THE Echo reported recently that New Forest MP Dr Julian Lewis wants cyclists to be required by law to have bells fitted to their bicycles and to use them to warn pedestrians of their approach.

Having a bell fitted to one's bicycle is good sense but Dr Lewis appears to have a strangely distorted view of what constitutes a risk to his constituents.

Can he provide a single example of anyone in his constituency being "mown down" by a cyclist as they "go about their business"? If not, why on earth is he wasting time on such trivia?

Someone needs to inform Dr Lewis that the real danger to his constituents and to the Forest ponies comes from motor vehicles being driven carelessly and in excess of the speed limit.

He would do better to devote his time campaigning for a reduced speed limit in the Forest and harsher penalties for those who cause an accident .

Two weeks ago I took part in a ride in memory of cyclists Mark Brummell and Kieran Dix, killed at Ipley Cross by drivers crossing 'give way' lines at almost 40mph. Cyclists are the victims, not the perpetrators of road accidents in the Forest.

Cycling is good for the New Forest. Every cyclist means one fewer car: reduced environmental damage, reduced risk to the lives of ponies and, Dr Lewis note this, reduced risk to your constituents.

Lindsi Bluemel

Secretary, Southampton Cycling Campaign