If there is a war on Britain’s roads, the car just claimed another victory

Swearing, aggression and lots of angry road users featured heavily in last nights BBC documentary.

You can still watch it, if you want to grit your teeth at every close call here:


It will only be available for about 5 days, at which point it will be banished in to the BBC archives. Which is where many cycle campaigners and indeed motoring leaders believe it belongs.

taxi driver confronts cyclist

I decided to watch it with the track “Why can’t we be friends” playing in the background, which rather brightened the bleak mood.

I couldn’t help but find myself wanting to say to the participants: “Come on mate, let’s calm down and chat this over with a nice cold pint and packet of crisps at the pub”.

Once you peel away all the layers of sensationalism, you find some very interesting interviews. Particularly heart breaking was the interview with Cynthia, the mother of a cyclist, Alex, killed by a Heavy Goods Vehicle on London’s roads.

The documentary did a good job of highlighting the dangers to cyclists, of cycling on the inside of heavy goods vehicles.

Cyclist on the inside of a heavy goods vehicle

This is a position you never want to be in and it’s where a large number of fatal accidents in London occur.

Perhaps the most important point to take away is:

“Many cyclists feel they are under threat, even when they are in the cycle lane”

Car passing by a cyclist

People don’t feel safe in the cycle lane. Time and time again, this is what they’ll report when asked why they don’t cycle.

A car passing you at 35mph at arms width, doesn’t feel safe.

The solution, and what campaign groups are calling for, is Dutch style, segregated infrastructure.

This would create the sort of conditions for cycling, that I’d be happy to tell my little cousin, my dad or my gran to go by bike.

Boris Johnson and TfL have just announced a plan to treble spending on cycle infrastructure in London to almost £1 billion over the next ten years. That is less than 2% of the TfL’s transport budget. (If it was 2% it would be around £1.5 billion).

There’s no doubt this is significant. However, there are two issues. The first is that a 5% modal share for cycling is being targeted by 2026. Yet, less than 2% of the budget is being spent on cycling.

There are also no firm commitments on exactly how that money will be spent. Will we see more cycle superhighways which when you reach a dangerous junction, the superhighways simply disappear?

The car wins the war

In the mean time, George Osborne handed yet another victory to the car.

Osborne announced a further £1 billion to be spent on upgrading the road network.

This follows an announcement of £20 million to be spent on cycling. If you add up all the money promised for cycling, it adds up to just 0.5% of the Department for Transport budget.

I.e. “We don’t care about cycling”.

1 – 0 to the car.

He also announced a further delay to the planned 3p a litre rise in fuel duty. Meanwhile, commuters who’d like to go by train, bus or underground, will continue to see fares rising by 1% more than inflation for the next ten years.

Public transport users are being penalised, while drivers are being rewarded:

“..the fact is that over the past 10 years the real cost of motoring has declined by 10%, while bus and train fares have increased by more than 50%.”

No wonder car use is up in the UK, with only London bucking the trend.

The governments message is clear: We want to make it as cheap and easy as possible for you to go by car, and we don’t care about the extortionate rail fares in the UK.

2 – 0 to the car

Wake up to the changing dimensions

I understand why George Osborne didn’t increase fuel duty. It would have been an incredibly unpopular decision. I can also understand that motorists contribute £27bn to the treasury by filling up their cars. I also understand that these are hard times.

However, we can’t keep going along our current path.

There’s a limit to fossil fuels, a limit to the number of roads we can build and a limit to the number of cars we can squeeze in to our cities.

My hope is that London can lead by example, and that TfL will invest this money wisely to increase cycling. We shall see!

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115 Responses to If there is a war on Britain’s roads, the car just claimed another victory

  1. Mark S 06/12/2012 at 2:54 pm #

    What’s the betting that none of the £1 billion of infrastructure projects will include sod all cycle facilities? I do recall him saying one was to increase capacity on the M25 but there isn’t any real reason (asides from just plain laziness and ignorance) why they can’t include proper segregated cycle lanes alongside some of the A-roads they are planning on “improving” by adding a few more lanes for the cars to fill up….

    • Paul 08/12/2012 at 2:55 pm #

      I refuse to watch any of this veiled anti-cyclist bullshit pedalled by the BBC. I havent seen the programme, but all the pre and post hype alone prevents me from viewing it and geting further depressed. Whilst the majority of my cycling life is spent having a great relationship with other road users – I am courteous and accepting without question other’s foibles when it comes to us ALL using the often inadequate road network – one of my biggest beefs is with other so called ‘cyclists’ – (or people on bikes) who peddle along in a cavalier fashion without adequate brakes, they cycle on the pavements, are not lit up at nights, and continuously ignore the rules of the road, thus giving those of us who cycle as a lifestyle choice a bad name.

  2. chris 06/12/2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Its been on the news this morning that another cyclist has been killed by a lorry on Commercial Road. Apparently, the area was filled with school kids who witnessed it.

    Ive written loads about that gaudy ‘reality show’ so Im not going to repeat it here suffice to say that they didnt speak with any women cyclists or drivers (apart from the mother of a dead cyclist), they spoke to, nor showed any footage of pedestrians stepping into the road, nor of the huge amount of KSI’s caused by cars mounting the pavement.

    Michael Hutchinson said “If there is a war on Britain’s roads, its between idiots and the rest of us”.

  3. Vladimir 06/12/2012 at 3:44 pm #

    This is very well articulated 🙂

    I have been seething over the war on britain’s roads programme, because having have caught some of that show last night, I didn’t feel it was representative of cycling…

    I downloaded the programme to watch later – and once I watched it, I will hopefully write out what I think of it as well…

    Stay safe people 🙂

  4. barton 06/12/2012 at 3:58 pm #

    I am still at a loss to understand how using commercially shot footage (the messangers doing an ally cat race through the streets) can be used by the BBC for a documentary. It all feels more Daily Mail than BBC. Hyperbole aside (and yet, not really), it’s like using a hip hop music video showing violence to prove your case that there is violence in a city. That doesn’t wash.

    I sent a complaint letter to Ofcom. Yeah, not a citizen of the UK (used the address for the hotel I always stay at), but still…..


    • barton 06/12/2012 at 4:00 pm #

      Here is where to complain to the BBC (since they fall out of the Ofcom mandate):


    • Adam Edwards 06/12/2012 at 4:09 pm #

      Occurs to me this programme could be a model for other cheap BBC shows:

      e.g: The War in Britains Churches: Uses unique genuine archive footage of feminista nuns singing political songs like “Climb every mountain” in their attempts to get Women bishops whilst being opposed by suspicious men in black.

      Really worry that if this is the normal standards the BBC is ok with, what are we being fed in subjects where we are all less expert?

  5. Liz Wall 06/12/2012 at 4:07 pm #

    There’s good and bad cyclists and drivers, what’s needed is respect on both sides, and to learn to share the road space. Also a real need for better infrastructure not just in London but all over the country. I cycle in Medway and the roads are so old and narrow that as cars pass me they are so close. The cycle lanes are very few and what there are tend to be so narrow no cyclist wants to use them as you are in the gutters.

    • Kie7077 08/12/2012 at 10:56 am #

      If the cars can’t pass you safely then the recommendation is to cycle in the center of your lane (primary position).

      It’s interesting that you said that because this is one of the points the video utterly fails to address – what is safe driving and what isn’t, It was not addressed that it is careless driving and hence illegal to pass a cyclist at a distance of a foot whilst traveling at speed.

      The video also doesn’t mention that in 80% of accidents, the motor vehicle driver is at fault and a quarter of cyclist deaths are the result of the driver attempting to drive too close to the cyclists.

      I really wish the programme had explained why cyclists take primary etc.

      • Mark 11/12/2012 at 6:27 pm #

        well said!
        all motorists think is “arrogant cyclist, why wont they move i am in a hurry and want to come by”

        we wont move because we are preventing the car from squeezing past, within an inch of our life!

  6. Steve H 06/12/2012 at 4:12 pm #

    That sentiment about the war being between the idiots and the rest of us is spot on. Irresponsibly one-sided and unhelpful thought that article was, I don’t think that documentary will do anything to change the views of anyone who’s remotely sensible – and the idiots don’t really need any more fuel to become more antagonised.

    There’s a post on the &Bike blog (http://www.andbike.cc/culture/there-is-no-war-on-britains-roads/) which, while we’re not talking about the government’s behaviour towards cyclists, does have a look at why the ideas of ‘war’ that the documentary talks about are just plain rubbish…

  7. Mars 06/12/2012 at 4:56 pm #

    I watched this programme today on the iplayer and was amazed at how annoying everyone seemed to be.

    Yes, the driving was stupid and negligent, but actually, so was some of the cycling – certainly amongst those who were interviewed. In fact, it bordered on arrogance and a sense of massive, misplaced superiority.

    For those who have been hurt while behaving in a sensible manner I offer my hugest sympathies, but there are many cyclists in London (where I commute) who simply ride without regard for other road users – which is indefensible.

    As for the drivers who target cyclists, refuse to accept bicycles/motorbikes have a place on the road, behave in a violent way towards other road users, perhaps they should be required to spend a day in the saddle themselves and have cars and vans and lorries squeeze them round roundabouts and in cycle lanes.

    In fact, as far as I can tell, only the guy who filmed his friend being struck in the head by a full on f***tard and the lorry driver who was interviewed came across with any sense of reality and a true understanding of their place amongst others on the roads. They both preached tolerance and awareness except where punishment was concerned.

    In only hope that I can ride as sensibly as I believe we all should all the time. It’s too much fun to lose out on by being a pillock.

    There, I’ve said my piece. Now go and watch the programme, if you haven’t already. Mine is just one view.

    Happy two-wheeling my pedal-pushing pals.


  8. Kim 06/12/2012 at 5:31 pm #

    These are hard times so the fact the cost of people killed and seriously injured on our roads is slightly of 1.5% of our GDP (according to the WHO), should tell us that it time to do something about it. This programme was a wasted opportunity to examine the real issues, the end for proper infrastructure. One of the contributors did try hard to get them to include something about the possible solution, but they declined the offer.

  9. Kellyman17 06/12/2012 at 5:48 pm #

    While I agree with a lot of the comments here, I think this programme has definitely done a lot of good. I have several family members in the HGV business and they have all agreed that more needs to be done. The rest of my family were all shocked by some of the treatment cyclists receive. They have all aid they will think more about how cyclists are going to use the road. This gives me some hope as the general public must have absorbed some of this programme.

    • Patrick 08/12/2012 at 5:50 pm #

      You make a good point Kellyman17 – which to be honest I actually missed because I was so annoyed at just how poor the programme was

  10. walkingdriving cyclist 06/12/2012 at 8:30 pm #

    I have now managed to catch up on this programme. Poorly weighted, and a poor selection of ambassadors. Your article is well written. It reminded me of a post I put in a social networking discussion from a cycling friend of mine who couldn’t quite find words for yet another piece of poorly researched journalism, see link here:


    My thoughts:
    “As with all these authors, they compose in the vertical and not the horizontal. Statistically, the significant majority of cyclists are ALSO drivers AND pedestrians – the other combinations less so. There are awful cyclists (saw some at Richmond Park yesterday, and there and back), but drivers and pedestrians also. I nearly hit a woman and her 2 children as they wandered right in front of me on my bike. I nearly hit a cyclist the other day as I crossed the road pushing my boy in his pram, the cyclist hurtling down the outside of stationary traffic but not watching for the pedestrian island I crossed from and plugged into I guess his iPod (?). I nearly hit a pedestrian ironically ‘carrying’ a bike 3 weeks ago when driving through town as he blindly stepped onto the road (for whatever reason). Am I the victim, or am I the bloody driver, the bloody pedestrian or the bloody cyclist”

    The discussion on the BBC programme should not have been angled at the ‘War’ between 2 wheels and 4, but the broader appalling behaviour of some people (cyclist, driver, anyone) and the still glaring lack of education, skill, and required infrastructure for all of us to be safe and respect each other.

  11. Andrew Priest (Aushiker) 07/12/2012 at 2:15 am #

    And the “car” claimed another victim this week. To me it more than just a cyclist versus motorist matter, it is much more about anger, stress and more than anything else a lack of consideration and respect for each other.

    Here in Western Australia we have a road safety campaign, “Slow down and enjoy the ride.” It is a very good message in my view.

  12. Tony 07/12/2012 at 11:09 am #

    If they were to use 6 yr old commercially shot footage of couriers as illustrative of London cycling, why not Top Gear or some You Tube speeding videos to show a balanced viewpoint? Cheap trick and disappointing for the BBC.
    It also undermined the powerful message given by the poor mother whose daughter was killed by the cement truck

  13. fern 07/12/2012 at 11:20 am #

    I don’t think it portrayed cyclists very well, that courier race really did not belong there, they could equally have put in an illegal street race with cars or motorcycles.
    However they did some of it right, I do feel very vulnerable on the road. I nearly got squashed by a new Bentley a couple of days ago that overtook me and pulled a hard left while i was beside the front passenger door . The driver stopped just before I was knocked off and said “sorry I did not see you” I had over taken him twice already in the stop start traffic. I called him names because he was obviously trying to make some sort of sick point.
    We have all got so many stories

  14. Daver 07/12/2012 at 12:00 pm #

    I was appalled to hear what Boris Johnson had to say in answer to our very reasonable questions about cycle safety in London, and Elephant and Castle in particular. I am sixty three years old and until recently I have been a keen Cyclist, to the point of supporting children by doing the 75 mile London to Brighton charity ride on my little Brompton folding bike. I am an experienced cyclist, both as a commuter and for weekend pleasure on a proper road bike.

    Six years ago, when I began working in London, I bought my Brompton to commute with. I have ridden all kinds of two wheelers, both off road and on road and thought riding in London would be a doodle. After all, there are cycle lanes, bus lanes, and spaces at the front of other traffic for two wheelers to stop at traffic lights. Because I travel early morning and late afternoon, I felt a light front and rear and yellow jacket should take care of visibility. When I bought my headlight at the bike shop the salesman persuaded me into buying the strobe type. When I asked him if that would impair my night vision he told me they were not to help me to see, but to be seen.

    Having legally used the (18” wide) cycle lanes I have been forced into the pavement by wide lorries and carelessly parked vans have forced me into the rush hour traffic. The Cycle highway is a joke as it is not joined up. I am told that some councils like to mix cyclists with motor traffic “to keep the traffic speed down”
    Bus lanes are even more perilous as the busses will pull out to pass me and then pull back catching me in an ever tightening parabola of steel, while taxi’s will hover 6” behind one to intimidate one into pulling over.

    The spaces at the front at traffic lights are the most terrifying of all. There is usually an assortment of bikes spread out in front of all the heavyweight traffic and all wobble off, jockeying for position as the phalanx of traffic surges around and between the bikes. Almost always there are vehicles stopped in the advance cycle box, which I am told is illegal and (should) carry a penalty. I once remonstrated with a police driver for doing so and had abusive invective hurled at me as they drove off.

    The best defence appears to be to jump the red light. This is why so many cyclists run the lights. By jumping the light after checking that nothing is coming, one harms no one else and puts oneself well ahead of the heavy traffic behind one. I have been stopped on three occasions for this, and have explained that the only safe time for me to enter some intersections is when pedestrians are crossing in the same direction. On one occasion the officer in question said that I should rather ride on the pavements. I was astounded when I queried this, saying that transferred my avoiding the danger to myself into me endangering pedestrians and was told it should be ok if I was careful!

    In the past year I have been in four collisions while negotiating heavy traffic, each causing me injury. In one instance I was struck by a car in passing and was able to take down his licence number. I reported him to the police for hit and run and was sent a form to complete. A few weeks later I received an email from them saying that they did not intend to prosecute, but if I paid £10 they would give me his details and I could open a civil case against him. The whole system seems indifferent if not hostile to innocent cyclists.

    I am afraid that the next one could be fatal. I am scared of the invective and hatred from motorised traffic turning into road rage where I become intentionally injured or killed.. My principal reason for supporting Boris was his promise to remove bendy buses. Unfortunately, that is all he has seemed to do, and I will not be fooled again.

    It takes an injury to a celebrity, like poor Mr Wiggins, for any significant notice to be taken.

    • christine 09/12/2012 at 7:42 am #

      Well written and thought out comment, Daver.

  15. mark 07/12/2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Cycle lane segregation will never happen in london. Th historic lanes ate barely big enough for two lanes of traffic!

    • chris 07/12/2012 at 1:45 pm #


      It may well be that quite a lot of the roads outside of the main arterial routes will not be able to have segregated cycle lanes but that does not mean we cannot implement a different approach to how our roads are designed.

      Historically, TfL has had a policy that pedestrian and cycle traffic was a low priority, with traffic flow taking precedence. This is the first thing that needs to be changed completely.

      Cycling and pedestrian provision have always been an afterthought as amply demonstrated with the Blackfriars Bridge works earlier this year.

      The solutions we need to find cannot be a “one fix sorts all” kind of mentality either. We need to look at each section of road layout, or junction, and apply appropriate solution that works for it. We cannot be complacent or lazy moving forward with this.

      Either we design our public spaces for people, or we get used to expensive, polluting transport systems that result in unnecessary loss of life, either through direct conflict, or through secondary issues such as pollution related illnesses, obesity, etc

      • Germann 13/12/2012 at 5:21 pm #

        Chris, what is your suggested solution?
        Making (nearly) all roads in London one-way systems with cycle lanes might work if BOTH drivers AND cyclists obey the rules. I have NOT seen many cars driving against traffic in one-ways systems but have seen a few cyclists.
        There may be a reason for prioritising (heavy) traffic at the expense of cyclists and pedestrians – most of your deliveries are made by heavy traffic, NOT by cyclists or on foot. As soon as you will find that you have to ride your bicycle about 30 miles out of London for you weekly shopping you may see the other side of your suggestions.

    • Alan 07/12/2012 at 2:50 pm #

      I have cycled in Holland for long distances many times right across the whole country, and never had a problem with vehicles of any type or the people driving them, the reason for that to quote my Dutch friends is “we all cycle” and “we all drive cars”.

      In regards to the lanes / roads being big enough for two lanes of traffic; if you put in cycling lanes people will feel safe to cycle and leave their car’s at home – as is the case in Holland – , this takes away the problem of lanes / roads being big enough for the traffic flow which would be very much reduced.

  16. mark 07/12/2012 at 1:27 pm #

    ps i lo e cycling in london, even with traffic. I just wish cyclists did themselves a favour and stuck to the rules (dont rlj u idiots!) and motorists were a bit more aware… Maybe…. One day

  17. mark 07/12/2012 at 1:28 pm #

    ps i love cycling in london, even with traffic. I just wish cyclists did themselves a favour and stuck to the rules (dont rlj u idiots!) and motorists were a bit more aware… Maybe…. One day

    • chris 07/12/2012 at 1:56 pm #

      Are you serious?

      This is such a template ignorant comment that it doesnt warrant an answer.

      Stop the partisan nonsense of “cyclists should obey the rules” and “drivers should be more aware”.

      It comes down to a very simple: all road users need to develop better road craft, in spite of whatever mode of transport they use.

      I constantly hear people suggest legislating more laws about cycling, or even licensing and taxing it (good luck with trying to do that), or enforcing the wearing of helmets and hiviz.

      All ignorant suggestions that are borne out of the lack of understanding that prevention is better than cure.

      We need to reinstate cycle proficiency training from an early school age, introduce cycle awareness training as part of the driving test, implement re-testing every 10 years for renewal of driving licenses, compulsory eye tests every 5 years and the only legislation should be so insurance companies charge a higher premium for drivers that do not have certification to prove this.

      The first thing that needs to be done is introduce presumed liability. Shift the dynamics on our roads so that the most vulnerable users are at the top of the power pyramid, not at the bottom.

      • Alan 07/12/2012 at 2:35 pm #

        Well said Chris

      • Mark 07/12/2012 at 3:56 pm #

        of course im serious!
        its VERY simple, a lot of drivers hate ALL cyclists because they see them flaunt the rules and red light jump SOOOO often!
        if cyclists didnt do it, there would be less reasons for motorists to “blanket hate them all”.
        last year i rode 100 miles a week across central london, this year i ride60 miles a week across central london, always in rush hour. i obey the rules, i dont take silly risks, and i have a decent amount of experience and am WELL aware of the normal mistakes DRIVERS make, like not checking mirrors when turning left AND right! luckily (touch wood) i ahvent had an accident in my 6 years riding london. and that is because i have learnt of the common mistakes drivers make. i dont ride along side them near a turning etc. but drivers need to learn these things too, then people less experienced or able than me can stand a chance of survival TOO!
        i have NEVER suggested legislating cycling, it is a ridiculous idea.
        if a cyclist CHOSES not to do cycle proficiency then they only put themselves at risk, so its up to them if they want to take a training course.
        as for drivers, yes they should be taught more about 2 wheeled road users when they take their test!! then my statement “drivers should be more aware” would come true!! 😀

        • Mark S 07/12/2012 at 4:23 pm #

          You really think the only reason drivers hate cyclists is because of the rule breaking? I’d say that’s utter rubbish. Even if all cyclists behaved perfectly they’d come up with yet another reason to justify their actions, probably something along the lines of road tax or insurance etc.

          The majority of drivers I encounter pass or get passed without incident, yes they could have possibly given me a bit more space but they aren’t so close I feel in danger. On occasion I do get drivers who will pass me extremely close or attempt to left hook me. Some of those I suspect are due to drivers being distracted and trying to follow a sat nav “Turn left now” instruction or change their mind at the last minute however some are done with a degree of pre-meditation as they actually overtake me WHILST INDICATING at which point their driving, IMHO, is dangerous rather then just careless. It’s that type of driver who needs dealing with as at the end of the day we are all only human and so can make mistakes.

          This is something the Dutch have understood and actually design their road system to be very forgiving of this. At points where conflicts could occur such as turnings or where road space is being shared between those on bicycles and motorised traffic the environment is designed to minimise the potential damage. Corner geometry is very tight, thus forcing drivers to slow down a lot before turning. Less speed = more time to react to pedestrians and cyclists (who have priority) and if an accident should occur the energies involved are much less likely to cause serious injury. They typically also keep corners clear of street clutter to help further improve visibiliity for those entering and exiting the side road.

          Compare this to some junctions here which have rather shallow entrance angles (Rookery Road on CS7 Clapham Common is the best/worst example for this) mean drivers can and regularly do try and take the corner at full speed, often cutting up cyclists in the process.

          When space needs to be shared, the Dutch will engineer the road to ensure the cars speed is kept low, either through tactile road surfaces that make it uncomfortable to drive at high speeds (residential areas are limited to 30kmh/18mph) or by ensuring drivers don’t get a straight wide road to hammer it down.

        • veryrarelystable 07/12/2012 at 11:03 pm #

          “… they see them flaunt the rules…”
          Flaunt = show off (the girl flaunted her new hairstyle)
          Flout = disregard/ignore laws and norms (he flouted the traffic regulations)

          [more serious point]
          According to that logic cyclists hate ALL motorists because they speed, drive while phoning/texting, pull into ASLs, pass too close…

          Except that not all do. Some drivers are courteous and considerate. Some cyclists wait at red lights; indeed I find I’m often amongst a crowd of my fellow cyclists waiting at red lights, so I’d go as far as saying that the overwhelming majority of cyclists respect red lights. I also see vastly more cyclists sharing the carriageway with me than those who take to the pavements, etc.

          Overstating one’s case and exaggerating the behaviour of other is ultimately not going to help move the debate on and achieve real change.
          [/more serious point]

      • Germann 18/12/2012 at 3:45 pm #

        Yes, let’s give insurance companies another excuse to charge more…
        And let bring another set of rules and legislations that the government will employ even more people to reinforce, so even smaller percentage of population will have to support even larger non-productive governing part.
        You work in public sector, don’t you?

  18. tinfoilhat 07/12/2012 at 1:53 pm #

    Ok, stay with me on this…it all sounds a little ‘Conspiracy Theory’ but it makes sense.

    Current Gov’t is frantic to keep its AAA rating in light of potential triple dip recession, as justification to keep up its programme of austerity… which happily fits in with its ideological stance (stop benefit scroungers… ).


    Recession is directly kinked to manufacturing output, as well as its financial services. Which industry tops the UK’s manufacturing table?


    So building cars keeps Britain in £. Nissan announced this year that the UK plant was to build it’s new car and create 1K jobs, proudly announced by David Cameron during trip to aforementioned’s Tokyo HQ:


    Wonder what incentive was given for that?

    Its not the jobs that are the real benefit, its the building of new cars and increased manufacturing output.

    New cars need nice infrastructure to maintain driver numbers.

    So in building roads and pandering to the car market, one hand washes the other, so to speak.

    just saying….

  19. David Bates 07/12/2012 at 2:30 pm #

    Given the negative publicity about it beforehand it was nowhere near as bad as I expected – which isn’t to say that I don’t have serious issues with it.

    1 – The title of the programme. Hardly one to do anything other than confirm for the meat heads out there that there is some sort of a war – and we all know what happens in wars. Stupid, needless deaths while each side justifies its actions by pointing its finger at the other! In what way is this responsible broadcasting?

    2 – Interesting that they chose to show a bunch of idiot couriers having a cycle race which endangered themselves as well as everybody else on their route – but nary a mention of car drivers who do the same. I was knocked off my bike by a car driver doing a race manoevre at a busy junction 2 years ago. One shattered elbow, 2 operations and a long time off my bike.

    What I find particularly sad is that this is a really serious issue and this programme was an opportunity wasted. People are dying and being seriously injured everyday on our streets. Some of this footage, and I’m sure plenty more that they probably didn’t use, could have been used for information and education rather than sensation. Mix in some actual facts about the real issues and discussions with experts and policymakers and you’ve got not just one programme, but a series.

    How about something intelligent that looks at the country’s needs not just for sustainable transport that works for everyone, but also health. The impacts on health of air pollution from motorised transport, of the lack of exercise leading to increased obesity, diabetes and heart problems and the resulting financial burden on the NHS, etc. There are real opportunities for the BBC to make quality programmes that could develop the debate about what this country really needs and this is the best they can do? How did this programme educate and inform? Tragic!

  20. Tony B 07/12/2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I am a fan of the BBC, but this was programme making that was very biased in favour of the motorist and as usual an opportunity was missed. The Olympics and Tour de France brought the “feel good” factor to cycling, but I wonder how many of this new “batch” of cyclists will still be cycling on our roads in a 12 months time?

    All good cyclists, and I like to put myself in this category, look at the stupidity and arrogance of bad cyclists when they flout the law with total disregard for all other road (and pavement) users. Their actions reflect badly on those cyclists that want to be able to be seen as considerate, safe road users and further antagonise the motorist and the motoring organisations (The AA and RAC) who take any opportunity to slag off the cyclist. These bad cyclists need to have the full force of the law brought down on them, just the same as a motorist would.

    What is rarely, if ever put across by any of these organisations or programmes is that irrespective of the standard of cycling there are no known recorded incidents of a cyclist killing or seriously injuring a motorist. The actions of a few should not be allowed to colour the overall picture. Cyclists need protection, if they choose to put themselves at risk through their own stupidity, then that is their decision, but the rest of us must be given the space we need on the roads to feel comfortable and be safe, that is all we require.

    It is unrealistic to expect “cycle highways” to be created, after all much of our cities simply do not have the space, even if there was the government money available (which their isn’t). This also ignores the fact that cycling outside of cities can be just as dangerous as the motorists tend to travel faster on narrower country lanes and roads with the resulting “cycle accidents” usually be of a more serious nature..

    So whilst spending money to create cycle highways is desirable, this cannot achieve an overall “safe UK” for cyclists. Against the wishes of the motoring organisations a more realistic and achievable approach would be to make changes to the laws. This could include making a minimum mandatory passing distance (say 1.5 metres) thus giving cyclists room to manoeuvre safely, plus a “blame” law whereby the motorist is always to blame in the event of an accident involving a cyclist, unless the motorist can prove the cyclist is at fault. There are sufficient CCTV’s around (especially in towns and cities) to record most incidents, so if the cyclist is to blame then it should be possible to prove. But the motorist must realise that it could cost them very dearly, maybe their freedom, if they injure or kill a cyclist. Whilst the motorist, the RAC and the AA would object vehemently, I cannot see how they can object if we are simply stating; “we want to be able to cycle safely and have vehicles pass us leaving a safe distance so that we can manoeuvre safely if we have to”. Mr AA, Mr RAC are you saying you are not prepared to give us the right to safety? Are you happy Mr. Motorist when an articulated lorry passes by you close enough to clip your wing mirror or push you over onto the verge? No? We’re not happy either when you pass us so close that we end up on the verge, clipped by your vehicle or run over. You lose your wing mirror we lose our life!

    To pacify the motorist and their organisations, although I see no reason that we should have to, it could also be made law that cyclists carry some form of mandatory 3rd-party insurance. If all cyclists were required to have insurance the costs would not be high, and the bad cyclist would be the one penalised (much like the bad motorist). That stops one of the usual excuses thrown by motorists of “you don’t pay road tax, you don’t have insurance, and you’ve no right to use the roads!”

    We do not have the time to wait for cycle highways to be created, but we do have the right to safety and changes to the law to help bring this about could be made swiftly.

    It requires Government action to make cyclists safer now throughout the UK, not just in some cities at some point in the future.

    • chris 07/12/2012 at 4:52 pm #

      >It is unrealistic to expect “cycle highways” to be created, after all much of our cities simply do not have the space, even if there was the government money available (which their isn’t)

      1. The space exists and where it doesnt, better solutions need to be implemented than currently exist. This is not just about cyclists but making towns and cities liveable for PEOPLE.

      2. No money you claim? Cancel Trident. Reclaim some of the money used to bail out the banks. Enforce a stricter policy with companies using creative methods of tax avoidance.

      Neither of those excuses really hold any water.

      >What is rarely, if ever put across by any of these organisations or programmes is that irrespective of the standard of cycling there are no known recorded incidents of a cyclist killing or seriously injuring a motorist

      Also, none of these programmes (or numerous Daily Mail articles) ever compare the KSI’s of pedestrians hit by cyclists whilst on the pavement compared with ones hit by cars that have mounted it.

      >Against the wishes of the motoring organisations a more realistic and achievable approach would be to make changes to the laws. This could include making a minimum mandatory passing distance (say 1.5 metres) thus giving cyclists room to manoeuvre safely, plus a “blame” law whereby the motorist is always to blame in the event of an accident involving a cyclist, unless the motorist can prove the cyclist is at fault.

      The HIghway Code (Rule 163) already states that when passing a cyclist or horse, you should give as much space as you would a car. This is already backed with legislation. To create more would be a waste of time and divert attention away from what really needs to be done.

      >To pacify the motorist and their organisations, although I see no reason that we should have to, it could also be made law that cyclists carry some form of mandatory 3rd-party insurance. If all cyclists were required to have insurance the costs would not be high, and the bad cyclist would be the one penalised (much like the bad motorist). That stops one of the usual excuses thrown by motorists of “you don’t pay road tax, you don’t have insurance, and you’ve no right to use the roads!”

      If you really think this is a good idea, stop immediately.

      This would be as, if not more, destructive to cycling than compulsory helmets has been in Australia. The “bad cyclist” is not the one penalised because you are penalising ALL.

      The only thing that is going to stop motorists with the “you dont pay road tax” is enforced re-sitting of the driving examination every 10 years and as part of that, compulsory cyclist awareness training. Every driver needs to be made aware that pedestrians and cyclists have common access to the roads, whereas vehicles (and the people who operate those vehicles) do so under license. A license that can quite easily be revoked.

      Its time to stop pandering to this attitude that driving is a right.

      >We do not have the time to wait for cycle highways to be created, but we do have the right to safety and changes to the law to help bring this about could be made swiftly.

      Thinking that legislation is going to protect you is as daft as thinking a bit of blue paint on the road is going to keep you safe. Legislation is about action (or punishment) after the horse has bolted. It is not a preventative measure.

      TfL is currently undertaking a project to review all major junctions and implement safer solutions for all users. Unfortunately, TfL have a culture of designing crap solutions into junctions and are very slow at seeking to re-educate themselves in Dutch and Danish methods but people are getting involved in the consultations to redesign these junctions.

      Distracting yourself with thinking about more legislation is counter-productive and a waste of everyones time.

  21. Big Softy 07/12/2012 at 6:03 pm #

    The footage of that poor girl getting left-hooked by that cement mixer needs to be imprinted on the mind of every rider.
    Being right beside any HGV like that is not so much being in the blind spot as being in the dead zone.
    I see it virtually every day when I’m stopped behind large vehicles in traffic, idiots intent on gaining a few seconds by slipping up that gap on the inside. I just want to scream at their suicidal behaviour.
    If the traffic is at standstill and you’re familiar with the phasing of those lights, fine. Otherwise, cool your jets and wait centre lane behind the HGV with a couple of metres spacing just in case it happens to roll backwards.
    It ain’t rocket science, just common sense and self preservation.

    It’s not about how fast you get there, it’s about getting there safely!

    • Kie7077 08/12/2012 at 12:33 pm #

      In that particular clip it was only a small side turning, the HGV driver was 100% at fault, the cyclist was merely cycling in a straight line down a road.

      In another point I think showing that clip was unnecessary voyeurism and would have been better served with a simulation of the event.

      • Chris 08/12/2012 at 3:19 pm #

        If you think the truck driver was 100% at fault, I suggest you go and look for a video on YouTube done by TfL, which shows someone filming the view from the left hand mirrors of a truck then getting out of the cab and walking round the front to show something like a dozen cyclists all along the side of the truck, totally invisible from the cab. Even though it’s a staged recording of stationary people in a warehouse, it really opens your eyes to just how much goes unseen by even the best of truck drivers.

        Never, ever put yourself anywhere that a truck could turn left into you, whether you think they shouldn’t seen you or not. The consequences of it just don’t bear thinking about.

        • Kie7077 08/12/2012 at 5:57 pm #

          Oh come on now, your statement here is nothing short of absurd, this is a roundabout and the driver has a legal and moral duty to look out of his window to his right and check properly that nothing is coming.

          I know the video you mention, it’s in one of my youtube playlists….

          Still – doesn’t mean the driver shouldn’t check does it.

          100% the drivers fault.

      • Chris 08/12/2012 at 6:06 pm #

        My statement is not absurd at all. Yours is mistaken.

        Big Softy was talking about the incident with the lady who was killed by a cement mixer turning left. There was no roundabout involved.

        I can only assume you were thinking about the tanker driver in Glasgow who flew straight across the roundabout without looking? In that case, yes, of course the HGV driver was 100% at fault, but that wasn’t the incident Big Softy was talking about when you made your comment, to which I responded.

        • Kie7077 08/12/2012 at 6:13 pm #

          Oops, you’re correct, I did think you were talking about the roundabout driver, my apologies.

          I’d rather not watch the poor lady being squashed again, didn’t the HGV driver over-take her? in which case he/she should have known she was there. And did he indicate?

  22. troides 07/12/2012 at 11:18 pm #

    Come to Cambridge, cycling capital of the UK. You will see:

    Some truly appalling cycle lanes, narrow, bumpy and poorly designed. And a few good ones. such as those on Hills Road bridge.

    Cyclists riding without lights, on pavements, going across junctions and pedestrian crossings on red. And plenty doing none of these things.

    Drivers cutting across cyclists, passing with inches to spare, parking in cycle lanes, and hurling abuse at anyone on two wheels who happens to hold them up for a couple of seconds. And some who will wait to let you turn right in heavy traffic out of simple courtesy.

    Pedestrians who step in the road without looking, assuming because they can’t hear an engine there must be nothing coming. And some who will thank you if you give way to them (even when the lights are against them).

    In other words, it’s impossible to generalise. Human nature is complex and in every situation there will be the extremes of good and bad and just about everything in between. I spend several hours every day cycling in the city and have seen all the above behaviour and much more. I wish more drivers, cyclists and pedestrians were more careful and considerate, and for better road design, but don’t expect any improvements any time soon.

  23. Dave 07/12/2012 at 11:28 pm #

    Janos, this is a cycling forum not a car boot sale or flea bay. Go hawk your merchandise there please.

    • Andreas 08/12/2012 at 11:05 am #

      Thanks for bringing to my attention Dave. I’ve removed these links.

  24. Chris 08/12/2012 at 3:11 pm #

    Every time I see articles like this one calling for segregated cycle lanes it just makes me shudder with dread at the thought that it might actually happen.

    At the moment, I can commute 15 miles to work each day on my bike because I have room to overtake cyclists choosing to pootle along at 8mph. Remove that capability – and remove it you would, because nowhere through south west London is there space to add segregated cycle tracks wide enough to accommodate two or three speeds of cyclist – and I’d be left with alternatives of either returning to public transport or putting myself at greater risk by taking fully to the road.

    Yes, it would be lovely to have the width of a bus lane fully separated from motorised traffic, but in somewhere as built up as London, that’s fantasy cloud cuckoo land! At best, you would end up with a narrow path you can’t overtake on, which forces out people trying to ride more than a mile or two.

    Be careful what you wish for Andreas; it just might come true….

    • cbrndc 09/12/2012 at 5:27 pm #

      Chris I have to agree with you, once there is segregation it will reinforce the motorists view that cycling is not for the road. Seperate facilities cannot be provided everywhere so we will only be able to cycle on specific routes that maybe do not go where you want to go. Furthermore in cycling is banned on roads where the peed limit is 40 mph or above, as is currently proposed, I will not be able to cycle to work.
      As you say be careful what you wish for.

      • Mark 11/12/2012 at 6:33 pm #

        i agree, segregation will not help th cyclist

        • Mark S 12/12/2012 at 7:01 am #

          All those opposed to segregation who think it will be “bad” for cycling please have a look at David Hembrews blog on how the Dutch do cycling then you might change your mind, providing segregation doesn’t need to be done on all roads however it IS used to provide a safe environment which mixing with cars isn’t ideal.
          The stats say it all really; in the UK cycling has a modal share of about 1-2%, made up predominantly of fit males aged between 20-50. The Netherlands have a modal share of 40%+ which is made up of not only men and women of all ages but also children as they have recognized it just isn’t practical to mix soft squishy flesh and hard metal unless those in charge of the hard lumps of metal are forced to drive in a slow and controlled manner. Quite frankly if you don’t think segregation is going to help how exactly do you expect your children, mother or grandmother to tackle London’s roads or our A-roads? By vehicular cycling? By dressing up in hi-viz and hoping the person in the car who is updating their Facebook status notices them?? Neither of these are workable, we can preach to people that “cycling is safe” all we want but until the general public perceive it as subjectively safe we might as well be talking to a brick wall.

  25. tutorsonn 08/12/2012 at 5:49 pm #

    I watch this program with great intrest and the case for and against to me is 50 – 50 but one person that did stand out was the Garath lad. He had one hell of a chip om his shoulder. If he was ih a car it would be a diffent matter, he would be wight whether he was in a car, on a bike or pussing a pram. He even admitted he was wrong so all i have to say “take the plumb out of your mouth and grow up!

    • Kie7077 08/12/2012 at 6:03 pm #

      Gareth should sue the programme for deformation, it seems to have taken him so badly out of context that you and others have made such comments. The truth is that CycleGaz cycles correctly, wears bright clothing, doesn’t red-light jump, is a nice guy and takes Cycling safety very seriously, the program is bad in almost every way.

      His blog:

      His Channel:

      • Kie7077 08/12/2012 at 9:53 pm #

        Bah, make that defamation not deformation, unless they also grabbed him and deformed him somehow, lol.

  26. Dave 08/12/2012 at 9:37 pm #

    We may all have differing ideas about how and what to do about it, but we all agree that the present system is unacceptable. Perhaps if enough of us were to petition the mayor and our local council representative they will make more serious attempts to resolve this

  27. christine 09/12/2012 at 8:03 am #

    I do agree that there was a missed opportunity on behalf of the filmmakers to educate, highlighting the real issues, as others have mentioned above. However, sensationalism sells; this programme was likely commissioned based on the use of said sensational shock and awe footage. Perhaps spread into 3 episodes it could have spent more time on the issues like HGVs and less on bickering between cyclists and cabbies, but that’s a different programme. What do you expect from a show titled “war on britain’s roads?”

    It did do a bit to change one cyclist: my partner has vowed to stop clapping after each near miss and yelling expletives into open windows. Life’s too short for road rage.

  28. Bobbyjohn 09/12/2012 at 11:38 pm #

    The bottom line is “Cycle safe with eyes in your arse”……. Its all we can do to protect ourselves really 🙂

    • Germann 12/12/2012 at 12:41 pm #

      No, you can fit mirrors to cycles too. It is required for cars, why not cycles?

  29. Alice 10/12/2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Anger, all I can see in this documentary is anger, and frustration, and rudeness from most of the people involved.

    Unsurprisingly women were left out.

  30. Steve 10/12/2012 at 7:39 pm #

    After staying in London for the last 20 months, I’m moving back to Hampshire.
    I’m a 53 year old who has been a car driver/motorcyclist/cyclist all my adult life……………..
    but have never felt really at risk of death or serious injury like I have many times while cycling in London.
    There are just too many dangerous drivers

    Good luck all of you Londoners, you are going to need it

    Ride safe

    • Tony 11/12/2012 at 9:36 am #

      Hi Steve.
      I hate to disappoint you, but you are still going to need “eyes in your arse” in Hampshire. I have lived in many parts of the UK, including recently Oxford, but now I am in Hampshire close to the New Forest. The dangers here are just as many and varied as in London. The average age of many drivers is much greater than in London. They don’t see you, they take much longer to react and they have no realisation of the speed you can be going. The “aged” drivers and their lack of awareness reduces the speed of the traffic, so the younger drivers then get more frustrated and, when they get some space they then drive like lunatics with little or no respect for other road users. They will try and get past you, irrespective of adequate space or not – they are not going to be slowed down by a cyclist! This results in cyclists being involved in higher speed accidents in the country lanes, as against accidents in the cities. It gets worse at weekends and holidays when the tourist traffic arrives and they have no idea of where they are going, or what’s around the next bend as they are more intent on listening to the wrong instructions given out by their GPS, arguing with their partner or trying to amuse the brats in the back.

      The ambulance crews scrape just as many cyclists off the roads in the countryside as they do in the cities – you ask them!

      There can be many joys in cycling in the countryside, but there are just as many dangers for the cyclist as in the city!

      Don’t lose the awareness you’ve gained in London, just adapt it and enjoy the clean air!

    • Germann 12/12/2012 at 12:43 pm #

      I suspect there are no fewer dangerous cyclists as there are dangerous drivers.

  31. Germann 12/12/2012 at 11:02 am #

    I am not that keen a cyclist myself for the simple reason that my weekly commute is too long for a cycle and my daily commute is too short for it.
    It seems to me that the cyclists are mostly not familiar with rules of the road and consider themselves to be the kings and the owners of it. I think that all road USERS should remember that they are road USERS, not owners, therefore they should consider ALL other road users. If the road USER is not comfortable in using the road they should not be on the road, maybe some courses for cyclists will help here. When I am cycling I know what to expect from drivers because I am one myself. I don’t expect them to slow down when they are passing me at safe distance and I am yet to encounter one driver to pass me TOO close. I would NOT try to ride pass the lorry at the very edge of the road (“cyclist on the inside of heavy goods vehicle”), I suspect that it was NOT the HGV that passed the cyclist at this distance but the cyclist trying to overtake the HGV on the inside. For all OTHER road user this is illegal maneuver, why NOT for cyclists? In the next image “car passing by the cyclist” yes the car is about 2-4 inches over the cycle lane, the question is would it make much difference if the car was these 2-4 inches further to the right? My guess that it would NOT. At the same time if the cyclist was about a foot or two further to the left he would feel a lot safer.
    “1-0 to the car”? The car drivers pay more than £6 billion EVERY year to use the roads in road tax alone, they get £1 billion. Cyclists pay exactly £0 to use the roads, they get £20 million. So I can call it “0.17 – infinity to the cyclists”.
    “..the fact is that over the past 10 years the real cost of motoring has declined by 10%, while bus and train fares have increased by more than 50%.” – how is this calculated? 10 years ago the cost of fuel was around £0.80, it is around £1.35 now. In 1994 my monthly season ticket (train) from Ipswich to London was around £450, it is £538 now – I could not find any other historical information. (Bus fares did increase and by MORE than 50%, they went up by about 200% in the last 15 years)

    • Mark S 12/12/2012 at 11:26 am #

      Well done for dropping the “road tax” clanger. The truth of the matter is no one pays “road tax” or any other kind of access fee’s to use the roads. They are PUBLIC highways. The charge you are referring to is called Vehicle Excise Duty which is levied on motorised vehicles based on the amount of pollution they create. The greener/cleaner cars who don’t emit much CO2 don’t pay so should they be excluded?

      Roads themselves are funded out of the treasury which EVERYONE pays into, regardless of if they actually use a car or not. The £1 billion figure you quote is I believe additional funding for new infrastructure projects. The DfT’s budget is huge and this extra funding won’t cover all the upkeep costs of the roads, but you also have to consider the indirect costs such as healthcare due to respiratory and sedentary problems caused from excessive reliance and use of cars.

      As for your comments regarding cars passing cyclists with mere inches to spare I can only assume you’ve never ridden on busy roads but then you do think you’ve never experienced a close pass. Drivers should be giving cyclists space as we can’t be expected to ride in perfect straight lines. Drains and potholes (invariably caused by a lack of upkeep after being driven over by multi-ton vehicles….) mean that cyclists may need to make course adjustments and leaving only 2-4″ doesn’t allow the rider much wobble room. Frankly your suggestion that the cyclist should be further to the left is just plain wrong, why hug the kerb where more rubbish is and reduce the margin of error even further? Don’t cyclists have the same rights and expectations as those in cars to complete a journey in a safe and pleasant manner? From what I see on the roads it’s those in motorised transport that think they own the roads, regularly speeding, using their mobiles or just generally using their cars to bully more vulnerable road users – all the time safe in the knowledge that they are surrounded by a big metal box normally fitted with various safety devices to minimize their chance of injury. As someone on twitter said recently we may share the roads with cars but we certainly don’t share the risk. I agree more respect is needed but I think that respect needs to start with those capable of inflicting the greatest damage.

      • Germann 12/12/2012 at 12:14 pm #

        “Road tax” or “Vehicle Excise Duty” – whatever you call it – it is still EXTRA tax that car drivers pay and cyclists don’t. If you want me to go into the quantities of CO2 produced by various modes of transport I can say that every cyclist is producing extra CO2 by breathing, should we start taxing cyclists depending on their weight and route selection? I am NOT suggesting excluding anybody, I am just suggesting that YOU (cyclists) should NOT count the money spent on CAR infrastructure because it actually provides means for your cycles to be built and delivered too.
        Your assumption that I “never ridden on busy roads” is wrong – I lived and drove and cycled in London for years. Yes, I never encountered a car passing me at 2-4 inches distance (and I never passed any cyclist at this distance myself), what I actually said was that the car was 2-4 inches INTO cycling lane (i.e. 2-4 inches CLOSER than it would have been otherwise) – there is a difference.
        Drivers “regularly speeding” – in London or any other big city (???) – don’t be silly,
        “using their mobiles” – check how many will you see actually doing that and then divide by the TOTAL number of drivers you will see on your journey – then you can make claims.
        Believe it or not, the day when cyclists will START thinking like drivers (as they are) – i.e considering other road users too and thinking about what to expect – will be the day when number of road accidents involving cyclists will start dropping.

        Lets ALL start respecting each other and the “world will become the safer place”.

        • Mark S 12/12/2012 at 12:30 pm #

          Road tax – EVERYONE produces CO2 so arguing that about cyclists is a bit moot. How about we charge pedestrians? Remember cyclists can use the road by right. I also didn’t say I was against road spending, it’s just that motorists get the lions share of the DfT budget when cyclists get crumbs, what exactly does that extra £20 million look like in compared to the £1 Billion offered for motorists? Bearing in mind some of that money will likely be spent on motorways the ONLY benefit I’ll see from that as a cyclists is a hope that my packages from Wiggle can be brought to me via some widened sections…
          As for the closes passes 2-4″ into a cycle lane (bearing in mind some are only about 2′ wide) can be the difference between being hit and not, I’ve had cars scrap past at that distance, often at speed and it’s not pleasant. The highway code recommends leaving a clear lane or they way I prefer to look at is you should leave as much room as the cyclists is tall so if they do fall over for what ever reason I’m not going to drive over their body.

          The mobiles example might have been a little excessive but it still does happen, I can often count several just whilst waiting to collect the kids from school who drive past more interested in their conversation then the safety of the children. The speeding is more an issue when drivers DO get a tiny clear bit of open road or when on roads outside or town. I have 20mph roads near me and despite me doing 20mph drivers STILL overtake when on the bike, usually at closer to 30mph.

          Maybe drivers should start thinking like cyclists? Don’t assume we’ll ride in the gutter, Don’t assume we’ll make it easy for you to race past us at close proximity. Don’t expect us to ride in the door zone of cars. Understanding how other road users may react is a great help the only problem is that whilst about 90% of cyclists are drivers the proportion of drivers who cycle isn’t anywhere that.

        • Amoeba 01/01/2013 at 10:27 am #

          Germann 12/12/2012 at 12:14 pm


          ‘“Road tax” or “Vehicle Excise Duty” – whatever you call it – it is still EXTRA tax that car drivers pay and cyclists don’t.’

          True, but only a partial truth. You have fallen for the error that assuming that any payment automatically means a sufficient payment.

          That’s very like a group eating-out at a restaurant and but one person makes no contribution whatsoever towards the food and drink, only paying the tip, when everyone else chips-in for the food and drink. Motorists like you are like that person, not paying your fair-share, but free-loading on the rest, meanwhile remaining in denial, but morally worse in so far as you feel angry and short-changed for the meagre contribution that you reluctantly make and falsely accuse others who have paid their fair-share of not doing so. This is worse than hypocrisy, it’s hypocrisy plus!

          Motorists, do not pay for the roads. The taxpayer is funding (subsidising) every registered car to the tune of just over 2 000 Euro each year, or exceeding 20 000 per decade (2008 figures). This is one of the top car subsidies in Europe.

          (BTW that’s all taxpayers in the UK, not just motorists despite their wholly inadequate contributions via car-tax and fuel tax)

          Motoring is far too cheap and like any under-priced activity, underpricing encourages excessive, unnecessary and frivolous use, with the inevitable and undesirable side-effects. Such undesirable externalities kill thousands of people each year, due to transport air pollution alone. These external costs are not paid by the motorists – you guessed it, the taxpayer picks up the enormous bill – it’s in the £ billions. http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6034/6343837114_bd6d352fd0.jpg

          It’s about time that motorists started to realise that they’re the social parasites, who do not pay their fair share, and started to act with all due humility, instead of the arrogance and aggression, so widely demonstrated and seen everyday on the streets.

          Of course there are good, Law-abiding, patient drivers, but I can’t help suspecting that many of them are Law-abiding cyclists, including those who have been scared off the roads by roads rendered hostile, by bad driving and bad drivers.

          BTW, like all human activities, cycling has external costs too, but these are utterly minuscule and trivial, when compared with those of driving. If the cyclist is of the ‘utility’ variety, i.e. cycling instead of driving, the external benefits of cycling (including that of not driving) vastly outweigh any external costs.

          More utility cyclists, those who forsake the car for the bike means inevitably fewer cars. (all other things remaining equal). Fewer cars means reduced road-casualties; fewer pedestrian casualties (especially on the footway or verge, where motor-vehicles kill ~150 times as many as killed by cyclists); reduced congestion; reduced imports of fossil-fuels; reduced hostility of the road environment; reduced air, noise, soil and water pollution; reduced demand for land for more and wider roads, larger car-parks; and reduced deaths and morbidity resulting from diminished pollution; and increased spending in the car-endangered high-street.

          Yet the archetypal irony-challenged angry motorist, who screams their various apoplectic and vacuous rants out of their car window at cyclists about ‘cyclists not paying road-tax’ and ‘cyclists holding-up motorists’, or similarly vents their spleen upon the comments pages of newspaper websites and blogs, seems to be seriously deficient in terms of reasoning, accurate facts or their ability to spot the fatal irony inherent within their arguments.

        • Amoeba 01/01/2013 at 11:00 am #

          The Campaign for Better Transport extrapolates from the Government research on marginal external costs to reach a total cost of externalities of £70 billion–£95 billion per annum at prices for 2006.

          Lots more on motoring’s external costs:

    • graham barker 12/12/2012 at 9:47 pm #

      many cyclists have cars, so you are wrong to say cyclists contribute nothing to road use. also, cyclists pay taxes just as car drivers do in other ways, luxury goods, pay for jobs etc…it all goes in to one big pot and is then divided up between what needs to go where by the government…and i think you may find car drivers dont contribute enough road tax to maintain and build all the new roads…so the money comes from other taxes that everyone pays….

    • David 23/12/2012 at 5:07 pm #

      “car infrastructure”?

      That phrase really reveals your mindset Germann. I think you’ll find a wide range of vehicles, both human and motor powered using the roads in addition to cars – buses, lorries, ambulances, vans, motorbikes, scooters, taxis, fire engines, and even cyclists!

      Roads are not “car infrastructure”, they are transport infrastructure which the whole of society benefits from and that the whole of society pays for through general taxation. Cyclists would simply like to have their needs taken into account as they have also paid towards this infrastructure. Too much to ask? For some, clearly it is!

      • Germann 24/12/2012 at 1:46 pm #

        @David You should really take a deeper look at where my “car infrastructure” came from, it was a reference to cyclists demanding SEPARATE CYCLISTS infrastructure. I was referring to road infrastructure in general. And yes, ALL other vehicles pay for this infrastructure too.
        Please take a look at my previous posts related to general tax, road/vehicle … tax and other.

  32. Germann 12/12/2012 at 12:59 pm #

    I have seen cyclists using mobiles – so lets NOT go into this…
    You are doing 20MPH and car overtaking at closer to 30PMH = 10MPH difference. Do you feel unsafe when someone walks past you very fast when you are standing still? Or how about the two pedestrians walking in the opposite directions – the speed difference is the same!!!
    Some of the roads in London are only 8-10 feet wide, if the car will have to leave 6 feet to the cyclist there will be no room for the car to drive at all, why would you think that this is better solution? Because it suits YOU better?
    “Maybe drivers should start thinking like cyclists” AND the cyclists should start thinking like drivers. That is exactly what I was suggesting – lets consider EACH other. MOST drivers are safe for ALL other road users, MOST cyclists are good too. Lets find and educate the rest.

    • Mark S 12/12/2012 at 4:45 pm #

      Yes I have also seen the cyclists on mobiles, however it is rarer and they don’t really pose the same level of danger as a distracted driver.
      Your passing analogy isn’t very good either, the problems with bike/car interactions is the vastly different energies. Generally speaking 2 pedestrians are roughly equal in weight and speed. Compare this now to bikes and cars and the weight difference is huge (often the order of 10 times greater) and the speed differential can also easily be doubled (I’m a fairly quick rider, 15mph is probably a fairer average/cruising speed). Even with your standing still and someone rushing past example the worst that might happen is the person standing still goes down and could possibly break a bone. Now if a car passes a cyclist and clips them the cyclist is going down as well but has a much higher risk of bad/serious injuries and chances are the driver won’t even realize they’ve hit you. There is also the wind buffeting you get from high sided vehicles (not so obvious with cars) that can be felt with vans, buses and HGVs which can cause a wobble or maybe even a crash.

      As for having a 6ft passing gap I’d love if that could be accommodated but as you point out this isn’t ideal on some of our roads. The vast majority of the cars that pass me do so in a reasonable manner. They leave about 1/2 a lanes gap, so often end up straddling the centre line and I’m fine with them, I have some wiggle room if needed and already ride about 2′ from kerb so have some space as an escape.

      The times I’ve had a text book pass are just slightly out numbered by the amount of stupid close passes I’ve had. The passes I often take exception to however are those that race passed, pull back in and immediately jump on the brakes due to traffic ahead. It just shows a complete lack of forward planning.

      • Germann 13/12/2012 at 10:27 am #

        “Yes I have also seen the cyclists on mobiles, however it is rarer and they don’t really pose the same level of danger as a distracted driver.” – if you try to remember ads from “use seatbelts in the back seat of the car” campaigns, remember how they put an elephant on the back seat in the collision? The cyclist is just half-an-elephant (half the speed = half the inertia). Is that not dangerous enough for you? I am not even going into difficulties of attempting to stop the bicycle with one hand!!! At least the driver has a leg to use the break…
        When I was talking about the car passing you at 10MPH (even 15MPH) speed difference I was NOT talking about the collision – just passing. The same with two pedestrians walking in the opposite directions – just passing. It is just YOUR perception of danger when the vehicle is passing at speed difference, obviously being passed by the lorry will be perceived as greater danger than being passed by a small car and that will be perceived as greater danger than being passed by another cyclist and that will be perceived as greater danger than passing another pedestrians . But if the cyclist will hit a stationary pedestrian it will NOT be much less damaging to the pedestrian than being hit by the car at the speed the cyclists usually achieve (15-20 MPH). At this speed the car is VERY unlikely to kill the pedestrian too.
        These are quotes from YOUR post – “The vast majority of the cars that pass me do so in a reasonable manner. They leave about 1/2 a lanes gap…” and “The times I’ve had a text book pass are just slightly out numbered by the amount of stupid close passes I’ve had” – they just don’t tally with me mathematically, the “vast majority” to me means more than 50%, that leaves LESS than 50% to be “stupid close passes”. So how can “stupid close passes” slightly outnumber “text book pass”, that is unless you mean something else by the “text book pass”?

    • graham barker 12/12/2012 at 9:49 pm #

      germann you talk utter rubbish….goodness sake….if a car hits a a cyclist they are dead…if i walk in to someone i dont think they die unless i happen to be holding a knife in front of me whilst doing so…idiot…

      • Germann 13/12/2012 at 10:32 am #

        If the car hits the cyclist at 5MPH speed difference the result will be nearly the same as when ANY vehicle hits the pedestian at the same speed difference. At such small differences it would NOT matter much – try walking or running into a wall/tree/person to test that. Learning physics might help to understand it…

        • mark 23/12/2012 at 3:18 pm #

          Again. What a tidiculous statement.
          A car hitting me at 5mph does far more damage than a cyclist at 5mph or a person walking into me at 5mph!

          Think about it, walking into a wall at 5mph hurts much more than walking into a bag of feathers at 5mph!!!

          Its not all just about speed differences

        • Germann 24/12/2012 at 1:55 pm #

          @Mark Cyclists is 100KG of meat, bones and metal, it is NOT a bag of feathers.
          5MPH it is ALL about speed difference because this is the speed at which BOTH parties have enough time and speed to AVOID the accident in a first place. It does NOT matter at all if it was a single feather or an train that PASSED you at ANY distance WITHOUT ANY CONTACT.

    • Bobbyjohn 14/12/2012 at 12:08 am #

      I worked twenty years as a police officer and have attended an incident where a mobile phone using car driver killed a schoolchild on a crossing. If it were up to me then the offence of using a hand held mobile device whilst driving would incur a £1000 fine and at least a 12 month ban.

      But we seem to be getting away from the subject of the original posting,

      • MrCommuter 14/12/2012 at 1:00 pm #

        Unfortunately, there is still far too much generalization. I can see both sides of the argument between German and Mark S, but based on the stats I’ve seen, I fundamentally agree with Mark S.
        I read an article the other day where a lady was hit twice in one week by cyclists. The second time she ended up with a fractured wrist.
        On the same token, I know of a lady who was cycling along doing nothing wrong and was hit by a powered vehicle. Yes, she’s dead!
        I’m sure the following stats are open to debate on accuracy, but in the last decade, around 0.02% of pedestrian deaths in London were caused by cyclists.
        One final thing on road tax. the central fund is absolutely correct. And as a car driver for the last 25 years and a higher rate tax payer for the last 15, I have more than earnt the right to ride the roads on my bicycle. This one-sided argument about the so-called road tax is wearing thin and has merely become an excuse.
        I ride every day on the roads and always give way to others even when it is my right of way (known as riding defensively). But I frequently come dangerously close to collision with impatient drivers passing too close thanks to the generalized anti-cyclist sentiment where many simply disregard our existence because we are fragile persons and not heavy material objects.

        • dansus 15/12/2012 at 2:41 am #

          We should stop thinking about this as cyclist vs cars issue, to me its about people.

          People do stupid things, are arrogant and impatient whether they are in car, bike, boat, whatever.

        • Germann 17/12/2012 at 4:17 pm #

          OK, the road and other services are paid for from one pot. The point is that if you are the cyclist you are paying your PAYE and if you are the car driver you are still paying your PAYE. Being the driver does NOT stop you being liable for all usual taxes that everybody is liable for. But it also makes you liable for some EXTRA taxes that non-drivers DON’T pay.

          There some more stats of causes of death: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/14/mortality-statistics-causes-death-england-wales-2009

          Great that you are sensible when you ride your bicycle, many are not. That is exactly what I am talking about – let’s all think about others and in the process about ourselves too.
          When you drive the car does it occur to you to try to overtake the long lorry on the inner side? Why do some cyclists try to do it when riding the bicycle? – lack of education and training – maybe we need a cyclist’s driving licence?

  33. mark 13/12/2012 at 11:14 am #

    Germann, you never had a motorist pass you too close, you never had someone pass within inches of hitting you!? Wow, were u cycling on th pavements of lindon then!?

    • Germann 13/12/2012 at 12:18 pm #

      Admittedly I do NOT cycle too much, but I never had anybody passing me UNCOMFORTABLY close, though everybody’s perception of comfort is different. I usually ride about 1 foot from the curb leaving me an extra foot away from the cars. I am fairly steady on my bike so the average car passing me at the average London speed which is maybe 5-10 miles faster than I am riding myself did NOT present too much discomfort. Yes, if I am moving at near walking pace and the lorry drives past at over 30MPH this would be uncomfortable, but then I should NOT be riding this slowly.
      I tend to use common sense when I am moving about irrespective of my mode of transport – legs, 2 or 4 wheels.
      DON’T do to others what you would NOT want others to do to you.
      And it works most of the time.

      • MrCommuter 14/12/2012 at 1:15 pm #

        Sorry German, but you still keep referring to speed differences. Most serious or fatal cyclist accidents is where the cyclist ended up underneath the vehicles, not just hit by them.
        If ever I get mowed down and end up underneath someone’s wheels in London as a pedestrian, I hope it’s a bicycle and not a car (or something heavier).
        We never do unto others because we simply don’t have enough weight.

        • Germann 17/12/2012 at 3:49 pm #

          Sorry, why would the cyclist end up under the vehicle?
          I can see few causes:
          1) the driver intentionally running over the cyclist (I suspect is rare) – the usual prison sentences for intentional GBH/manslaughter/murder should be adequate, 2) the driver NOT seeing the cyclist – was discussed and the options exist and are being implemented (maybe not as fast as they should, but nevertheless), 3) the driver unintentionally running over the cyclist (driver error), 4) the driver unintentionally running over the cyclist (pure accident) – better driver training will help with 3 & 4.
          Can you suggest any other cases?
          I thought that we were discussing the causes of the accidents, NOT the consequences. That is why I was talking about the speed differences.
          Again, try to ride into a fresh carcass of an animal (pig, to represent the weight of a human) at 20MPH and see how pleasant and unproblematic it will be for you. This is roughly what the pedestrian will experience when you run into them.

        • MrCommuter 22/12/2012 at 6:10 am #

          Instead of us arguing with self righteous perspective (and quoting physics!). Lets just look at some stats (this vid uses DfT stats). This illustrates things from a financial perspective but shows enough accident stats to satisfy all.

      • mark 23/12/2012 at 3:15 pm #

        You are clueless.
        Last year i cycled 100 miles a week. This year i cycle 60 miles a week.
        Cars with their front bumper 5 inches away from my back wheel or pedal are not uncommon and are a death threat to me!
        People who say keep calm or dont shout clearly havent had their life threatened!
        People who have never been passef uncomfirtably close probably dont cycle very often or at rush hours!!!!!!!!

        • mark 23/12/2012 at 3:21 pm #

          Tht was aimed at germann and his comment about no one passing him uncomfortably close

  34. dansus 15/12/2012 at 2:32 am #

    As a courier working in London for 15 years on and off, i take my driving seriously, and the amount of time and energy i spend avoiding and generally not running over bike riders is huge.

    Point being, there are many drivers who are frankly a bit clueless, so its no surprise that so many minor incidents happen, and im amazed daily that more serious accidents are not a regular occurrence.

    Saying that, there are plenty of ‘amateur’ or hobby cyclists who are frankly on a death wish, and its all i can do to stay clear of them. I still see idiots squeezing down the inside of trucks, it beggars belief.

    I should also add im a cyclist too, so ive seen it from both sides.

  35. bigmacian 15/12/2012 at 4:04 am #

    I think the key point here is that the attitude that both drivers and cyclists have towards each other is terrible. However, separate to that:

    Firstly, a good proportion of London’s cyclists have learnt to drive and a good number of these have a car and drive it regularly as well. Very few of London’s motorists regularly ride a bike through the city. I haven’t mentioned learning to ride a bike as there is no formal requirement and also learning to ride a bike does not mean knowing the rules of the road.

    Secondly, a car is both faster and much heavier than a bicycle. This means that a collision involving a pedestrian and a car is likely to end in much, much more damage (to the pedestrian) than a collision with a bike and a pedestrian.

    I think this means a lot of things:
    1) Cyclists think that motorists are fundamentally more irresponsible for dangerous driving because they are qualified and are more deadly in a collision
    2) Motorists think that cyclists don’t pay much attention to the rules because they aren’t necessarily qualified and don’t carry as much force in an impact
    3) Cyclists think that their actions should be predictable for motorists
    4) Motorists think that they have more rights than cyclists as they are more qualified to use the roads

    I don’t necessarily agree with any of the above.

    With regards to number 1), I think that it is perhaps a little naive to think that ‘qualified’ means anything at all. It’s common to think that a motorist only really learns to drive after passing their test, but I would argue that this isn’t even always the case, and that many motorists shouldn’t have passed in the first place. Also, drivers are not necessarily irresponsible, but could just be unaware, or a little thick.

    Number 2). I agree that there are a number of cyclists that don’t pay attention to the rules of the road. Sometimes it is ignorance. Sometimes it is arrogance. Sometimes it’s just plain rudeness. However, I think a good amount of the time it is an honest person just doing something that they believe is safe that will save them time (like running a red light at a junction when there are clearly no cars approaching). I don’t agree that this is right at all, and I think that cyclists shouldn’t have exception to the rules to any degree, but for a good proportion of these incidents, no-one is in danger (not an excuse at all, just a conjecture). The worry is when cyclists that don’t pay attention to the rules do so in a completely unsafe fashion, and will cut red lights and disobey other rules without any consideration. Even in this case, they are only really putting themselves in danger (or maybe pedestrians as well).

    It is much easier to spot and punish a motor vehicle breaking the rules but I don’t think it necessarily is more or less likely to result in a collision. Obviously, any collisions would have greater consequences than that of a car, but the chance is probably similar.

    Number 3). Most cyclists will forget that sometimes their actions can’t be predicted very well. It is important for a cyclist to communicate with the other road users in every possible way to make their journey as safe as possible, but this isn’t fool proof. A driver that looks away for even half a second can miss a vital sign of a cyclist moving that wasn’t predicted.

    Exactly the same goes for motorists, in that a driver may find it difficult to predict another driver’s future actions. A good example of this is a driver that is trying to find a roadside parking space and suddenly slows down to park in the spot. Often, the driver behind wont be thinking about this and wont be expecting the car in front to brake.

    Lot’s of these examples come down to bad driving, but some of them are fairly accidental, and are just a result of not being able to communicate things exactly.

    Number 4). This has some merit. A driver has passed a test that has shown proficiency with driving on the roads and knowledge of the highway code, whereas a cyclist doesn’t even need to have been on the roads before in their life to drive in Central London. I don’t think this gives them any more right than a cyclist at all, but I think that this underpins the need for a ‘Cycling License’, at least to drive inside a city. This would at least mean that a cyclist would have to demonstrate a good knowledge of the highway code in order to be allowed on the roads, which is what motorist should theoretically have.

    I think that, separate to all of the above points, cyclists need to remember that they are more likely to see bad driving of motor vehicles than bikes, and also motor vehicle drivers are more likely to see bad driving of motor vehicles than bikes, purely because they are so many more motorists on the road, and a motor vehicle takes up much more space and it’s actions are more immediately obvious. Because of this, I think the total picture has perhaps become a little exaggerated.

    Also, I am both a motorist and cyclist in and around London…

  36. Dave 22/12/2012 at 7:33 pm #

    I can’t be bothered to argue. I have suffered pain and damage to my bike due to the stupid arrogant attitudes of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. If anyone endangers me now I retaliate hard and fast, in proportion to the offence. And Germann if you don’t like the way things are here, why not go back to Germanny ?

    • mark 23/12/2012 at 3:23 pm #

      Here here dave,! Wel said.

      Ps how do u retaliate?

    • Germann 24/12/2012 at 2:04 pm #

      @Dave I don’t have ANY reason to go BACK to Germanny (sic). I like it here, and I think that generally ALL people are reasonable, but SOME are obviously NOT familiar with reason because they can’t see it. Some think that ONLY their point of view is correct and right.
      If you suffered … due to “stupid arrogant attitudes of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers” – was there ALWAYS someone’s fault???

      • Dave 24/12/2012 at 4:09 pm #

        Mein Herr! German, Do. You. Speak. English? Which part of “I don’t want to argue” did you not understand? If It’s war, bring it on. Rememberwhat happened last time? Sieg Herr!

        • Germann 24/12/2012 at 7:29 pm #

          @Dave Vielleicht ist Ihr Deutsch ist besser als mein Englisch. Die Diskussion / Argument ist nur möglich, wenn alle Argumente berücksichtigt werden. Ihr sind nicht betrachten, jemanden Sicht aber Ihre eigenen.
          BTW: German is NOT my mother tongue, but I thought that it may be yours.

        • Dave 24/12/2012 at 9:19 pm #

          Germann(sic) Luister, Jou bliksem, los my nou! Ek het mooi gese^
          en klaar geduidelik dat ek wil nie stry nie. Is jy doof of net dik? Ek gee nix om wat jy dink, wat jy se^ of wie jy is. Gaan naai jou ma!

  37. Tony 23/12/2012 at 8:28 am #

    I have to agree with Dave. Germann you are not a friend of cyclists. You state that you do not cycle very much, that is obvious as you are completely out of touch with what is the reality of cycling on our roads. This is a free country and you are allowed to air your opinions as everyone is, but you do spout a load of b******s!

  38. Dave 24/12/2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Thanks Mark. Well for crowding me in the cycle box – a lecture, edging me out they get a bollocking, crowding the cycle lane gets their mirror banged against their window, sideswiping me costs them a whole mirror. This is what I choose to do, I don’t advocate it for others.

    Damage to my bike, I keep calm get their details and contact my insurance. My bike now is maintained through offending motorists insurance, in one case I took so many photos and witness statements he folded and paid me in cash fordamages on my optimistic evaluation. Possibly he had no insurance, or a bad history and paying me was cheaper.

    This I do advocate, as have others earlier

  39. N. U. 24/12/2012 at 6:49 pm #

    The real “war” here is waged by the media against the people.

  40. Dave 24/12/2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Germann(sic) Mena kababa wena lo bongol! Velapie wena mangy? Mina kaluma wena mina haai funa lo ndaba mangy wena slupa mina makula.Hamba bepa lo mama ga wena!

  41. MrCommuter 26/12/2012 at 11:10 am #

    Because of those who don’t favour cyclists (Germann comes to mind), we need changes to the law. It’s blindly obvious that these self-righteous individuals are too blind and selfish to see any ethics beyond their own little metal cage. They know they are wrong and their willingness to argue proves their sour material disposition, many of whom simply revel in their contempt for ethical third parties.
    So my advice to everyone who is either a cyclist or pro-cycling is to continue campaigning, because the anti-cyclists will only be defeated if governments adopt priority for cyclists like they do on some continental countries.

  42. Vincent 01/01/2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Thanks for the infos. The documentary can still be downloaded through this BitTorrent link:

    Mark S > leaving only 2-4″ doesn’t allow the rider much wobble room

    Here’s a solution:
    1. Get a bright yellow swim noodle http://www.amazon.com/Original-Noodle-Pool-Swimming-Aid-1/dp/B003L29F8M
    2. Cut it to suit the width needed
    3. At each end, glue/tie some material that will leave scratch motorists’ car bodyworks (old keys?)
    4. On the noodle, warn motorists in big red letters…

  43. Dave 03/01/2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Wowee Amoeba! you really gave that dickhead the works. I wont argue with him, but he/she insisted on taking me on, so I blasted him in Flemish and Ndebele. He/She (probably He) obviously got the message and now leaves me alone. More power to you!

    • Amoeba 03/01/2013 at 2:05 pm #

      Apologies for OT comment.

      It’s nice to be appreciated!
      Normally I’m about as popular as a cyclist in traffic – not particularly welcome!

      I’m beginning to believe that an essential part of all cycling blogs would be an FAQ list featuring debunkings of common myths popular with cyclophobic bigots, such as the externalities of motoring, and peer reviewed articles about the benefits of cycling to society at large. It needs to be as objective as possible, so that it cannot be merely dismissed as subjective or tendentious nonsense. We also need to dissect, or collect demolitions of the publications of the Bigoted Association of British Nutters, etc.

      Alternatively, a group of like-minded individuals could undertake such a project centralised and perhaps the CEoGB might consider hosting or overseeing it.
      If anyone knows Freewheeler, I feel that he (or she) would be a most valuable contributor.

      • MrCommuter 03/01/2013 at 2:09 pm #

        Amoeba, you are very popular in my books.
        It’s good to see some undisputable logic in use.

        Good on you.

  44. Ted Miggins 05/06/2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Let’s just stop for a minute.
    London is a major capital city. it’s roads were not built to cope with the traffic demands it now faces. There is no room to widen these roads. Yet these roads are being routinely narrowed further by installing cycle lanes.
    Up until a few years ago, very few people cycled in London. This was because in all honesty riding a bike in the centre of a busy city with cramped roads was dangerous and pretty foolish.
    The roads of Central London never have been a suitable place to go riding a bike.
    Now, in the name of the “Great Green Scam” cyclists have been encouraged over the last few years.
    So now we have thousands of people, jumping on bike for the first time since they were kids, with little or no road sense, riding about amongst the busy traffic.
    Some manouvers, riding along the inside of a vehicle turning left for example is a common site. As is jumping red lights. The Boris Bike thing is utter madness. should be renamed ” Pay yer money and dice with death”
    Not all cyclists are like this, but many are. It is no surprise to anyone that cyclists are being hurt.
    Pedestrians are regularly clipped or knocked down by cyclists, who rarely stop or take any responsibility for their actions.

    It is always the motorist’s fault !!!!

    The same motorists who pay the congestion charge and low emmisions tax as well as all the other costs and aggravation of driving in London.
    Most drivers drive in London because that have to, be it for work, deliveries, tradesmen, buses, taxis etc or because they live there.

    Cyclists contribute nothing, yet demand everything.
    Millions are spent on their behalf every year. Roads are even closed, famous old roads that were used by all, can now only be used by cyclists. Stonecutter Street is the latest victim.

    The majority of cyclists out there are new to cycling and have made it worse for the original proper cyclists, if not through their numbers, definately by their irresponsible actions.

    If you jump a red light and get killed, it’s your own bloody fault …. not the motorist.

    End of rant

    • Dave 05/06/2013 at 8:34 pm #

      Ted when you say ‘it’s roads were not built to cope with the traffic demands it now faces. There is no room to widen these roads’ remember that those roads were made for horse and cart, be it for work, deliveries, tradesmen, carriages, coaches, cabs etc or because they lived there. they were not made for horse-powered motors.

      When they came along, quite rightly they had to have someone walking ahead of them.with a red flag to warn of the dangerous vehicle. Bring that back and we will ALL be a lot safer. Or would you then complain of red flag jumping?

      Anyone who has not regularly commuted by bike can understand the very real danger every cyclist is aware of and WE all assess the risk to ourselves differently and ride accordingly.

      Its not about taxes its not about being green, its about a motor being defined in law as a carriage, the same as a bicycle is. We have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, so drop the crap, get on a bike and be better informed instead of being so obviously ignorant and biased.

    • Andrew Priest (Aushiker) 06/06/2013 at 1:02 am #

      Interesting comments, particular the one on red light jumping. I appreciate this is Australian data, but I believe it goes someway to highlighting the lack of understanding about red light jumping by cyclists as opposed to red light jumping by motorists (why do we have red light cameras for?). What is the death and injury rate as a result of motorists running red lights?

      The data based on serious injuries at a South Australian hospital shows that 1% yep 1% of the incidents arose from a cyclist jumping a red light.

      Some other interesting points to come from the study …

      (1) Close to 40 per cent of all crashes in the study involved an oncoming vehicle turning right across the path of a cyclist who was continuing straight;

      (2) The second most common crash scenario involved vehicles travelling in the stem of a T-junction that came into the path of a cyclist who was travelling straight on the continuing road. This crash type accounted for close to 20 per cent of all cases

      (3) In 79% of the cases the motorist was found to be at fault. This by the way matches data from a video camera study which showed motorists at fault in about 80% of the noted incidents.

      Further details on the South Australian hospital study can be found on my blog for those interested.

  45. David Bates 06/06/2013 at 8:11 am #

    Ted, before you rant you may want to check a few minor details first.

    “It is always the motorist’s fault !!!!”

    Wrong – only 68% of the time is it the motorist’s fault in Westminster as reported in the Times:

    “The City of Westminster Council found that drivers were to blame for 68 per cent of collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles in the borough in the past 12 months. It found that cyclists were at fault for only 20 per cent. In the remaining 12 per cent of cases, no cause could be found or both parties were to blame.”

    “Cyclists contribute nothing, yet demand everything.”

    Wrong again mate. According to statistics kindly provided by the government:

    “The tired old argument that cyclists have less right to be on the road because they don’t pay vehicle excise duty – sometimes still referred to as road tax – received another blow this week when it transpired that cyclists are more likely to also drive cars, and pay VED, than the population as a whole.”

    The specific figures are 83% of cyclists in households with access to a car or van compared with 82% for the population as a whole. In other words, cyclists appear to pay slightly more than those who just motor around.

    In actual fact roads are paid for out of general taxation – ie, everybody in the country, not just car drivers. Roads are transport infrastructure and they are not exclusively for cars.

    “Millions are spent on their behalf every year. Roads are even closed, famous old roads that were used by all, can now only be used by cyclists.”

    And billions are spent on roads with nary a thought for cyclists, including many roads from which cyclists are either excluded, or which the DoT used to deliberately design to be so dangerous for cyclists that they wouldn’t use them.

    You mention the “irresponsible actions” of cyclists. Well would you care to make comment on the following as reported in the Daily Telegraph:

    “In London you are twice as likely to be hit by an uninsured driver in London than anywhere else in the UK,” a spokesman for the MIB said.
    Police figures show that 10 per of drivers in London do not have cover, followed by 9.5 per cent in Merseyside and 8.3 per cent in Manchester. “

    To drive without insurance is a criminal offence. Do you have anything to say about London having the most criminal and dangerous drivers in the country? I’ve been run over by one of these bastards, but I don’t tar all drivers with the same brush or come out with stupid and bigoted comments underpinned by nothing other than my own opinion. It would be nice if you could do the same.

  46. Mark 06/06/2013 at 12:33 pm #

    loving this discussion right now.

    australian statisitcs show that 79% of collisions with bikes is the motorists fault, i even did a simple little sketch to illustrate it here,

    interestingly, the TWO most common collisions occur when a motor vehicle cuts across the path of an oncoming bike (when it has right of way), and pulls out from a junction in front of a bike ( where the bike has right of way)…..

    here comes the non-statistical part, in my opinion that is because often the motorist does see the bike, or sometimes even sees it and thinks “its only a bike”, and pulls out anyway!

    this happened to the cyclist in front of me today, driver sees him and pulls out anyway, missing by inches. in the controntation that ensued the taxi driver admited to even seeing the cyclist!!!!!

    2 seconds later (no exageration) a taxi does a right hand turn cutting across the path of myself an another cyclist, narrowly avoiding us both and almost causing me to collide with the other cyclist.
    to me, both of these recent examples show disregard from a vehicle driver. both instances SAW the cycliosts and didnt care that they forced 3 different people to execute emergency stops or risk being injured or even killed!!!!

  47. Richardcain 05/09/2013 at 11:43 am #

    Now a days many road traffic accident look like a war. protect you by yourself for road traffic accident with the help of Express Motorbike Solicitor, its a claim service provider company, so go and contact with company as soon as possible.

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