FURTHER to Trevor Hyde's letter regarding the safety issues of the remodelled Field End Road [see reference above], I should like to add a cyclist's perspective.
This has never been a pleasant road to cycle down in peak periods, and although I believe the speed of traffic has fallen slightly, it has introduced an unwelcome element of conflict.
Introducing narrower stretches, particularly with central islands, causes problems for road users who don't normally occupy the whole lane width.
A number of cyclists have been seriously injured or killed else-where in the UK at such width restrictions, by vehicles travelling too fast and misjudging the available width.
Professional cycle trainers teach cyclists a strategy to reduce the risk of such accidents.
When approaching the narrowing, the cyclist should look behind and make eye contact with any vehicles coming up behind whilst positioning their bike in the 'primary position', that is the centre of the traffic lane.
Although this does reduce the risk of a vehicle passing too close to the cyclist, it also introduces conflict, and some drivers will force the cyclist to take avoiding action as they force themselves past anyway.
Fortunately, I've not been involved in a serious incident so far, although I have had near misses where cars have either almost hit the central island, have come within literally an inch of my bike, or have even decided to pass on the other side of the island.
Not surprisingly, I've also been on the receiving end of abuse for taking up what the driver considers to be an unreasonable amount of space.
If there were a viable alternative route,I would use it; government and council policies are supposed to encourage cycle use - schemes like this have the opposite effect, and I question the ethics of road engineering that increases the dangers faced by vulnerable road users.
I should like to issue an open invitation to any member of Hillingdon Council's traffic engineering department to accompany me by bike down this stretch in the morning peak to appreciate the issues first hand. MICHAEL HARRIES,
Daymer Gardens, Pinner.