MAY I write in support of Cllr Judith Wheeler, in her plea for a much more comprehensive approach to cycle safety and priorities (Warrington Guardian, February 20).

Warrington has a particular problem in that many of its main roads into the town centre end in complex multi-lane junctions, where cyclists are especially vulnerable. These are difficult enough to negotiate in daylight, but are even more hazardous in darkness.

If the would-be cyclist’s route is mostly safe, but very hazardous at these junctions, then they are likely to be put off cycling altogether.

The Local Transport Plan 4 sets out to achieve a very laudable switch to cycling and other healthy modes such as walking. But, until greater cycle safety is designed into the highway network, such a switch is most unlikely to take place.

Another key point is poor driver behaviour. Most drivers are considerate, but there is a disturbing percentage who are not, and who exhibit a serious lack of patience. Drivers need to give cyclists the space they need.

The council, as highway authority, also needs to be much quicker off the mark than they are at present in dealing with potholes. Small but deep potholes, and poor maintenance by statutory undertakers such as gas and water, are a constant threat to safe cycling.

It is not good enough to rely on members of the public reporting pot-holes. A significantly more proactive campaign to deal with potholes is therefore needed, including routine checks of highway condition by inspectors on cycles.

And gas, electricity, water and telephone/cable companies need to be forced by the council to improve their indifferent maintenance standards, at their own expense rather than the council’s.

If this isn’t done, cycling will continue to struggle to increase from its current low level.

DAVID THROWER Stockton Heath