Tolerance is free!

I UNDERSTAND and I have significant sympathy regarding Mr Phillips’ unpleasant confrontation about use of the footpath by inconsiderate cyclists along the Canal bank between Hunston and Crosbie Bridge at Donnington (Observer, September 20).

That section is simply a footpath, (not a bridleway,) as your correspondent correctly points out. Indeed, the canal bank remains a footpath all the way to Cutfield Bridge near Apuldram.

There is, however, a strange anomaly. According to my OS map the section from the Canal Basin to Hunston is a traffic-free part of the National Cycle Trail. I have often cycled that part. Then you get to Hunston and… unless you want to negotiate that treacherous B2145, you’ve nowhere to go!

Last year I intended to cycle the other way: Apuldram to the Basin. I dutifully dismounted at Cutfield Bridge and pushed my bicycle along the muddy towpath.

After a few hundred yards I encountered a smiling, dog-walking pedestrian who helpfully asked me, ‘What’s the matter? Have you got a puncture?’

‘No,’ I replied. ‘This is a footpath.’

‘Oh, get on your bike, plonker!’ he said. ‘Everyone else does!’

So, what, (if anything,) has to be done? Have traffic police/wardens patrol the canal bank?

Resurface the towpath throughout and make it all available to cyclists?

There are costs involved which 
the authorities can ill-afford in either option.

I suggest that tolerance, courtesy and consideration by all parties cost nothing!

Colin Turton, a tolerant, courteous and considerate cyclist... and pedestrian!

Williams Road,

Bosham