Letter Writers

A group for the letter writers amongst us. If you write a letter to a pollie or the paper, post it here. If you're looking for inspiration and ideas, look here.

Members: 43
Latest Activity: Jan 17, 2014

Discussion Forum

Too rabid?

Started by Neil Alexander. Last reply by Neil Alexander Dec 18, 2013. 16 Replies

Cyclists should pay

Started by Neil Alexander. Last reply by Ma Dame Vélo Nov 15, 2013. 6 Replies

Comment Wall

Comment by Chris Virtue on April 30, 2009 at 9:17am
With the recent increase in media coverage of cycling, we need to keep on the case.
Comment by Josh on August 25, 2009 at 10:48am
Cross posted from Dear Scott thread on the Forum:

Just sent this to SMH letters, we'll see if it gets published:

I was interested to see Ruth Will's comment (Letters 25 August 2009) that "in Switzerland cyclists follow the road rules like any other road users". This suggests that other road users - presumably Swiss motorists - don't speed, do indicate before changing lanes and don't drift around in the lane yabbering into mobile phones held firmly to their ears. Sounds like bliss. Could it even be that Swiss motorists also pay attention to the road, and therefore don't hit cyclists that they "just didn't see"?

And furthermore, when did Southern Cross Drive become a "motorway"?"
Comment by Matt_D on November 4, 2009 at 9:07am
If I had me own website I could post a link to the very lengthy letter I sent recently to Dr. Andrew McDonald, MP for Macq Fields in sou-west (following his pro-cycling speech the other day). I talked about appalling cycling infrastructure in sou-west and need to engage RTA on this as getting ANYWHERE involves riding on major arterials out here.

Anyways the long & short of it is I got a very positive response from Andrew, we may have the makings of (another!) cycling champion in Parliament?
Comment by timothy.clifford on July 8, 2010 at 10:39pm
Got a bit of a project in mind, rather ambitious. There's more to follow, so watch for the post on the main page, but I think I'm going to need a lot of help.

So please be kind, and patient.
Comment by Paul Jackson on July 19, 2010 at 2:54pm
Opposition leader Barry OFarrell,
Roads Miniter Andrew stoner,
Transport Minister Glays Berejiklian,
Health minister Jillian Skinner

Date: 19 July 2010.

I have just read the Daily Telegraph article on 18th July 2010 where Andrew Stoner is quoted:
"Opposition roads spokesman Andrew Stoner said not everyone was as fortunate as NSW Premier Kristina Keneally to live close enough to the city to cycle.

"Mr Stoner said visitors to Sydney Hospital, Sydney Eye Hospital and surgeries in Macquarie St relied on the availability of on-street parking in nearby College St, which had now vanished. "

If you look long term, beyond the current elections, like the City Of Sydney council is doing, then you would realise that cycleways provide a chance for the local residents, including Kristine Keneally, within 10km radius, to have a healthy lifestyle and not require visits to the hospital as much.
This would therefore free up valuable car parking spaces. But as Mr Stoner points out these cycleways around the city of sydney mostly benefits people within 10kms (actually probably more like 20kms).

Mr Stoner says that people who live further out (> 20kms) are inconvienced. Well if the state government of the day, and future governments, also provided similar benefits by building proper cycleways across outer sydney and the rest of the state, then there would be less demand on the car parks around all hospitals as there would be less people requiring medical treatment for health related issues.

Unfortunately this is not the case as most councils from North Sydney, Lane Cove, Ryde, Hornsby, that I know of, are crying poor and unable to fund any decent cycleways, they require proper funding from the state government.

A recent study by the inner councils have found that there is a 3.8 to 1 benefit for every dollar spent on cycleways, mostly in health benefits.
Another study has found that more than 85% of the inner city community support cycleways.

I urge you to support CoS' forward looking initiative and build safe cycleways across the state, not just inner city.

The message from the liberals is confusing as Andrew Stoner's message that cycleway should be replaced with car parking spots, conflicts with Gladys Berejiklian's support for cycleways and Barry O'Farrell's indifference.
The liberals need a consistent approach and message. Hopefully to support the communities for our future and our children's future.

Thank you,
Paul Jackson
Comment by Bill Parker on August 2, 2010 at 4:40pm
Bunnings Warehouse
Cnr Bourke Rd & Gardeners Rd,
Mascot 2020

Dear Manager,

I am both a cyclist and habitué of Bunnings. With the opening of the Bourke Road cycle path I find myself going past your store at least once a week. Last Sunday I also decided to drop in, not that I had a specific purchase in mind but generally find I can discover something I did not know I needed.

I was a very disappointed that I could not find any specific bicycle parking and had to secure my beloved bike to a stormwater downpipe near the store entrance , neither satisfactory or perhaps appropriate (being perhaps an impediment to other shoppers).

There is an increasing trend for cyclists to do their shopping by bike and a discussion forum that I frequent (eg with 2,500 active members and 10,000s of visitors) has frequent discussions on shopping by bike and there have been recent mentions of your store specifically.

Idea bike parking would be near the store entrance doors to enhance security. One car parking space, with suitable racks, could accommodate up to a dozen standard bikes. While I can accommodate 20-30kgs using my front and rear panniers you might need to also make provision for the increasingly popular (with very serious bike shoppers) bike trailers and cargo bikes.

I am sure a progressive chain such as yours will have some design standards for bike parking but some cycling representative bodies, (Bicycle NSW or Bicycle Victoria), may offer commercial bike parking advise, the City Council might also have some suggestions.

The Bourke Road cycle path does not yet link with the rest of the proposed and under construction sections in Bourke St (and elsewhere) but I passed 38 riders going north last Sunday morning in the 7 minutes I cycled south, I expect this number to greatly increase when the network is finished and many will cycle past your store daily. Some encouraging, easy bike parking will encourage some of these to stop and discover something they need.

I have enclosed a leaflet from the Cycling Promotion Fund on “Shopping by Bicycle”, I understand this is being distributed at public events near the cycleway .

Thanks, looking forward to easier bicycle parking at your shore in the very near future.
Comment by Neil Alexander on August 6, 2010 at 11:27am
I just felt motivated to send Tony Abbott a gentle little request to support cycling infrastructure. I sent something similar to Julia when she became PM but it doesn't seem to have made her mention bicycles at all during the election campaign. Perhaps Tony can find a point of difference... or will it just make him look like a lycra-clad elitist if he suggests people get on bikes? Sigh, I dunno. Can only keep plugging away...

Dear Tony,

As a fellow cyclist and former health minister, I know you understand well the benefits that cycling offers to personal health and wellbeing. I am truly impressed by your ability to complete the Forster Ironman triathlon so apparently easily at over 50 years of age. I have seen you out on the roads near Terrey Hills on a Sunday morning putting in the training kilometres along with many others.

As a keen non-competitive cyclist myself for more than 40 years, I know that cycling has enabled me to maintain a healthy body weight, good aerobic fitness and general happiness.

More than that though, cycling has enabled me, my wife and two children, to live a car-free, more sustainable and less-polluting lifestyle for many years.

I am hoping that in recognition of the huge benefits of cycling to the community, the environment and the health budget, the Coalition will support the funding of more cycling infrastructure and programs to enable more people to cycle to work, to the shops, to school and for general transport.

Such facilities for active transport would solve so many difficult, expensive problems which society faces that I cannot understand why Australia lags behind enlightened countries like the Netherlands and Denmark.

Cycling can have a positive impact on our national security by reducing the need to rely on foreign oil imports. It can reduce the self-defeating "need" to build ever more roads which simply attract more motor vehicle traffic; it can reduce traffic congestion in our cities, reduce frustration and stress for people travelling in congested areas, reduce noise and air pollution and can offer certainty in transit times because riders can bypass bottlenecks. At this time when average people are "doing it tough" due to cost of living pressures, cycling offers individuals huge savings in travel costs, and in time over distances up to 10 km or even further, while reducing the need to find time to go to the gym for "exercise". Health budgets will benefit from lowered incidence of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression and many other complaints of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.

I live in your colleague Joe Hockey's electorate. I would appreciate it if you would join with him in promoting and, if in government, help in funding a major piece of sustainable transport infrastructure which could attract thousands of commuting cyclists and bypass the "cycling hell" of North Sydney. This is the HarbourLink shared pathway project -- -- linking the Gore Hill Freeway shared path to the Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway and the burgeoning cycle lanes in Sydney itself. (Could you also have a word with Joe about getting on a bike? He would be welcome to join in on any of Bike North's -- -- rides through his electorate.)

It is surely time for cycling's benefits to be front and centre in planning for our future.

Will you actively support such a program during the election campaign and beyond?

Yours sincerely

Comment by Dasher on August 25, 2010 at 12:41pm
Oooh I only just discovered this forum! I'm an avid letter writer (much to my husband & mother's dismay), usually to the SMH. Here's my contribution to Column 8 (re shared paths)
"Alacoque Dash, of Ultimo, has some advice for pedestrians playing chicken with cyclists in shared zones (Column 8, yesterday). ''I was much the same when I moved to Shanghai,'' she writes. ''Every ring of a bell had me jumping out of the way as some bike or scooter came flying down the footpath. After a short time, I realised the bell was simply a heads-up and developed a habit of walking on the side of the footpath so I didn't need to move when a bell sounded. That is real sharing, as opposed to Sydneysiders' need to walk four abreast, a la Sex and the City, on shared paths, forcing bikes off-path or both parties to play chicken.''
Comment by Jen on November 10, 2010 at 9:44pm
To Holroyd Council re shared path, Great Western Highway Wentworthville
Dear Council,
I would like to raise my concerns about changes to the shared path at the Great Western Highway due to the new development next to Red Rooster. During the replacement of the section of the path in front of this building, two changes have been made that I believe decrease the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
1. The shared path sign which was previously at the edge of the path near the pedestrian/bicycle crossing lights has been removed.
2. A straight section of the path between the crossing and Red Rooster has been replaced with a section of path that leave a very narrow section of travel and does not safely allow passing of someone travelling in the opposite direction.

I would like to request that Council ensure that these issues are quickly rectified as an unsafe situation has been created where there was previously a safe shared path.


Comment by Dasher on December 13, 2010 at 8:16am

My letter in today's Sydney Morning Herald in response to a letter calling for all cyclists to wear fluoro vests with an identifying number: 


I am sorry to hear Philip Dunne (Letters, December 11-12) has been inconvenienced by caring for someone hurt by a cyclist. However passing the buck of cyclist safety onto cyclists only must stop. Calls for high-visibility vests are ridiculous. When I ride to the shops or to work I am not in a race. I don't need a vest with an identifying number. I am happy to carry identification or register my bike, but I am not happy to absolve drivers of responsibility for their lack of attention.

I am taller when sitting on bike. I am also larger. No one blames pedestrians when they are hit by cars. More pedestrians than cyclists are killed by cars every year, yet there is no cry for mandatory helmets and fluoro vests for pedestrians. If you find it difficult to see cyclists I suggest you slow down, and perhaps get your eyes tested.

Alacoque Dash Ultimo


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