Following our discussion at the last Dover District Cycle Forum, Charlie Elphicke MP has responded to Steve Fawke's letter by taking up the case (see letter attached).
He agrees about the dangers of signs that direct cyclists to ride along the A2, which is almost a motorway - and supports action to signpost alternative routes on quieter roads or off-road, especially for foreign cycle-tourists arriving at Dover Docks.
(2) TOLLS FOR CYCLISTS AT SANDWICH BAY?
You will be relieved to hear that threats of a £1 toll for cyclists using NCR1 to go between Sandwich and Deal have been narrowly averted.
This is a private road belonging to the residents of Sandwich Bay estate. Like many of our cros-country cycle routes, it is permissive only - 17 years ago Sustrans negotiated a voluntary agreement with the landowners for cyclists to use their road free where non-resident car drivers have to pay £7 a time to pass the gate.
One member of the Spokes committee described it like this:
"Antagonism is generated between drivers, who live on the estate, and groups of cyclists who do not wish to give way to each other and cyclists on a "high" being kept waiting at the barrier. In both situations cyclists have given way to verbal abuse."
Following complaints from residents and toll-gate keepers, a move to impose a toll on cyclists was averted for the time being, as this would inconvenience many ordinary cyclists and familes who ride along the road without trouble. The alternative of riding along the main road is obviously not attractive.
Please spread the word and do all you can to encourage others to ride courteously (especially when in large groups) so we don't lose this route,