WITH Radcliffe resident Joseph Sloan campaigning against 400 homes being built on the Former East Lancashire Paper Mill site, and Bury Green Party’s Nicole Haydock praising the work of local volunteers, not only will both need an overwhelming amount of support, but the borough's residents must wake up to reality.

In 1991, I was knocked-off my bicycle by a negligent driver.

Finding it difficult to ride my bike with brain injury because of the fear of traffic, I joined RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims, and set about campaigning for safer roads for cyclists.

And, although my campaigning got a good deal of media coverage, it got very little support.

For example, in 2009 I submitted a petition to the Government calling for a driving ban — similar to for drink/drug-driving — for drivers caught talking/texting/watching videos, at the wheel.

To support it, I cited Transport Research Laboratory evidence showing that, while the reaction time of a driver just above the drink/drug-drive limit was slowed by some 15 per cent, the reaction time of a texting driver was slowed by some 35 per cent.

In effect, twice the drink-drive limit. Did sound logic prevail?

When the petition closed after 12 months, it had more than 4,000 signatures, including experts and doctors, and was rejected.

Seven years and 14,000 road deaths later, transport secretary Chris Grayling increased the penalty from three points to six saying: “Our message is simple and clear: do not get distracted by your mobile phone while driving. It may seem innocent, but holding and using your phone at the wheel risks serious injury and even death to yourself and other road users.”

From my experience, the reality is that, although MPs fight for us, government Ministers don’t listen — with a population expanding by the minute, cars and homes must be built, regardless.

Given Bury’s volunteers, and the Beast from the East, we’ve seen the best of Britain.

Sadly, it effectively amounts to a thin layer of cream covering a sea of plastic-filled sour milk.

And, what Britain’s army of drivers won’t accept is that we must reduce car dependency.

And, what stops me and millions of others from cycling to the likes of health centres, hospitals, and schools, is the vast army of lawless drivers.

To make housing, if not heating them, affordable, we need affordable transport, and it doesn’t come more affordable than cycling.

And to think, when fit pensioners can run faster than obese teenagers, and cycle at 30mph, how unfair is it that, drivers with blue badges can, and do exceed speed limits?

Allan Ramsay

Radcliffe Moor Road