Greenock Telegraph 13th August 2021

My first car was a Morris Minor 1000. It was a thing of great beauty. It was impervious to all weather conditions. Come hail, rain, shine and snow that wee car never let me down. It cost me £60 and eventually I traded it in against a Vauxhall Chevette, followed by a Sunbeam Alpine and there followed a range of other cars. I am telling you this, so you don’t think I am immune to the needs for car ownership. I get it. I like my car. But I am also a cyclist. And I would like to cycle more. Unless you have been hiding your head in a cloud of petrol fumes emissions you will be aware that our precious tiny wee planet is slowly being destroyed by us. And to reverse the damage and give future generations a fighting chance we need to change our ways. The big energy companies are looking, more and more, to sustainable renewables, major manufacturers are overhauling packaging and supply chains. Recycle, up-cycle and bicycles are becoming more and more popular. These transitions don’t just happen. People need to change their mindset and then mend their ways. And it’s important that at all levels of government this is reinforced. The recent upgrading of the cycle path in Inverclyde has drawn some valid criticism and some ill-informed knee jerk reactions but it is important that we don’t lose sight of what we are trying to achieve. Changing the behaviour patterns of car drivers is never easy and we (and yes, I include myself) have gotten used to having the roads to ourselves. But that has to change, and the cycle path is important in that respect. It is not the prettiest I have ever seen and issues around safety must be addressed, but importantly it must be continually improved if we are to re-educate ourselves and transition to greener modes of transport. It may be a cycle pathway at this moment but it’s a pathway to a cleaner, more environmentally friendly, more socially aware future.