website, pedestrians and cyclists should be segregated on busy routes. I believe I read an article in the Guardian saying the Spen Valley greenway was reported as being one of the busiest in the country, so why are the two not segregated?

Sustrans also says the track should be segregated where higher cycle speeds are anticipated.

As for horses being able to use the greenway, here's what Sustrans has to say on that subject:

"It is recommended that where a bridleway runs immediately next to the cycle track/footpath the latter should be provided with a bituminous surface to discourage horses straying onto it and causing damage.

"Where space permits, it is preferable to separate the bridleway and cycle track/footpath by several metres and if possible by planting."

Again there are many miles of excellent bridleway while the greenway is the ONLY traffic free cycle route. I also understood that it is bad for a horse to be exercised on tarmacadam.

Despite my letter of last week pointing out the illegality of letting dogs off leads in a public place, most dog walkers continue to selfishly do so. My own dog is very friendly, but I understand that not everyone likes dogs; in fact a good few people are terrified no matter how friendly they are, and on that basis it is wrong to let your dogs loose to terrorise such people.

Owners and/or persons in charge of dogs found guilty under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 could see the destruction of the dog, be banned from keeping dogs or even face a prison sentence.So to quote S Wood from last week's letters page, perhaps now more of them will consider the safety of other users on the greenway.

J BURNS

Cyclist and responsible dog owner