ON SUNDAY I returned from a cycle ride in the New Forest and, on reaching Redbridge, I joined the excellent Western Approach cycle route.

As I passed Millbrook Station I noticed a group of teenagers with bicycles using the footbridge to cross Millbrook Road and, as the new bridge has no ramp, they were forced to carry their bicycles up the steps.

Being teenagers, this didn't present too many difficulties for them but supposing it was a family with children, older or less able cyclists wanting to cross Millbrook Road at this location, to access Foundry Lane, for example?

It is disgraceful that the council allowed Network Rail to replace a bridge with a facility for disabled people and cyclists with a bridge inaccessible to these groups.

What were they thinking of?

Objections submitted by the public were ignored and council officers expressed little concern at the loss of this vital facility, simply saying that it was a matter for Network Rail and cyclists could cross at the Millbrook Road/Paynes Road junction or add an extra mile to their journey by crossing at the Regents Park Road traffic lights.

It was pointed out to the council that the Paynes Road crossing facility (not light controlled) is regarded as dangerous by many cyclists and adding a significant extra distance to cycle journeys was not acceptable but these concerns fell on deaf ears.

It is also regrettable that Network Rail should care so little about cyclists and disabled people that a well used facility should be removed and no adequate replacement installed.

At this late stage it is probably not now possible to add a ramp to the bridge.

If this is the case, I trust the new council will demonstrate its commitment to sustainable transport and disabled people by installing a light controlled crossing at this location.

Lindsi Bluemel