AS the owner of the dog which died recently on the trial cattle grid at Castle Meadows, I feel I must take issue with last week’s letters from Jack Thurston and Sam Charrington from the local cycle club.

First of all I find Mr Thurston’s idea that if cyclists have to stop and open a gate they will not use the new paths quite ludicrous.

I am a cyclist myself but I am not a selfish cyclist. I recognise that the action of stopping to open a gate provides a prompt that I will be moving onto a shared path, in a peaceful location, where the majority of other users will be pedestrians. I am happy to use this prompt to stop, slow down and respect the comfort of others.

My issue with Mr Charrington’s comments is more serious. His suggestion that people are “using” the death of my dog to derail the Castle Meadows project is insensitive, unpleasant and blatantly untrue.

A small group came together recently to discuss our, surely understandable, opposition to the new cattle grids planned for the entrances to The Meadows. This is hardly an attempt to derail the plans.

Following on from this, I would also dispute the claims that the project (in its current form) is popular.

While the overall plan to provide a new foot and cycle bridge over the River Usk is seen by most people as essential, the way Monmouthshire County Council are planning to carry out these plans is very UNpopular.

I would suggest that both gentlemen take a look at the comments on the survey carried out by Active Travel. They will see some important, very genuine and well argued concerns about the impact of adding wide cycle paths across a much loved, peaceful and beautiful wildlife haven.

Overall the fors and againsts came out pretty even which, considering how popular the project for the new bridge is, can only indicate just how strong the feelings are against the current implementation plans.

May I ask Mr Thurston and Mr Charrington to re examine their closed minded attitude? You do not speak for all local cyclists and you are giving us a bad reputation.

May I also ask Active Travel and Monmouthshire County Council to slow down in your speed to get these plans through and listen to the views of ALL local residents?

If everyone works together, and if the voices of all stakeholders are listened to, I truly believe we could find a solution that is agreeable to all local people.

-Jo W