RESPONDING to Chris Ward’s letter (Hostility towards cyclists on canal towpath): a local cyclist myself for many years I still feel a frisson of self-disapproval when I’m on the towpath.

Before it became legal for cyclists to ride the towpaths of our canals I was one of the main “tut-tutters”, knowing I was in the right but helpless to do anything about it.

Then the law changed and I actually began cycling again late in life thanks to being able to use the towpath because of its flatness, decent surface (if you knew where to go) and often attractive views.

But even now I feel a bit guilty! And so I genuinely try to show consideration for pedestrians (who have right of way over me at all times), something too many (usually) Men-in-Lycra don’t.

I suggest to Mr Ward that the mere appearance of cyclists, who were a real rarity on what was an awfully surfaced stretch of towpath, will have come as a surprise to those who’d walked it for years undisturbed.

There will be those who resent it. I counsel patience, courtesy, use of bells, and slowing down, and to try to avoid confrontations. There are a sadly high number of cyclists who offer none of these. Let’s not join their ranks.

The walkers will accept the shared use of the towpath, and sooner rather than later, I hope. Let’s cyclists like thee and me make it easier for them to do so.

Allan Friswell