Poll: Should cyclists be given harsher fines?

cyclistsatredlight_thumbIn this second of our London Cyclist week of polls I’m heading to a very hot topic of the moment. There was recently news about Westminster council raising the fines for cyclists to £100. Any cyclist therefore caught skipping red lights, on pavements or ignoring one way signs would receive a fairly harsh fine of £100. (This used to be £30).

The post back then raised a lot of debate with a total of 37 comments left.

Those for the harsher fines: Will argue that cyclists are not above the law and they are governed by the highway code in the same way as any motorist. The harsher fine may help to discourage those that keep flouting the laws. The cyclists for the higher fines will talk about how those that do skip red lights are painting a less positive picture of cycling and likely to cause less people to want to start cycling. Many people will also talk about the anger people seem to express at pavement cycling and the dangers that poses for pedestrians.

Those against the harsher fines: Will argue that the road system in the UK was designed around cars and not bikes. This often leaves cyclists in less than safe positions and the occasional bit of red light skipping actually helps to prevent danger. Whilst they don’t encourage flouting all the laws they acknowledge a bit of rule bending is necessary to stay safe. They will point out that the number of accidents caused by cyclists is extremely low and deaths even lower to none existent. The harsher fines will only serve to discourage new cyclists to join as they keep hearing stories about people receiving big fines. They may also argue that a harsh fine is not the correct way to discourage people and instead better cycling facilities should be built.

Do you think cyclists should receive harsher fines for breaking the rules?


Also don’t forget to vote in yesterdays poll on the London Cycle Hire scheme which is just 2 people short of 100!

Join 9,241 fellow cyclists who are subscribed to the London Cyclist newsletter

Sign up for our free newsletter to get...

  • Advice on the best cycling gear
  • A Friday roundup of all the latest London cycling news
  • Exclusive content not available on the blog

Subscribe today, and get exclusive access forever! (It's free)

*No spam, ever!

As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

, ,

98 Responses to Poll: Should cyclists be given harsher fines?

  1. Russell B 13/05/2010 at 12:04 pm #

    i would like to see the law enforced or a law added if there isnt one, top stop cars motorbikes, busses, police vehicles!, and lorries that cross the white lines into green cycle ‘safety’ areas at traffic lights. Idiots that do this, including the said police vehicle i witnessed, make it more difficult for cyclists. why are the cycles areas there if vehicle drivers ignore it!!!

  2. Nathan G 13/05/2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Russell – It’s actually a £60 fine and 3 points on your licence.

    Very rarely is it enforced, although over the last few months in Central London, I have seen Police cracking down on it – not that it made any difference.

  3. I have got problems with seeing your page correctly with the newest release of Opera. Looks fine in IE7 and Firefox however.Hope you have a lovely day.

  4. Loreta Ullom 24/06/2010 at 5:43 pm #

    Hi This is a great outdoor site and found the page intriging,this will aid my results particularly when im working out,cycling is the cleanest sport and no wonder why it has grown in the last 10 years.

  5. mick heapy 19/07/2010 at 7:20 pm #

    I think fines should be increased dramaticly and enforced with vigour.Free- loading cyclists make me sick,constantly whinging about their rights and how they deserve their own lanes.PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS AND PAY FOR THE DAMN THINGS!!! Why should you take priority over highly trained,highly taxed motorists and motorcyclists when you know nothing and pay even less.COUGH UP you lycra- clad,left wing, lentil eating, tree-hugging bunch of tossers!!!

    • Titan yer tummy 19/07/2010 at 9:05 pm #

      Dear Mr Heapy,

      Thank you for your thoughtful and considered contribution to the forum.

      There are those who will read your comments and feel that you are the epitome of the problem on our roads.

      And you know what. I think I agree with them!!

      Tyt

    • Mrs Heapy 19/07/2010 at 9:16 pm #

      Highly trained – ROFL!

      Was in a really bad mood when I got home tonight after nearly being killed in my car by a highly trained motorist who drove into the side of me, then started screaming at me and waving his arms – despite him cutting across a lane without any warning right into the side of me. He was in a non taxed P reg crap heap that probably wasn’t insured either.

      But your comment has cheered me up so much.

      Thank the lord I only drive my highly taxed car once a week to play football, and it spends the rest of its time in its highly taxed parking space that gets paid to the local council.

      I am also grateful that I wasn’t on my “taxed” motorbike – that was in the garden.

      I could have been driving one of a fleet of 10 of my highly taxed company vehicles too…

      But y’see… My council tax, in my 10 bed detached mansion (with swimming pool) in the middle of a highly sought after area probably (band H incidentally) contributes more towards the roads that you will in a year.

      I’ll stick to cycling most of the time. Enjoy your traffic chaos every morning, An if I pass you – I’ll give you a wonderful smile knowing that I have more right to be on the road that you.

      Good night, and thanks for cheering me up.

    • Charles 12/08/2010 at 12:47 pm #

      Hey thicko car tax does not pay for the roads and hasn’t done for 40 or more years !

      Why not leave the car at home for day and do your body some good ?

      Second point is many cyclists are car drivers as well

      Third point the road is not God-given right for drivers to do what they like but is shared with motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders etc

      Typciaclly right wing moeny grabbing that will do nothing for safety, would be far more impressed if the many cameras could be used for targetting bad drivers on phones and drving dangerously but of course that would go against the Daily Mail types.

      Cyclists are nice quick easy minority

      • mick heapy 12/08/2010 at 11:40 pm #

        Oh dear Charles,we are behind with our reading aren’t we? Perhaps if you read further you may see the whole picture.who knows?it may help to improve your rather poor spelling as well but maybe you were educated under a left wing regime,in which case it isn’t your fault.
        Anyway,the point is I would love to see cameras targeting road user,s who drive dangerously also,particularly those using mobile phones.However,this should also apply to cyclist,s because as you correctly point out,the roads are the domain of every body. Just for the record,I think pedestrians should be fined for dangerous behavior on the road.Wandering across road,s into traffic is ludicrous and is almost always committed within yards of a pedestrian crossing.

        • Charles 13/08/2010 at 4:42 pm #

          Mick what would you know about the whole pciture as you can across as totally one-eyed !

          Perhaps your right wing educashun may be abel to spot the a typo !

          As much as you hate the fact the motor car in the hands of what you laughingly call ‘highly trained’ is a far greater danger to people and that includes even you than the humbe bicycle.

          Attitude like yours are a big part the problem

          If you have such a big problem dealing with cyclists on the road take the tube and sit bck and enjoy your drivel from the Daily Mail !

    • Chuck 17/08/2010 at 7:51 am #

      You mean pay for it through the taxation system?

      Like income tax, national insurance, council tax, VAT, duties, levies and so on, all of which see someone like myself handing around £9,000 of their income to government at one level or another, to waste as they see fit?

      So if I pay the same as a zero or low emission emission vehicle would pay (the bicycle is generating no CO2 emissions) then that would be £0 then. Let me know where I can send my cheque….

      Which will go a long way to paying for things like motorways which are paid for by central government out of my tax and which I am not allowed to cycle on, and go a long way to pay for all those roads which aren’t motorways but which by desgn are so dangerous to cycle on you would need you head examined to do so.

      And then of course, if I am paying “Road Tax” so I’m not a “freeloader” any more, we’ll also have to do things equally to other transport choices. Mobility scooters for one, who do these disabled think they are? And pedestrians, thinking they have the right to walk everywhere they want….and how may tourists have paid their fair share of tax to walk on our footpaths?

    • Phil Russell 20/08/2010 at 3:37 pm #

      Heapy—-obviously not happy, therefore a sad person. Cyclists DO pay for the upkeep of the roads, through our Council tax, and the local councils have to repair the roads that people like Heapy damage with their vehicles. Oy! Heapy! Don’t you know anything? Get a bike, son. I promise you, you’ll enjoy yourself, and you might find life less of a pain……

  6. Mrs Heapy 19/07/2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Of course, I was joking – but I hope you get my point.

    • Adam S 20/07/2010 at 2:43 pm #

      Ah someone’s a bit emotional. Must be all that driving around getting stuck in traffic. Maybe you should jump on a bike and enlighten yourself.

      • mick heapy 20/07/2010 at 6:22 pm #

        I rarely get stuck in traffic as I’m usually on the bobber and you will be shocked to hear that I have actually cycled quite a bit.It’s the sheer arrogance of a large number of cyclists which really hacks me off.If you all exercised common sense and respect for others then perhaps you would’nt induce such venemous reactions.By the way ,would you care to comment on the point,s I raised about disregard for road regulations?……..No I thought not,I rest my case.

    • Will Bishop 20/07/2010 at 3:03 pm #

      Dear Mick

      If you were able to get across your opinions without generalisations and name calling, you might (and it’s a big might) have actually made some valid observations, as it is you’ve just made yourself look bitter and uninformed.

      I’m sure nothing I can say will change your uneducated, biased, and little thought out views, so I will save my energy for my cycle home and go and make sure my lentils aren’t boiling over.

      Toodle pip

      Will x

  7. Velolondres 20/07/2010 at 2:32 pm #

    Fines should be abolished and cyclists should be allowed to turn left at red lights and treat red signals as give ways rather than stops. Should however be general rule that cyclists must give way to pedestrians and cars must give way to cyclists and peds except at signal controlled crossings. traffic regulations are designed to regulate and control cars and shouldn’t apply in current form to cyclists, while most traffic signals are installed to assist vehicle flow not for pedestrian safety. Road tax provides a fraction of cost of the road network most being met from mainstream taxation and council tax which cyclists pay and get very little for. the only reason enforcement is an issue is because pathetic little motorists in their tin cans can’t cope with the fact cyclists can move about so much more freely in towns and try to constrain them . suspect is also a degree of envy of the generally overweight and unhealthy of the fit and active

  8. Mrs Heapy 20/07/2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Mick,

    There’s a couple of points I’d like to raise with you.

    1) you assume that “all” cyclists take the mick – this is far from the case. I’ve never jumped a red, nor do I condone that action, same as all the people that I cycle with during the week / weekends.

    2) you make an assumption that (because people are “highly trained” in order to get a licence to use a motorised vehicle on the road) motorised vehicle drivers don’t break road regulations. I can assure you that in Manchester, I see far more breaking of the rules by car drivers than I do by cyclists – due to the lack of cycling in this city compared to London. Speeding at 50 in a 20. Jumping red lights (yes, drivers do that too). Blocking the cycle lanes that we are told to get in because we don’t pay for the roads. Using mobile phones behind the wheel etc etc etc. The reason none of this is clamped down on, is because, as a country, we can’t afford to employ the sheer amount of police officers needed to clamp down on traffic violations, plus we’d lose most of our public transport at all the bus drivers would be suspended, as would most of the taxi drivers.

    Its a shame that a small percentage of cyclists cause all this aggravation, just as its a shame that a small percentage of drivers cause aggravation for all other road users. I’d be happy to pay a fine, large or small, if I was caught doing something wrong – because I don’t.

    I’ve also had my driving licence for 18 years. Own a car, a motorbike and a bicycle. I use the bike because its 30 minutes quicker to do my 13 mile commute every day, than it is to use my car, and 20 minutes quicker than the motorbike (after walking too and from car park) and I only started cycling because I was 17 stone and getting fatter by the day.

    Also, I’ve never eaten lentils in my life!

    As for your bobber – awesome! Dare I ask if its a Harley? Only have a Suzuki Vanvan myself.

    • mick heapy 20/07/2010 at 9:38 pm #

      To Will,no kisses please as i’m sure you won’t be surprised that I am borderline homophobic.
      To Velolondres,you really are talking out of your butt.
      To Mrs. Heapy (how did you get that name?) I am delighted to hear that at least one cyclist has some sense.I also am appalled at the number of people who drive whilst using mobilephones,even worse a large number of these idiot,s are texting!! I can only agree with you that large number,s of motorist,s also show complete disregard for the rules of the road and unfortunately most are never caught.I’m sorry to say that even member,s of my beloved motorcycle fraternity are guilty of reckless and irresponsible behaviour on our roads,particularly motorway,s.
      I can only speak as I see and the truth is that on my regular route,s the MAJORITY of cyclist,s that I encounter are guilty of the offences I have spoken of and it is these people who should face hefty fines as indeed should any other traffic offender,s.I am very pleased to hear that you have been successful with your weight loss as have I but by different methods.As for the “bobber”, no it isn’t a Harley,but we won’t go there.Happy travel,whichever method you use and good luck with the Vanvan.
      Regard,s,Mick. (now go eat your lentil,s)

      • Will 20/07/2010 at 9:59 pm #

        Mick, I think we’re getting somewhere, I feel like we’re almost having a rational debate.

        I think it could and will go on, but I am bowing out gracefully.

        Good luck in life, and stop reading The Daily Mail!

        Will :-) (annoying smiley face instead of kiss as I respect your wishes)

      • John 21/07/2010 at 4:39 pm #

        Dear Mr Heap,

        I have just received the following text from Bromley Cycling Campaign:

        Last year Portsmouth became the first city in Britain to have a 20mph safety limit on almost all residential streets.

        At the National Transport Awards in Manchester, Portsmouth City Council was the winner in the road safety, traffic management and enforcement category.
        In 2008 Portsmouth became the first city in Britain to have a 20mph safety limit on almost all residential streets. The council scheme, funded by the government, has brought the city national attention and interest from many other councils.

        Chairman of the judging panel David Begg, publisher of Transport Times magazine, said: Portsmouth’s area-wide 20mph speed limit policy has admirably brought traffic-dominated streets to an end, reclaiming them for community use, reducing accidents and casualties while managing to prevent any impact on journey times and traffic flows around the city.

        The awards, in association with Transport Times, are endorsed by the Department for Transport, the Local Transport Planning Network and independent transport watchdog Passenger Focus.

        Cllr Jason Fazackarley, the council’s Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said: “I’m delighted. This award recognises Portsmouth’s pioneering work, which has inspired other councils to adopt similar schemes.
        “The 20mph scheme is about making our streets more useable for the people who live on them, as well as pedestrians and cyclists. It s not safe to drive at more than 20mph on our narrow streets, which often have cars parked on both sides.

        The 20mph limit gives responsible drivers confidence and authority to drive at the appropriate speed. Drivers who want to drive too fast for instance, at 30mph have their official ‘permission’ to do that removed.”

        The awards were judged by Prof Begg; Nick Bisson, Director of Regional and Local Transport Policy at the Department for Transport; Dr Andy Southern, Director of Atkins Transport Planning and Management Business, and Anthony Smith, chief executive of Passenger Focus.

        The ceremony was addressed by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond.

        Now this is the sort of proactive joined up thinking which will sort out the “Jolly Yah boo lets go as fast as we can and screw the lot of of you crowd…..”

        What do you have to say about that?? :-D

  9. Adam S 21/07/2010 at 9:37 am #

    @ Mick. For some reason I can’t reply to your reply, must be deliberate to stop things getting out of hand. Anyway the reason I didn’t comment on your observations was that they were on the whole valid and reasonable.

    The point is that if you get enraged by all inconsiderate road users you’ll spend most of your life being angry, which isn’t a great state of affairs. Somehow we will have to all get along…

  10. mick heapy 21/07/2010 at 8:38 pm #

    Hi John, I don’t quite understand your point.I at no time have advocated fast,reckless and inconsiderate road use whatever mode of transport one uses.I have been motorcycling now for almost forty years and am proud of the fact that I have a clean license and have been fortunate enough to have been involved in only two accidents.For the record the first one which almost caused me to lose my left arm was the fault of a drunken driver driving straight across my path and the second was as a result of a drunken pedestrian running off the pavement straight into the front of my then Kawasaki.
    I agree that in some residential areas a 20mph limit is ideal but certainly not in all cases.At the end of the day it all comes down to common sense and self discipline and I’m afraid that no matter what legislation is in place,it won’t make a blind bit of difference to the selfish,moron element whether they be cyclist,s,motorist,s or motorcyclist,s.
    In answer to you Adam,I quite agree but sometimes it is bloody difficult.I guess all we can do is make sure that we all endeavor to do the right thing.
    Take care guy,s,cos’ if you don’t then sure as eggs are eggs no one else will.

  11. Andy C 27/07/2010 at 6:11 pm #

    I think cyclists should be fined for dangerous cycling, not simply on technicalities.

    There’s a big difference between someone who ploughs through red lights between crossing pedestrians or even cars and someone who will proceed slowly though a red light if safe to do so. There should be harsher penalties for people who cycle dangerously and no penalties for cyclists who are technically breaking the rules but are otherwise cycling safely and not causing danger to anyone else.

  12. stevie 02/08/2010 at 7:17 pm #

    whilst everybody that uses the roads, thinks they only “safely” break the rules, speeding, texting, red light jumping ect sct one aspect of the problem is enforcing any minor transgerssion, we will come to a complete gridlock if the “bizzies” were checking on every road user surely ?

  13. mike 04/08/2010 at 2:01 pm #

    As someone who comes in on a very busy greenwich to london road , I go through pedestrian red lights where there are no pedistrians crossing. I think thats a perfectly safe think to do and should not be penalised.

    • mck heapy 05/08/2010 at 12:13 am #

      O.k. Mike,so the rules don’t apply to you huh? I’m sorry my friend but that is where the trouble start,s…….problem is,where does it all end if everybody think,s they have the right to flout the law? If motorised road user,s did this type of thing we would all be in a right mess.I know it can be a pain stopping for no apparent reason but they are the rules matey.

      • Adam S 05/08/2010 at 11:32 am #

        MIck, I agree with you on the point that cyclists should obey the rules in principal.

        However you must also agree that the vast majority of motorists regularly flout the law by speeding, accelerating through lights on amber, encroaching on advance stop lanes for cyclists, and using mobile phones. The only reason they don’t jump red lights is that this kind of law is actually enforced by the police, perhaps because it’s the most dangerous.

        So far only Westminster/City Police have seriously tried to penalise cyclists who jump red lights, probably because this area is where most accidents occur. This could mean that they don’t consider it a serious issue in other areas. So back to Andy C’s and Stevie’s posts – in reality the police tend to enforce laws that are enforceable and in proportion to the dangers involved.

        If the police were to crackdown on all motorists using mobiles then I would happily stop at every red light in town, but until that time I’ll use the same discretion as every other road user. Cheers!

  14. Judd 05/08/2010 at 3:00 am #

    In re: Mike H. post. Did I miss the irony. If so I am sorry. Otherwise, why the animosity toward cyclists? Who are also taxpayers by the way and probably own cars also. Do you exercise at all Mike? I would guess probably not since you would see one of the many advantages to cycling. Do you believe that the streets are too congested with automobile traffic? I guess not. Would you like to cut down on air pollution? Again you must not. It’s simply amazing that you dislike (maybe even hate?) cyclists. What have we done to make you feel this way? You must also really dislike other motorists who get in your way. I suggest that you “chill.”

  15. Murray 05/08/2010 at 1:55 pm #

    I think the point is that the rules ought to be changed. In many countries it is legal for a car to turn right (it’d be left in this country) through a red light, giving way to pedestrians. This works fine, so I don’t see why it shouldn’t be the legal for cyclists to do this, so long as they stick to the rules and take the lights at no more than twice walking speed.

  16. Judd 05/08/2010 at 6:22 pm #

    In re: Murray. Course in your example one must stop first prior to making the turn. You are suggesting a double standard here allowing cyclists to keep going without doing so.
    When I come to a stop sign on my country route, I slow down to a “walk” so I can look for cars. If I don’t see one I just go without stopping. I’ve seen some be able to “stand” on the bike at a dead stop until traffic clears. Maybe we ARE getting to the point where there ought to be some exceptions for cyclists since consequences are a little different than when you are in the lethal weapon called a car.

  17. mick heapy 05/08/2010 at 9:25 pm #

    Hi Judd,for the record ,YES,I do exercise regularly.No,I don’t hate all cyclist,s.My animosity is reserved for the arrogant road users who think they are above the law no matter what their mode of transport.I particularly despise drivers who use mobiles,particularly those who think it is acceptable to text and I would love to see an immediate ban for the guilty parties.With regard to your comments on air pollution,no I’m not particularly concerned about this as there are far worse sources than road traffic.I do believe that our roads are far to congested but that is the consequence of living in a country with such an inflated population as our’s. I have visited America and am familiar with the right turn rule which is all well and good but and I don’t think you will like this,the Americans are generally more disciplined on the road than us Brit,s and traffic laws are enforced with far more vigor than in this country.I do feel that as with most things,give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a yard and any concessions given to any particular group will be abused which is a shame but that’s life.Take care guy,s enjoy your travel safely and remember,if you want to survive just take it as read that all those around you are inept moro because they probably are.

  18. Judd 06/08/2010 at 1:25 am #

    Mick. Appreciated your taking the time to respond to my comment. For the record I didn’t bring up the right turn rule. But I did use it to make a point. You are right. I certainly know nothing about cycling in London and motorists such as you who get upset by them. You just sounded so pissed off I had to say something. Maybe common sense by both is what’s finally needed. Drive and cycle safely. I wrote early on that I was in favor of harsher fines.
    I believe that the cyclist is ultimately at a disadvantage in terms of weight and consequences of a collision with an automobile. I think that if we want respect we ought to follow the motor vehicle code as do motorists. I think motorists on the other hand ought to think more about the advantages of cycling. I can’t believe that you put pollution caused by cars so low on the list of pollutants. I must try to get some facts sometime on just how much air quality is diminished by auto emissions. Or gridlock and congestion. Once in town I bet a cyclist makes better time through traffic than does a motorist. Anyway try to see things from the others point of view. Goes for both.

  19. murray 06/08/2010 at 8:21 am #

    Yes, of course. In the examples I have seen abroad, vehicles – including cyclists – slow down almost to a stop to ensure the safety of pedestrians crossing the road. I think that this should be legal.

  20. murray 06/08/2010 at 8:28 am #

    “I think that if we want respect we ought to follow the motor vehicle code as do motorists.”

    Really? You believe that motor vehicle drivers follow the code? I don’t think so!

    Do you know how nervous I am on a roundabout, small or big, because motorists often don’t consider that I have the right of way?

    Yesterday I was very nearly knocked over by a driver who was coming out of a side street whilst I was turning right from the main road onto said side street. He didn’t consider that I had the right of way for some reason…

    My office is on a one way street. Do you want me to count how many motorists drive through the no entry sign without a second thought. Except when the council’s CCTV car is there, of course. In which case they veer away at the last minute. Which means that no car driver is ever fined for this violation.

    How many cars do you see parked on the pavement or on double yellow lines during the course of the day?

    How many cars do you see speeding? Our roads are covered with humps because car drivers refuse to drive within the legal speed limits!

    Motor vehicles are far more dangerous than cycles. Their drivers break the rules constantly and get away with it. And yet there is SO much animosity towards cyclists. It beggars belief, it really does. It is insane.

  21. Judd 13/08/2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Point taken Murray in re: motor vehicle code. For the most part though I think motorists stop for red lights and stop signs. And stay in their lanes. And stay on the correct side of the road.
    As a cyclist I still think we need to show some respect to the larger vehicle. In this case “better alive than in the hospital.”
    Motorists can’t seem to accept the share the road principle which I’m sure was invented by cyclists and runners. Motorists want to be able to maintain a certain speed which is usually faster than the latter who cause them to have to slow down, or try to pass (on curves and double lines in the case of two lane roads). Even if a lone cyclist is totally over on the right, most motorists try to give some distance when going around. This usually puts them in the oncoming traffic lane. Not good.
    So let the animosity on both sides continue!!
    Maybe there is no solution to this.

  22. Charles 16/08/2010 at 10:38 pm #

    Sympathy from the likes of you we don’t really need especially if you think its cyclist who need the compulsory training !

    You have 40 years as a biker a bunch I normally have some respect for on the roads and who are generally far safer and considerate than pretty much all other road users.

    I’ve been cycling on the roads for only a few years less than that and have seen the bullying, distracting and dangerous behaviour detoriate on London roads that even with training cyclists are far more at risks than ever before.

    Until the numbers of cyclist getting killed goes up I can see little change in legislation as the general consensus is we are an expendable minority.

    Sorry to hear of the death of your young friends far too many are killed on our roads and without a huge shoft in behavoiur I’m afraid it will continue.

    • mick heapy 16/08/2010 at 11:41 pm #

      Nobody is expendable Charles and you have misunderstood what I wrote.I am against legislation which is why I used the word VOLUNTARY.And you call me Thicko,HUH!!! Anyway,all differences aside,I wish you well and safe in your travels.
      Perhaps you or some other contributor can tell me if the old cycling proficiency scheme is still available? It was always heavily promoted years ago and this is the type of thing I am suggesting.I know you can’t do much to stop the aggressive,bullying style of driving to which you refer but at least you can teach people about defensive riding which is vital if anyone on two wheels is to stand some chance of survival.
      Just for the record,I can’t stand the Daily Mail.I’m afraid it’s the Sun.

      • Charles 17/08/2010 at 12:45 pm #

        Yes Mick Cycling Profiency is still around although it appears to more aimed at children.

        http://www.roadsafetyni.gov.uk/index/education/teacherzone/teacherzone-cyclingproficiency.htm

        I think most London Boroughs do provide free cycle training

      • Sarina 17/08/2010 at 1:31 pm #

        It’s available in Lewisham borough too – I had a trainer follow me on my commute to work which was a great idea. Really practical advice and I could ask her opinion on the real life situations I face daily e.g. should I filter at this junction?

  23. Murray 17/08/2010 at 8:55 am #

    I don’t know about other boroughs, but where I live cycle training is available.

    http://www.hackney.gov.uk/es-cycle-training-faq-547.htm

  24. Judd 21/08/2010 at 3:05 pm #

    I would like to know just what is taught in these classes. Is it stuff that can/will be realistically followed when class is over and you have your certificate?

  25. mick heapy 21/08/2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Good to know that the old c.p. is still going,is it free? I don’t know.What Sarina said sounds great and can only be a great help for cyclists to survive.I would gladly offer some of my time f.o.c. to help newcomers to motorcycling but due to red tape and bullshit I can’t do that unless I spend fortunes on govt. approved training to say that I’m competent.Don’t know if the same applies to cyclists but the way I see it there is no substitute for experience and anyone who is not genuinely interested and capable wouldn’t bother on a voluntary basis anyway .My Dad offered me some very sound advice when I started out,”TREAT ALL OTHER ROAD USERS LIKE COMPLETE IDIOTS BECAUSE THEY MOST PROBABLY ARE” I will continue to enjoy my motorcycling and occasional driving and do my best to treat all road users with respect and courtesy,including cyclists.I would like to think that all others will share this objective but they probably won’t so take care everyone and if you are ever in the Wembley area and see a blue bobber ridden at a leisurley pace by an old geezer chances are it’ll be me,so give us a wave and be safe in the knowledge that I won’t be the one to try and knock you off.

  26. David Beaumont 10/09/2010 at 7:55 am #

    I recently started cycling from Chelsea to Soho in the morning for work and was amazed at the numbers of cyclists who just sailed through EVERY red light. Not just the odd cyclist or occasional red light jumping but simple wholesale ignoring of red lights by dozens of cyclists at a time. All the way along the Kings Road, Eaton Square and down the Mall. The culprits looked a mixed bag – over eager lycra boys, grey haired suits, chelsea girlies etc. They clearly do this every day and see no wrong in it at all. It strikes me as symptomatic of a ridiculous sense of self entitlement at the expense of others that so many people barrel around this city with – and certainly not not just on bicycles. It is absolutely anti-social, anti-society and gives cycling an absolutely terrible image. I agree with some of Mr. Heapy’s points if not the silly way he feels he has to put them across – calling cyclist’ leftie lentil munchers’ says a lot more about Mr. Heapy than it does about real world cyclists and looks like an almost touchingly naive belief in the word of Jeremy Clarkson. I didn’t fully realise that people actually went about expressing themselves in this way outside of the tabloids and Top Gear. If only the world were so simple…
    The fine should be the same as for cars and should be enforced the same. I also retain a sense of idealism about cycling and believe that cyclists should be the last people to join the ranks of the other selfish idiots who daily undermine the efforts of the rest of us to maintain and to actually improve the civilisation of our society. So if you are one of those cyclists who simply sails through red lights all the way to work in the morning – just who do you think you are?

  27. mick heapy 10/09/2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Hi Dave, sorry if I caused any offence to any body but if you read my entry dated 16th August you will see it all started out as a bit of fun.Actually I am in favour of very stiff penalties for all road traffic offenders including pedestrians.We all have a duty to contribute to road safety however we choose to travel.Believe me as a lifelong motrcyclist I have seen plenty of reckless and outrageous behaviour on the roads and unfortunately it is an almost daily occurence.I honestly wish there were more people like you and I who realise the responsibility that falls upon us when using the roads.All the best Mate and be safe.

  28. Plates 01/10/2013 at 5:40 am #

    To ride in the central business district they should have to be registered and have a license plate, and I am not joking. And yes the fines should be harsher.
    I’m speaking as somebody who rode for years and years, but who now cannot STAND the idiots on two wheels making a mockery of what once was fun and noble.
    The cars won, deal with it.

  29. Charles 01/10/2013 at 6:44 pm #

    The drivers need harsher penalties !

    Last tine I checked it was motorists killing cyclists in London.

    Yes there are some idiots on two wheels who put their safety in the hands of others but the real issue is the bullying, inconsiderate and often outright dangerous driving on our roads.

    The courts hardly help with pathetic sentencing which is mostly a complete letoff even when someone is killed.

Leave a Reply