I WOULD like to thank The Argus for running a story on cyclists ignoring seafront rules in Hove the same day as your front page story about an alleged hammer attack on a cyclist by a motorist elsewhere in the city (September 9).

Of course it’s inconvenient for people on foot to have to dodge bikes on that stretch of the seafront, but this isn’t really about cyclists versus pedestrians.

The real problem is that cyclists and pedestrians have to compete for the little bits of space left over after everything else has been given over to cars.

The solution is not to demonise cyclists but to open up more space on the city’s roads for cyclists as well as pedestrians.

To the untrained eye, the current seafront cycle lane seems narrow and busy, which is presumably why cyclists choose to use the pedestrian area in the first place.

It’s also not much fun for pedestrians to cross the current cycle lane. If, instead, one lane of the main road in each direction on Kingsway was turned into a cycle lane, then there would be plenty of safe space for bikes on the road, leaving the promenade for people to walk on without inconvenience.

The motoring lobby would presumably object to such a solution as being unfair, with “more congestion”, “longer journeys”, “damage to the economy” and even “infringement of civil liberties”.

But longer journey times might be just what’s needed to encourage more motorists to get out of their cars and on their bikes. And would the local economy really suffer if more people exercised their right to walk safely and spent longer on a more pleasant, people-friendly, car-free seafront?

Chris Murgatroyd, York Avenue, Hove

I AGREE wholeheartedly with A Gumbrill’s comments on cycling issues.

Stop defending these so called “cyclists”, who seem to be keen to tarnish the reputations of decent and responsible ones.

Instead of fines, confiscate these bikes and make those responsible for breaking the law use public transport or walk.

If I, as a driver, were to break the law it would not be long before I was banned from the road.

If I was given not £50, but £5 each time I noticed a cyclist breaking the law, then I would be quite well off. And if I could also have Adam Pride’s number I too could drive him mad.

JG Corlett, Cobden Road, Brighton

A GUMBRILL writes that, as a driver, he would like £50 for every cyclist he sees going through a red light.

As a pedestrian, I was recently shocked to see a car go through red lights on London Road and weave at speed between pedestrians already crossing the road.

I was cut off, along with other pedestrians when crossing the road, by a car going through red lights at Old Steine, and the same thing happened to me again crossing the road near the Palace Pier.

As a driver, I am passed by speeding motorists on every journey I make, and see many cars go through red lights.

And, as a cyclist, I frequently experience discourteous behaviour from motorists – most commonly being passed by cars driven too fast and too close.

I am also amazed by the number of young pedestrians wearing iPods, who simply walk out into the road without looking.

Whether you’re a pedestrian, cyclist or motorist, it’s incumbent on all of us to consider the safety of others.

I really don’t think any one group has a monopoly on virtue – least of all motorists.

They are, by far, the biggest danger and also contribute to poor air quality in the city; especially those with diesel engines and all the ramifications this has for the health of other people not sharing in their journey.

Ewan Beck, Crescent Drive, Woodingdean

I WAS interested by A Gumbrill’s letter. I will happily give him £50 for every time he sees a cyclist go through a red light if he will give me the same sum for every motorist I see who exceeds the speed limit.

Surveys show that 75% of motorists habitually exceed the speed limit.

A Government-sponsored survey also found that in 2% of cases where cyclists were seriously injured in collisions with other road users, police said the rider disobeying a stop sign or traffic light was a likely contributing factor.

On the other hand, speeding is a factor in 15% of crashes.

Furthermore, in car-on-bike smashes involving adult cyclists, police found the driver solely responsible in up to 75% of cases.

So, perhaps all road users need to consider the effect of their actions on others, but the fastest and most dangerous owe the greatest duty of care.

M Barry, Bristol Gate, Brighton

TWO phrases spring to my mind in recent stories of attacks on cyclists.

The first is “guilt by association” after reading the comments online and having heard the thoughts of people privately.

It appears people assume these attacks are justified because they’ve seen someone else break the law (and sometimes not even that).

This is scapegoating and needs to stop.

The second phrase is “extending the olive branch”.

We, as cyclists, are largely law-abiding. This is actually backed up by the majority of official figures.

I would urge anyone who knows otherwise to please correct me if I’m wrong.

We just wish to get from A to B; to work, to our families, or to get fit or save money.

It’s never a slight on other road users – we mean, and often cause, no harm.

So, please, can we stop this bickering between motorists and cyclists?

Often we’re the very same people with the same agendas and needs. In reality all any road user really wants is to be safe and comfortable.

D Cook, Kathleen Road, Sholing