Monday, February 27, 2012

CITIES FIT FOR CYCLING : David Cameron on Cycling !

David Cameron voiced this comment , recently:

“ Anyone who has got on a bicycle — particularly in one of our busier cities — knows you are taking your life into your hands every time you do so, and so we do need to do more to try and make cycling safer...I think that if we want to encourage the growth in cycling we have seen in recent years, we need to get behind campaigns like this. ”

Member of Parliament for an area west of Oxford , the University Town known the world over , and a place you can move around more easily by bike , lends his support to cycling ahead of the “ Back Benchers debate “ in Westminster Hall . Known to be a cyclist in the past , but because of his position as Prime Minister , he is hustled from one appointment to the next in a convoy of vehicles these days . With London full of Foreign Dignitaries he was no doubt left with little choice as to how to fill his day . So what excuse did the remaining 500+ MP’s render fot their non attendance at this crucial debate ?

Forgivable if ill health kept some MPs away , BUT , if they claimed expenses for this day , and did not attend , then they are “ Fraudsters ” , with their snout in the Public Purse ! No doubt the “ Times Campaign journos ” can ascertain their whereabouts , and if there is no legitimate excuse , point them to a “ Cycling Charity “ where they can deposit their ill gotten gains ? I am not talking just about their expenses , I am suggesting they render their DAY’S Salary ALSO !

David Cameron as head of the Government NEEDS to sit down and think back to the decision to eliminate “ CYCLING ENGLAND ”! Just what purpose was served by that decision ? Oh , you wanted to save money ? Get real ! Each Serviceman killed in Afganistan is reported to cost the Country £1/2M , Yes , half a million pounds ! So each civilian killed on the streets of the UK costs the country , how much ? Reports that the UK invest 79p per person in Cycling related matters are laughable ! You can’t even buy a pint of milk at that price never mind a loaf of bread ! Smaller countries with smaller populations are investing as much as £ 20 each person , each year !

Balancing the Economy these days is fraught with uncertainty and so it is necessary to look at the long term picture as well as the short term . Does the UK save money by penny pinching on Cycling , NOW or do they spend massive amounts of money supporting those that are maimed on the roads and those that are becoming obese through lack of exercise , since they can no longer cycle on the countries roads ?

I understand that the UK was offering Tax Breaks on the purchase of Bikes that would be used part of the week to go to and from the workplace . This was a scheme that benefited all that participated BUT I gather it is now being phased out ! Each business reimburses employee for the use of their car on business related activities , but there are some that choose to use a bike . Some seen to thin that when you use a bike there is no expense so choose not to reimburse those miles ! Pettiness like this is rife , time the Inland Revenue stepped in and made the usage of Cycles reimbursable at the same rates as the smaller cars ! Think about the fact that there would be savings on parking costs and the time seeking parking , and the argument is already won !

If David Cameron is waiting for a Blind Man with a white stick , to point out these TWO areas of helping Cyclists in the UK , where he can ACT NOW , then , he is not the man for the job of leading the UK !

Sunday, February 19, 2012


There appears to be a change in Drivers’ perception of Cyclists in recent weeks ! Could this be as a result of the article in “ The Thunderer ” and the introduction of their Cycle Safety Campaign ?

When I blogged in “ Parrabuddy ” about the campaign launched by the “ Times ” I had expected to hear more from my readers ? Deafening silence is what has greeted the adding of the “ Cities fit for Cycling ” logo to each blog !

Photo shown is something that happens all to often , hopefully the cyclist escaped injury !

The Times has published a few stories but when I click on the box “ Follow stories about ” I get nothing , then I click on “ Cities fit for Cycling ” which is part of that box , and instead of transferring to new stories I get thrown back to an article :

“ Better driving will make roads safer for cyclists, say motorists”

This item is available in several other parts of the website . There are many useful statistics reported but I recall some weeks ago being advised that the readers stories could only be viewed by those that are registered with “ The Times ” !

The Times has given credit to other Cycling Safety campaigns , some of which follow :

See Me Save Me - Co-ordinated by RoadPeace, a group which campaigns to reduce danger on the roads and support those bereaved or injured by road crashes, the ‘See Me Save Me’ campaign was started after the death of Eilidh Cairns, who was killed in 2009 when she was crushed beneath the wheels of a lorry in Notting Hill Gate. The campaign calls to eliminate blind-spots on lorries, asking for extra mirrors, sensors and alarms to be standard issue on heavy goods vehicles and for lorry-drivers to be trained in the good practice that will save lives on the road.

Go Dutch - The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has called on the mayoral candidates in London to make the capital “more liveable for everyone by making our streets as asafe and inviting for cycling as they are in Holland”. It describes road planning as overly “car-centric” and asks for more space to be dedicated to cyclists alongside major roads in London.

Stop SMIDSY - SMIDSY stands for “Sorry mate, I didn’t see you”, and is part of efforts by the Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) to highlight the dangers of bad driving, especially when drivers simply claim not to have seen the cyclists they have just crashed into.

Andrew Cyclist - Following the death of Andrew McNicoll in Edinburgh on January 5 this year, his family are campaigning to make Edinburgh safer for cyclists, seeking to address issues such as speed limits, parking and road quality.

The UK Cycling Alliance - Made up of members from Sustrans, British Cycling, the CTC, Cyclenation, the LCC and the Bicycle Association, this group is bringing its members together to lobby MPs in advance of a debate in Westminster on February 23.
A Sustrans spokesperson said: “Central to our call will be a need for dedicated and sustained funding for cycling to ensure that we can get more people cycling safely.
“The debate on 23rd offers a fantastic opportunity for MPs to get involved in cycling policy. UKCA is working to ensure that MPs know how important this debate is, not just for hardened cyclists but also for Mums doing the school run and people popping to the local shops. Cycling should be a choice that we can all make – this debate should help to get that message across.”

Cycle for Life - Set up by road safety charity Brake, the campaign calls for investment in engineering measures to create segregated cycle paths to protect cyclists and drivers from each other, while also calling for cyclists to do all they can to reduce the risk they face on the roads.

Go Make It Happen - Though not directly cycling related, this is a charity set up in memory of Sam Harding, who was killed on London’s Holloway Road in August last year. It looks to support young people who want to be involved in travel and tourism - as Sam was.

Hopefully there will now be access to ALL that choose to read those stories that they publish

The Times has a number of other articles worth reading :

More from Cities fit for cycling :

Safer cycling on track to be Olympic legacy
February 18 2012 12:01AM
The Times Cycle Safe campaign wins support of another Government minister as the world’s fastest track cyclists gathered in the Olympic Park
Cambridge backs The Times cycle campaign
Last updated February 17 2012 12:24PM
Cambridge is set to be the first city council to approve in full The Times ‘Cities fit for Cycling’ campaign
Driver used bus as ‘weapon’ against cyclist
Last updated February 17 2012 12:01AM
A bus driver in Bristol has been jailed after using his bus “as a weapon” against a cyclist, crushing his bike and breaking his leg.
Construction giants ‘make cycling safer’
Last updated February 16 2012 12:01AM
The UK Contractors Group (UKCG) is set to produce a strategy which could include greater safety measures to protect cyclists

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Saw this " title " in Fatcyclist.com who was blogging about how grateful he is to the people involved in the Cycle Industry supply chain for all the products that we are able to choose .

Italy is at present trying to Establish a new law , " Vehicular Manslaughter " ! Recently the prosecutors in a death case there , on appeal had the original sentence for the death of a 24yo woman increased from 4 years to 14 years ! Italy has twice the number of Deaths compared to that of the UK . An " Act of Parliament " has been introduced and it is hoped will become law in the near future !

" The Thunderer " has in a few days done more for Cyclists’ safety than many other campaigns! Just about a week ago I blogged about their “ Cities for Cycling Campaign “ and between times nearly 4800 people have related their cycling experiences to the Times .
Thanks to the Times this campaign’s impact as been significant already , with the matter being tabled for discussion in the House of Commons as early as the 23rd February ! “ We (will )live in the Future “ could be the title of part of the Campaign , because anything that impacts on the “ War on the Roads “ , will save lives and there will be more taking up Cycling as a result of their feeling “ Safer “!

Amy Gillett a Cyclist I met all too briefly with her team mates at the “ Tour de Romandie “ was an Olympian Rower in the Australian Squad but converted to racing bikes before her untimely death in a training accident when Six of the AIS team were skittled by a young German Girl in Eastern Germany as they were on a training ride for the Tour of Thuringen . One of the stories related in The Times today is narrated by Rebecca Romero , also an Olympian Rower , who described the loss of a fellow rower , who was riding to rowing training ! Regrettably there is no comment facility on that story to advise of the common link , particularly since the UK and Oz are the Premier Cycle Racing Nations these days . I feel sure that Amy and Rebecca would have met in their rowing careers .

Link to the Times article : http://t.co/gzL71FYf

When you look at the photo in the article you will see the tab for the second part of the article , it is the interactive graphic , which has boxes to click on thus transferring you to the individual tips .

In the bottom LHS of the box you click to return to the main page , thus you are able to go around the wheel . Not sure if I can put up All 13 boxes but will try !


Monday, February 6, 2012


This post started out as a reply to : http://thecyclingsilk.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-personal-journey-with-bicycle.html?showComment=1328516429712#c9005153709785114235

Perhaps the issues raised there are more important than most people realise ! Fact is the open road has degenerated into “ Open warfare ” since there are elements of society that think that being in their “ Mobile coffin ” makes them invulnerable to tragedy to them and their families ? Wrapped in a steel environment a small minority think they are isolated from responsibility , or so they think ! Cyclists and Pedestrians will always be the losers when in contact with some “ Careless or Inattentive “ vehicle operator ! That there are Vulnerable Road Users moving around and not paying attention to their circumstances is true also is a certainty ! That the Authorities have enough Legislation in place to deal with collisions between vehicles and Vulnerable Road Users is a given BUT there does not seem to be the “ Political Will ” to deal correctly with obviously outrageous behaviour on the “ Open Roads” . Too often the attitude is “ We can’t undo what has happened “ so a far too lenient penalty is imposed ! “ Road Slaughter ” could be a better description of some of the “ Accidents ” !

As voiced in another blog “ The Times ” has now weighed into the “ Cycling Debate ” due to a member of their staff being Hospitalised whilst riding to work . “ The Thunderer ” has caused “ Parliaments ” to fall and influenced the forming of New Governments during their history , so one hopes that they will succeed with influencing New Legislation to make the roads SAFER for all !

This is my comment to Martin Porter’s Blog which is followed by around 200+ regularly , I wish some of his followers would boost my numbers .

“ Followed link to "Bristol Traffic " and your post is being quoted there already !

Dominating the road is the only safe way to ride considering that you have to dodge potholes , gutters , opening car doors and even rubbish dropped out of vehicle windows !
Some vehicle owners are only safe when they leave the vehicle parked ! That said , it amazes me that in this day when traffic jams are the norm , why any driver expects a clear road because they are running late ?

People need to realise that a Driver's license is a privilege subject to good behaviour and abusing other road users does not qualify for discussion amongst normal people , yet there are some who will regale their group with their latest antics .

Your perseverance in seeking justice is to be commended and I hope your following will adopt the same stance . “The Thundered “ would do well to invite you and like minded to make their views known ! Only when motorists know that their bad behaviour will result in them being sent to “ Kindergarten Driving School ( their vehicle/car carrying a suitable recognisable placard also ) ” as well as financial loss and inconvenience will the message to the few determined bullying drivers be recognised !

No driver will want to wear a “ Learner / Convicted Bully “ placard on their vehicle , imagine the ribbing from colleagues , friends and family ?

Many of your commenters made good points worthy of the “ Funding Authorities ” giving favourable consideration and implementation . Oxford City is just about to spend £1m to move the % of local journeys that can be made by cyclists from 15% closer to 25% ,and that current level is less than Cambridge’s current 21% ! At the same time the Police decide to “ blitz ” cyclists for riding in an area that busses are free to travel and does this send an encouraging message ? So much easier and better for statistics to detain a slow moving cyclist than stop a vehicle with a driver with phone held to ear ? Like other cities Oxford has Cycle Cops and they could have been used to detain and instruct rather than plodders issuing £30 penalties !

Interesting email on “ Bristol Traffic ”blog , typical of the selfish driver , who looks at the momentary inconvenience ! Generally this frustration is down to the driver not planning to arrive on time !

"were you the idiot driver of the grey van who on Wed Feb 1 was swearing at me down at Muller Road because all the way down Romney Ave he hadn't been able to pass me, because I didn't get out of the way of traffic?"

"If you were, can I point out that I was doing 30 mph, so you had no justification to pass me, and as I was following a car doing the same speed about three bike lengths in front, you had nowhere to go anyway."

"I hope you enjoyed the long traffic jam on Muller Road with no bicycle in your way to get upset about"

Leaving late and expecting to catch up along the way never EVER works , leaving early and arriving early gives a person time to relax , read a book or enjoy some other activity !

My blogs highlight plenty of bad behaviour and even at the Tour de France drivers rushing to view the spectacle will hassle cyclists ! They are there to watch the racers and Cyclists are stopping them from speeding , sorry getting , to the spot they will spend 5hrs or so awaiting the Peloton ? After the roads open they will then even prevent those , the racers and team vehicles , that provided their entertainment , from exiting the Finish Area ! With this sort of behaviour it is little wonder the normal roads are treated as a battle ground ! ”