I am writing to express my concerns over the cycleway being built in Walton.

I do so as an experienced cyclist and cycling instructor.

What is being built is not fit for purpose and is an expensive waste of resources and opportunity.

Surrey has managed to take an initially poor design and, through the consultation process, make it worse and, finally, in its construction, further added insult to injury.

The cycle path was not intended to benefit so-called lycra-louts, it was made to encourage less experienced cyclists to take up riding.

It was claimed on BBC Surrey that this design was inspired by Dutch cycle infrastructure, a country where 70 per cent of journeys are by bike and no one feels the need to wear helmets.

The Walton scheme is dangerously removed from this ideal. In Holland, when a cycleway crosses a side road, the bike has right of way – along Walton, bikes must yield to traffic.

I know I must do this, but how many less experienced riders will? How may sevenyear- old kids will look left, right and backwards before continuing on the cycleway?

At junctions in Holland, the road is raised to force traffic to slow as bikes cross.

There is no such protection for Bridge Street, Hepworth Way and Terrace Road.

The Kingston mini-Holland proposals for Portsmouth Road incorporate this design, it is what the Department for Transport and Transport for London are adopting as the design stand for cycleways, yet Surrey’s planners have maintained the out-dated design for Walton.

Following the death of a cyclist in Richmond recently, the coroner condemned the cycle path design as contributing to the collision. It was exactly the design being built in Walton.

There are good bits – the route across the bridge is excellent, but then it gets to the junction with Bridge Street and New Zealand Avenue and cyclists must dismount or rejoin the roadway.

There are five lanes of traffic here. Are the planners serious that 2m could not be found to keep the route continuous?

Despite popular myth, cyclists do not like riding on pavements, pedestrians are more unpredictable than cars, and the section of cycleway opposite the Heart has been widened by only 0.5m, while the opposite pavement remains 5m wide.

The whole of this scheme replaces cycle-motor vehicle conflict with cycle-pedestrian conflict. The north bank has sign-posts and bollards in the middle of the cycle pathway, strange give way lines that defy anything in the Highway Code.

Before the scheme was built, Walton was a busy and intimidating place to cycle, but, cycling on the road, you were sure of the right of way if you were happy to cycle in traffic.

I will not use this pathway, and I would not encourage any confident cyclist to use the pathway, and here comes the final twist. I am safer on the road than the path but, because the roadway has been narrowed, I am less safe than I was.

Some £1.5m has been spent making cycling in Walton less safe than it used to be.

I would urge the council to delay further building on the scheme and revisit the key risks at the junctions.