I refer to Paul Smith’s letter (‘A way from A to B’, Opinion, June 3), in which he rejects my suggestion that a cycle path along the New River would be vastly preferable to one along Green Lanes.

He says he wants routes to be as flat as possible. I too am a 50-year-old cyclist and, unlike him, enjoy the odd hill climb. Even so, our borough is isn’t exactly mountainous. But it appears to have escaped Mr Smith that a route along the New River would be almost entirely flat. Not only that, but it would start and finish exactly where the council’s scheme will, in Enfield Town and Palmers Green.

Then, he states that the hatched areas on Green Lanes should be removed to help make space for a segregated cycle route. The idea would not work for the following reasons: 1. There are few, if any, at the busier junctions and commercial areas, where a segregated cycle lane will cause some of the worst headaches.

2. The purpose of those hatched areas is safety, providing a refuge for motor vehicles and cycles turning right into side roads. When combined with traffic bollards set on small islands, they also provide a safety refuge for pedestrians.

3. Hatched areas slow traffic down because they appear to narrow the carriageway, giving the impression that the road is more hazardous than it is. They also help to discourage overtaking, which can be dangerous.

With regard to his promotion of the Poynton Regeneration in Lancashire; creating such a shared space is precisely what I have called for in earlier letters to this newspaper. The clever surface textures used work in a similar way to the hatched areas. It is far preferable to segregated cycle lanes. There is a scheme fairly local in Stanstead Abbotts near Ware, a flat cycle ride away from Enfield, alongside the Lea Navigation that Mr Smith might like to check out.

Paul Mandel

Ulleswater Road, London