Chris Boardman at the launch of the Mayor of London’s “Vision for Cycling ” (Photo: The Times)
“Cameron climbs aboard cycle revolution” announced The Times (April 25th 2013) to describe the statement of the Prime Minister in response to the “Get Britain Cycling” (GBC) report. But describing his response we see that while he “endorsed the report”, he “stopped short of committing himself to forcing through change”. Chris Boardman, the former Olympic and World champion with years of experience in supporting cycling as a form of everyday transport, criticised the Prime Minister’s lack of ambition: “It is the kind of statement that is incredibly frustrating and even makes me angry”. Is Boardman right to feel this way? Continue reading
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
We normally restrict ourselves to what happens in the UK, but the Spanish government’s proposed anti-cycling law is significant for Europeans, and many of our readers are potential cycling visitors to Spain. So check up on what is proposed here and if you want to support the excellent Spanish cyclists of Conbici do write in as suggested to the Tourism Ministry. You can do this in English, but below we present you with our letter to the Traffic Directorate in Madrid with a Spanish version provided by the RDRF translation service. Continue reading
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
While giving praise where it is due: I continue this in-depth analysis with some more Problems:
Permanently empty stands in a “Biking Borough”
Mayor Johnson: “I do not control the vast majority of London’s roads, so many of the improvements I seek will take time. They will depend on the cooperation of others, such as the boroughs…”. Continue reading
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
The 2012 RDRF Wooden Spoon Award for bad writing about safety on the road had, as you might expect, a pretty stiff amount of competition. Continue reading
First, the good news: another academic study using conventional cost-benefit analysis finds that motorists in the 27 EU countries have a net economic cost to society, with the UK second only to Germany in costs. Take a look at the nice short summary in the Guardian. It’s good to counteract what the Guardian correctly calls “The perennial complaint from drivers that they are excessively taxed”, not least the prejudice that cyclists are cheating by “not paying a tax”. The figure given for these external costs – £48 billion per annum, some £10 billion more than the total of motoring taxation revenue – looks pretty damning. However, it can be argued that the costs of motoring to society are considerably greater than those in the picture painted in the study, and that the report is inadequately critical of the status quo.
Let’s look at the report in a bit more detail. Continue reading
Below is our submission to the APPCG’s enquiry:
“Gearing up – An investigation into safer cycling in London” has now been produced by the London Assembly Transport Committee .
“Gearing up” should, and already has, attracted a good deal of attention Since some regard me as overly negative, let’s start off with some very positive points in the document. Continue reading