Today sees the launch of the Summary and Recommendations of the “Get Britain Cycling” report. Reporting on this on the front page of The Times we see “Cyclists are set to win revolution in road safety”. Is this so? Road Danger Reduction Forum President Lord Berkeley is one of the Panel members of The Get Britain Cycling Inquiry. I have a reputation for pessimism (or as I would say, healthy scepticism) and as RDRF Chair I give a detailed analysis of the Summary and Recommendations below.
Make no mistake, along with Mayor Johnson’s “Vision for Cycling”; the production of this report is a pivotal moment for the possibility of not just cycling, but sustainable transport as a whole in Britain. So: are cyclists – and all those of us interested in the development and implementation of sustainable transport policy indeed “set to win”? Continue reading →
The use of the “accidental death” verdict has been campaigned on by our friends in RoadPeace . Let’s look at two recent cases:
“A man who used to chauffeur the stars of Carry-On films around Pinewood Studios died after being involved in a head-on crash while driving on the wrong side of the road near Poitiers, France. Douglas Lewis, 75, and his wide Pamela, 77, of Slough, Berkshire, were returning from their Spanish villa when they crashed into an oncoming van at 50 mph last April. Mrs Lewis was killed instantly, while Mr Lewis died three months later from his injuries. The Windsor Coroner returned a verdict of accidental death”. (The Times, 2nd February , 2013) Continue reading →
RDRF Chair Dr. Robert Davis has sat on the Transport for London convened Cycle Safety Working Group, charged with implementing the Mayor of London’s Cycle Safety Action Plan, since it’s inception. Here is my report on my observations of its progress to the London Assembly hearing on Cycling and Cycling Safety Continue reading →
OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY: an area in which a person lacks understanding or impartiality; COLLINS: a subject about which a person is ignorant or prejudiced, or an occupation in which he is inefficient
We are pleased to support “See Me Save Me”. It is an organisation entrenched in the road danger reduction approach : and as such committed to reducing danger from lorries – towards pedestrians as well as cyclists – at source. We believe that doing this will require examining what exactly is meant by a “blind spot”. This not so much a question of technical fixes, but like all questions of safety on the road, about the power of some road users to endanger others. Continue reading →
As we approach the 27th anniversary of one of the first “road safety” conferences I ever attended, “Ways to safer cycling” , I recall the words of the key speaker there: Minister of State, Lynda Chalker: “To the “Three Es” of road safety: Engineering, Education and Enforcement, we should add a fourth “E” – Encouragement – we should be encouraging cycling”. It serves as an introduction to a progress report on current campaigning for cyclists’ safety.
In some ways, we have moved forward since 1985. At the same conference I also remember the words of the Chairman, Lord Nugent of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), to the effect that the onus of responsibility was on cyclists when it came to cyclists’ safety , because “You’re the ones who are vulnerable”. These words seemed to upset the Department of Transport minders: he was off message then, and you wouldn’t get away with it now. Also, the notorious words of the Chief Engineer from Cambridge City Council: “If you are thinking of cycling in a modern city: don’t”. You wouldn’t get away with that either.
The devotion of a whole front page by The Times to cyclist safety is quite extraordinary. RDRF has, along with other organisations and 17,000 individuals as of the first draft of this post on 5th February signed up to it. But will this campaign fizzle out like the ones waged by The Independent and the London Evening Standard – let alone safety campaigns launched throughout the last century? At the risk of seeming overly negative, we have to question features of this campaign and ask what will be required to effectively pursue the good intentions that exist.
After all, “safety on the road” can mean all kinds of things: from misguided and counterproductive fantasies through to getting the most vulnerable out of the way of the most dangerous. Public figures have signed up to The Times campaign – as they would to motherhood and apple pie. Below we analyse the campaign in detail: its potential for reducing danger on the road to cyclists and other road users, what will be required to pursue these objectives – and the problems that have already surfaced. Continue reading →
This book, one of the main sources of evidence for the road danger reduction approach, is now out of print. A few copies are available from the author. Here are what reviewers have said: Continue reading →
The continuing saga of Blackfriars Bridge has revealed a more high profile and combative London Cycling Campaign, preparing a new strategy for the organisation the year before the Mayoral elections. Will this be the way towards getting “the cyclised City”?
Consider LCC CEO Ashok Sinha’s approach as described in London Cyclist June-July 2011 (pp.16 – 18). Having stated that London is indisputably not a cyclised city, and not on a trajectory towards becoming one, how are we to remedy the situation (an issue we have addressed before here , here , and here ? The answer for him is “everything” Continue reading →