Category Archives: Road Danger Reduction

The “Get Britain Cycling” Parliamentary debate: Should anything be “done for cyclists”?

Now that I have your attention: the clue to my question is in the quotation marks. As we line up for the September 2nd House of Commons debate on cycling  , I discuss below how the phrasing of the question tells us about many of the problems confronting cycling. Continue reading

“Investing in Britain’s future”: The zombie arguments rise again.

Yes, the Chancellor’s much awaited Comprehensive Spending Review has indeed been disastrous for sustainable transport. The possibilities for alternatives to increased dependency on cars and road freight recede. It has indeed been as dreadful as commentators like Campaign Better Transport   say it is, with an excellent summary by Carlton Reid here . Let’s see why: Continue reading

“Get Britain Cycling”: Are cyclists set to win?

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

“Get Britain Cycling”

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We have posted on the “Get Britain Cycling”  enquiry  before – and although regrettably we were not called to give evidence, some good contributions have been made to the enquiry. In this post – after asking you support EDM 679 directly or through the CTC  – we give a view on two talking points that have arisen: The revelation for some MPs that the police do not enforce road traffic law, specifically 20 mph limits (who knew?) and the AA president gratifying some cyclists by saying that drivers shouldn’t threaten to kill them (which we’re supposed to be impressed by?) Continue reading

Mayor Johnson’s “Vision for Cycling in London”: Part Four

Summing it all Up:

If my analysis in these posts here seems more critical than that of some cycling bloggers and cycling groups, this may be because I have experience of the lack of positive effects of numerous talked-up cycling strategies, initiatives and “visions” from those in power over the past 25 years in the UK. Not a few of these were hailed at the time as “step-changes” or “sea-changes” in support for cycling. My justification for an in-depth analysis of this document   is that unless we understand what is being incorrectly assessed and proposed, we won’t get it right this time either. The key point is to understand what opportunities are now open (or need to be pushed for afresh) in the current climate. Hopefully this analysis will allow for campaigners and practitioners alike to prepare accordingly. Continue reading

Mayor Johnson’s “Vision for Cycling in London”: Part Three

 Some more Problems: Cycle Training, Smarter Travel etc.

A key part of the funding (already announced before the publication of the Vision) goes to non-highway (or off-road) infrastructure. I’m absolutely in favour of moving beyond the usual highways and transportation planners fixation on the highway environment. But the spending has to obviously go in the right direction – and I’m not sure it does. Continue reading

How many cyclists and pedestrians is it alright to kill in order to protect car occupants from bad driving?

In amongst all the fuss about Mayor’s Vision for Cycling in London, the Get Britain Cycling Inquiry  , the pressure from motorists’ organisations  to cut fuel duty (well, there should be a fuss about this) one important item has slipped under the radar – apart from for those genuinely interested in the safety of all road users.

This is the 30th anniversary of a move successfully lobbied for by the “road safety” lobby, which –although it took them 26 years to admit it – led to “a clear reduction in death and injury to car occupants, appreciably offset by extra deaths among pedestrians and cyclists (my emphasis)   So, how many cyclists and pedestrians is it alright to kill in order to protect car occupants from bad driving? Other issues apart from the moral one are revealed by this episode, so do read on: Continue reading

A couple of cases of “accidental death”

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