London cycling less safe, improving too slowly says report

Riders demand segregated infrastructure to improve safety

by John Stevenson   February 28, 2014  

Barclays Cycle Superhighway (source - Transport for London)

London cyclists feel less safe than ever, casualty rates are up and cyclists are not getting the safe infrastructure they crave, according to a report from the London Assembly.

The authority got 6,333 responses to an online survey polling the attitudes of London cyclists. The findings include:

  • 80% of respondents said they were concerned about cycling in London.
  • 68% said this concern had grown in the last six months.
  • 22% reported making fewer journeys by bike in the last six months because of safety concerns.

London’s cycle superhighways have come in for severe criticism in the last couple of years after a spate of deaths on Cycle Superhighway 2. This is reflected in the survey with 68% of respondents saying they did not feel safer using a superhighway than another route and 79% believing the cycle superhighways were not respected by
other road users.

The report (which we strongly suggest you read for yourself) concedes that the survey is self-selecting so it is not representative of all Londoners.

In their comments, cyclists said they felt “extremely unsafe when navigating large junctions in London”; that “lorries and cars in no way respect cyclists”; and “the only solution to London’s cycling problems is to bring in segregated cycle ways without any further delay.”

Basing its comments on the survey and other data from Transport for London, the report criticises the Mayor and TfL for delaying the introduction of further cycling safety measures, reducing the scope of the Better Junction programme and underspending the budget for cycling.

The original plan for London’s Cycle Superhighways promised delivery of 12 routes by 2015, but that has now slipped to 2016.

In 2012 TfL announces a priority list of ‘top 100’ junctions for improvement. In its February 2014 report to the Assembly, TfL says the Better Junctions programme now comprises 33 junctions (18 ‘core’ locations and 15 already covered within existing programmes). Improvements are to be delivered at 10 of the 18 ‘core’ locations by 2016 and at the remaining eight locations between 2016 and 2022.

TfL expects to underspend its cycling budget for 2013/14 by £38 million (34 per cent). TfL also underspent on cycling in 2012/13.

Against this background of delayed and reduced spending on cycling, cycling safety has deteriorated in the capital since 2006. Cyclist casualty rates fell by 46 per cent between 2000 and 2006 but have risen every year since then. In 2012 there were 25 casualties for every million cycle trips compared to 19 in 2006.

London Assembly transport committee chair Valerie Shawcross told the Evening Standard: “There has been a cry from the heart from cyclists that they are feeling less safe.

“The marker for things improving will be when you see more women and children riding in the city. The Mayor made a commitment by pledging money to cycling but so far he is underspending the budget by around a third.”

In an interview with the BBC she added: “Segregation is the biggest issue for cyclists and they believe that better traffic junctions are critical to their safety.

“The mayor and Transport for London (TfL) can’t keep stalling - they need to make short-term improvements for cyclists by this summer.”

Andrew Gilligan, the mayor’s cycling commissioner, said: “We have had to completely redesign the cycling programme to new, more ambitious standards. We have to work with the 32 boroughs, who own 95% of the roads. There are no short cuts or magic wands in any of this.

“Our choice is to do it quickly, or to do it properly. We have chosen to do it properly.”

33 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

Ush wrote:

Looks like a moulton of some sort based on the space frame? But there are plenty of other small wheelers with drop bars, e.g. the Bike Fridays http://www.bikefriday.com/images/bikeimages/527184cfdde4a.jpg

Thanks, it does indeed seem to be a Moulton. I had assumed the bars would have been a custom install, but looking a the websites they're by design and pretty funky.

Actually, I think I'd quite like to try one now!

posted by bikebot [835 posts]
28th February 2014 - 13:58

12 Likes

Quote:
“Segregation is the biggest issue for cyclists and they believe that better traffic junctions are critical to their safety.

This is car-centric planning implemented from the viewpoint of a cyclist that accepts the prevalance of the motor car. It is similar thinking to that which produced on-road paint lanes, ASLs, footpath bikeroutes and all the other bollox we're all familiar with.

Most motorists believe that cyclists should not be on the roads. This survey appears to represent the views of a sizeable proportion of cyclists who agree with the motorists. But apparently they don't realize that they're co-operating from a position of weakness.

posted by Ush [440 posts]
28th February 2014 - 14:03

12 Likes

"Most motorists believe that cyclists should not be on the roads."

Your evidence is?

dullard's picture

posted by dullard [140 posts]
28th February 2014 - 14:19

12 Likes

Ush wrote:
Quote:
“Segregation is the biggest issue for cyclists and they believe that better traffic junctions are critical to their safety.

This is car-centric planning implemented from the viewpoint of a cyclist that accepts the prevalance of the motor car. It is similar thinking to that which produced on-road paint lanes, ASLs, footpath bikeroutes and all the other bollox we're all familiar with.

Most motorists believe that cyclists should not be on the roads. This survey appears to represent the views of a sizeable proportion of cyclists who agree with the motorists. But apparently they don't realize that they're co-operating from a position of weakness.

I knoe what you are saying and I partially agree. Where I slightly part company is that for novice cyclists, just getting abouters school kids etc segregation is exactly what's needed.

I have to park my own experience. Been riding in a club since 1973 and before that as a kid. I am an advanced driver, former professional driver. So going out in the traffic is no biggie for me. My wife however has never done any cycling to speak of. I keep trying and she has a bike but if we've done 10 miles in 22 years I'd be suprised it was that much. And it is the road thing.

Parents are not going to let their kids out on the road. They barely let them walk to school. I insisted my kids rode their bikes but there were no really iffy roads or traffic they had to contend with so I got a pass from Mrs Oozaveared on that.

So I am unwilling to concede that I am not just as legitimate a road user on my bike as I am when driving my car. So in point of fact I would like segregated facilities for some cyclists so long as it doesn't mean that I am compelled to be on the cycle path when cycling. And I am perfectly prepared to accept that cycle lanes, ASL and all that nonsense (which most motorists ignore anyway) is irrelevant for the cyclists that want to use the road.

It's a bit like proper athletes that train by running on the roads. They go on the road because the footway doesn't lend itself to their speed. It's not designed to. That's us. Build the segregated facilities for people who want to use that (and I might sometimes) I am happy with no special provision on the road.

So I think we nearly agree on most of it.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [790 posts]
28th February 2014 - 14:21

17 Likes

dullard wrote:

"Most motorists believe that cyclists should not be on the roads."

Your evidence is?

I wouldn't say "most", but it's not exactly a tiny minority either. It's a sizeable portion, and the evidence is a) their behaviour towards cyclists on the road and b) the fact that this is regularly among the first few things they will say when confronted about it. Right about the time they drop the "road tax" shite bomb.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [338 posts]
28th February 2014 - 14:29

18 Likes

It is a Moulton. By the size of the wheels (17") an AM.

Full suspension and cracking handling due to the smaller wheels

They are cool and wonderful machines. I ride a Dualdrive with 20" wheels.

posted by gazza_d [307 posts]
28th February 2014 - 14:31

11 Likes

So having read the report the plan is to persist with the superhighways. Oh dear. Most of superhighway 7 shares the A3 through some of the busiest parts of south London - a hateful road stuffed with impatient buses and single occupancy commuter cars all dashing for non existent gaps. Meanwhile parallel to this awful rat run is quietway 3 where there is an element of segregation and cars can not drive the whole way along it and have to detour of it due to cycle only access. I know which one is safest but it's not going to be invested in. I fear good money is going to be chucked after bad sadly.

posted by arfa [559 posts]
28th February 2014 - 14:41

13 Likes

userfriendly wrote:
dullard wrote:

"Most motorists believe that cyclists should not be on the roads."

Your evidence is?

I wouldn't say "most", but it's not exactly a tiny minority either. It's a sizeable portion, and the evidence is a) their behaviour towards cyclists on the road and b) the fact that this is regularly among the first few things they will say when confronted about it. Right about the time they drop the "road tax" shite bomb.

I think there's a whole range of views out there. It's not either / or. There are those that genuinely believe you shouldn't cycle on the road. I have only ever met one of them. But there are people that will shout it at a cyclist that has annoyed them (rightly or wrongly annoyed them) likewise there are people that will say that caravans, tractors, milk floats, other drivers that wear hats, middle lane drivers, older people, etc shouldn't be allowed particularly when they are behind them. But I don't think in a sensible audit of their real views they actually mean it.

Some of the debate is channelled into a them and us conflict which isn't realistic.

On busy roads traffic of all kinds have limited space and people get annoyed about that. They express that annoyance by blaming other road users. Whoever is handy will do. Of course we all know that we aren't stuck in traffic, we are the traffic.

I also think that driver attitudes are a bit slow to change. People get into habits. In some places the increase in cycling means that some drivers are encountering stuff they have never been properly trained for or had explained to them.

I have had people at work come in complaining that a cyclist deliberately moved into the middle of a lane at a pinch point. Their assumption was this was the equivalent of a two fingered salute. But once they had it explained why the penny dropped.

So no, I don't think most motorists are anti-cyclist at all. They might decide to join there side when the media puts the debate to them as a battle between the two but they are not really.

If most motorist were vehemently anti cyclist then I can assure you that cycling would not be in the least bit safe. It is very safe. Which means that most motorists are not out to get us.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [790 posts]
28th February 2014 - 14:43

11 Likes

Ush wrote:
Quote:
“Segregation is the biggest issue for cyclists and they believe that better traffic junctions are critical to their safety.

This is car-centric planning implemented from the viewpoint of a cyclist that accepts the prevalance of the motor car. It is similar thinking to that which produced on-road paint lanes, ASLs, footpath bikeroutes and all the other bollox we're all familiar with.

Most motorists believe that cyclists should not be on the roads. This survey appears to represent the views of a sizeable proportion of cyclists who agree with the motorists. But apparently they don't realize that they're co-operating from a position of weakness.

I'm not sure I see what's so bad about being a cyclist who accepts that cars are prevalent, because they've actually been pretty useful a lot of the time. Yes, useful enough to be worth the crap. I think you'll find most people will agree with me.

What I don't accept is that most of the crap is actually a necessary part of having cars. We can have our cake and (largely) eat it. But for some road types, human beings could not be trusted to be safe, no matter how strictly regulated.

So it's a)driverless cars, b)eliminating those road types along with their economic benefit, c)redesigning them without sacrificing their economic benefit - aka, segregation. Until a) is possible I'll have c) thanks. Again I suspect most people will agree with me, and if you took that choice away too they'll go with d)deliberately ignoring you because you appear to want to make their life worse.

(In fact, even with a) I'm not sure people would be happy letting their children share the road with 70mph traffic, at least not for a while. Though I'll admit the image of it working makes me happy).

posted by nuclear coffee [171 posts]
28th February 2014 - 14:48

16 Likes

bikebot wrote:
Ush wrote:

Looks like a moulton of some sort based on the space frame? But there are plenty of other small wheelers with drop bars, e.g. the Bike Fridays http://www.bikefriday.com/images/bikeimages/527184cfdde4a.jpg

Thanks, it does indeed seem to be a Moulton. I had assumed the bars would have been a custom install, but looking a the websites they're by design and pretty funky.

Actually, I think I'd quite like to try one now!

Rode one a while back and they're pretty cool. Not for everyone maybe as they're quirky but they're light and handle pretty well - not cheap as these are quality kit.

Anyway, back to the topic. I was one of those who contributed to the survey mentioned in the story. I've been riding London's roads for many years and believe me, they aren't as bad as they used to be. Driver impatience has increased arguably, but in many respects things are better. The casualty rate is certainly significantly lower for cyclists in London than it was 20 years ago, despite more journeys by bicycle.

Cyclists may feel less safe, but that's perhaps because the news they're reading gives far better reporting of crashes that 20 years ago were simply ignored.

Like Arfa, I use CS7 regularly and it is rubbish. The bit through Clapham is horrible, with people stepping off the pavement in front of you without looking. The sections at Stockwell and Kennington are nasty too. The quiet way is far better and I use that as well.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2338 posts]
28th February 2014 - 14:52

12 Likes

I completed this and as with all surveys if the questions and possible answers are designed a certain way you will get the answer you want. In this case i don't think it was too badly designed, but i think there are a lot of people who think there should be seggregation. I'm not sure, in some cases, for inexperienced or less confident riders i think it would be a massive benefit. I wouldn't want to be compelled to use them though.

I still think (and said in the survey) that mutual education is the way forwards. Both drivers and cyclists need to be more aware of the rules of the road, the existence of certain dangers to cyclists and how they can be mitigated (like riding out of the door zone/away from the curb).

posted by md6 [162 posts]
28th February 2014 - 15:54

9 Likes

Here is DfT report on what drivers think of cyclists.

"Drivers don’t think cyclists should be on the road, says DfT report"

http://www.bikehub.co.uk/news/bike-to-work/drivers-dont-think-cyclists-s...

"SHARING THE ROAD
There is evidence of a deeper failure in the culture of road sharing on English roads, which may have important implications for different road-users’ interpretations of, and responses to, each other’s behaviour and, hence, for road safety:

Whatever the law may say on the matter, the norms of road sharing, on roads with lane widths and speeds designed around cars, mean that cyclists are treated as anomalies."

felixcat's picture

posted by felixcat [310 posts]
28th February 2014 - 15:57

16 Likes

nuclear coffee wrote:
Ush wrote:
Quote:
“Segregation is the biggest issue for cyclists and they believe that better traffic junctions are critical to their safety.

This is car-centric planning implemented from the viewpoint of a cyclist that accepts the prevalance of the motor car. It is similar thinking to that which produced on-road paint lanes, ASLs, footpath bikeroutes and all the other bollox we're all familiar with.

Most motorists believe that cyclists should not be on the roads. This survey appears to represent the views of a sizeable proportion of cyclists who agree with the motorists. But apparently they don't realize that they're co-operating from a position of weakness.

I'm not sure I see what's so bad about being a cyclist who accepts that cars are prevalent, because they've actually been pretty useful a lot of the time. Yes, useful enough to be worth the crap. I think you'll find most people will agree with me.

What I don't accept is that most of the crap is actually a necessary part of having cars. We can have our cake and (largely) eat it. But for some road types, human beings could not be trusted to be safe, no matter how strictly regulated.

So it's a)driverless cars, b)eliminating those road types along with their economic benefit, c)redesigning them without sacrificing their economic benefit - aka, segregation. Until a) is possible I'll have c) thanks. Again I suspect most people will agree with me, and if you took that choice away too they'll go with d)deliberately ignoring you because you appear to want to make their life worse.

(In fact, even with a) I'm not sure people would be happy letting their children share the road with 70mph traffic, at least not for a while. Though I'll admit the image of it working makes me happy).

I think you're correct that most people would agree with your points. I think you're entirely typical of how we got here and why we're not leaving any time soon.

posted by Ush [440 posts]
28th February 2014 - 16:05

9 Likes

oozaveared wrote:

I knoe what you are saying and I partially agree. Where I slightly part company is that for novice cyclists, just getting abouters school kids etc segregation is exactly what's needed.

I will be facing that situation soon with my own kid.

oozaveared wrote:

So in point of fact I would like segregated facilities for some cyclists so long as it doesn't mean that I am compelled to be on the cycle path when cycling.

That is something that I could live with. But from several years experience in California with "optional" bike lanes I can testify that motorists get much more aggressive "when we've provided all these special facilities and you don't use them", etc.

posted by Ush [440 posts]
28th February 2014 - 16:13

16 Likes

Ush wrote:
oozaveared wrote:

I knoe what you are saying and I partially agree. Where I slightly part company is that for novice cyclists, just getting abouters school kids etc segregation is exactly what's needed.

I will be facing that situation soon with my own kid.

oozaveared wrote:

So in point of fact I would like segregated facilities for some cyclists so long as it doesn't mean that I am compelled to be on the cycle path when cycling.

That is something that I could live with. But from several years experience in California with "optional" bike lanes I can testify that motorists get much more aggressive "when we've provided all these special facilities and you don't use them", etc.

That's a fair point. There are drawbacks to segregated provision but I think that has to be lived with if we want more people to ride bikes as transport. ie people that use a bike but aren't "cyclists" if you know what I mean.

When I was a kid back riding a bike back in the 60s early 70s I had nice quiet roads to learn on, to get used to riding. That's no longer the case these days . It's in at the deep end if you go on the roads. Sure there is cycling Proficiency / Bikeability but it's woefully inadequate. Get em riding on paths and their proficiency and confidence grows. You can only really be a good road user when you have mastered your vehicle and have stopped thinking about driving or riding and start focusing on traffic. That needs a bit of space and time.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [790 posts]
28th February 2014 - 16:52

10 Likes

Ush wrote:

That is something that I could live with. But from several years experience in California with "optional" bike lanes I can testify that motorists get much more aggressive "when we've provided all these special facilities and you don't use them", etc.

The annoying thing with the bike lanes around Stratford (not London) is that they're usually full of grit or parked cars or are horrible road surfaces.

I'm glad someone has taken the effort to put a bike lane there...but if I value my tyres it makes more sense to ignore them!

http://matmitchellcycling.wordpress.com
The usual new 4th Cat blog with some stuff about Pros too.

mtm_01's picture

posted by mtm_01 [106 posts]
28th February 2014 - 16:53

11 Likes

Ush wrote:

I think you're correct that most people would agree with your points. I think you're entirely typical of how we got here and why we're not leaving any time soon.

So, are you going to explain why I shouldn't be happy that, as a car owner, I can be 140 miles away in three hours' time at a cost of just over £20 - including tolls? Which is roughly what I plan to happen.

Or why I shouldn't have enjoyed the gap year job I worked at, when I couldn't afford to move out of may parent's house, that was thirty miles away between one village and another?

Or why I shouldn't enjoy being able to move bulky goods without having to rent a vehicle? Or likewise transport less able-bodied friends and relatives? One 90 year-old relative can barely walk, but I still got her to the zoo 15 miles' away in comfort.

There are a lot of things that cars make a hell of a lot easier and quicker. If you want to be bitter about that, fine, but unless you have a spectacularly good argument, there's no point getting angry at others if they aren't convinced.

I just want the bad stuff cars have done minimised, which is why I'll support an approach already shown to work elsewhere. Which like it or not, includes some segregation. That is not irrational.

posted by nuclear coffee [171 posts]
28th February 2014 - 17:06

15 Likes

That's a 2010 report. Personally, I have found that attitudes have changed quite profoundly since Wiggins won the Tour and the Olympics happened. Certainly in London, in any case. I've been commuting by bike in London since the early 90s, and awareness of cyclists is far better now; in the centre of the city, most vehicles actually respect the cycle box, you get given space if you cycle responsibly and are prepared to share the road and don't act as though you have an overbearing right to be on the road. It's not perfect, it never will be, a lot of people wanting to move about in an overcrowded space is always going to be a challenge. Some car drivers think that other car drivers shouldn't be on the road. But I think an overly pessimistic picture can often be painted by alarmists and radicals which in itself deters people from getting on a bike.

I'm not a fan of segregation myself. Cycle lanes collect rubbish, glass, errant pedestrians and unconfident cyclists (not having a go, but going out on London roads as a first ride without doing some kind of training is tremendously unwise), have no space for emergency action because of curbed edges, and don't allow a reasonable speed. Fill the potholes and ensure roads are in good condition, that'd be a much better way to spend the money.

dullard's picture

posted by dullard [140 posts]
28th February 2014 - 18:07

10 Likes

Whoops, 'reply' button seems not to link the reply to the relevant comment...

Reply above is to felixcat's comment at 15:57.

dullard's picture

posted by dullard [140 posts]
28th February 2014 - 18:12

10 Likes

nuclear coffee wrote:
Ush wrote:

I think you're correct that most people would agree with your points. I think you're entirely typical of how we got here and why we're not leaving any time soon.

So, are you going to explain why I shouldn't be happy that, as a car owner, I can be 140 miles away in three hours' time at a cost of just over £20 - including tolls? Which is roughly what I plan to happen.

You are absolutely correct: you value your car and its use like the vast majority of people which use them. Your convenience, comfort and profit vastly outweigh all other considerations. Well done. Enjoy it. This is the world that you and those that think like you have created.

Anger? I think that's you projecting.

posted by Ush [440 posts]
28th February 2014 - 18:32

12 Likes

I quite agree with above comment about motorists don't want cyclist on the roads, ive had a few near misses when a car pulls up and they fling open their door without looking whats coming behind them I now take a wide berth don't trust them anymore.

A.Edwards

posted by Annabella [7 posts]
28th February 2014 - 21:54

8 Likes

oozaveared wrote:
Ush wrote:
oozaveared wrote:

I knoe what you are saying and I partially agree. Where I slightly part company is that for novice cyclists, just getting abouters school kids etc segregation is exactly what's needed.

I will be facing that situation soon with my own kid.

oozaveared wrote:

So in point of fact I would like segregated facilities for some cyclists so long as it doesn't mean that I am compelled to be on the cycle path when cycling.

That is something that I could live with. But from several years experience in California with "optional" bike lanes I can testify that motorists get much more aggressive "when we've provided all these special facilities and you don't use them", etc.

That's a fair point. There are drawbacks to segregated provision but I think that has to be lived with if we want more people to ride bikes as transport. ie people that use a bike but aren't "cyclists" if you know what I mean.

When I was a kid back riding a bike back in the 60s early 70s I had nice quiet roads to learn on, to get used to riding. That's no longer the case these days . It's in at the deep end if you go on the roads. Sure there is cycling Proficiency / Bikeability but it's woefully inadequate. Get em riding on paths and their proficiency and confidence grows. You can only really be a good road user when you have mastered your vehicle and have stopped thinking about driving or riding and start focusing on traffic. That needs a bit of space and time.

Hmm, you know the fatality rate on the UK's road network now is a fraction of what it was in the 70s?
Deaths by drunk driving are a sixth of what they were in 1979.
The fatality rate is down to what it was in the late 1940s and there were a lot fewer vehicles on the roads then.
My sons just did a bikeability course and it was a lot more comprehensive than the crappy cycling proficiency I did in the 70s.
The good old days weren't that good. We just accepted back then that fatalities were going to happen on the road and nobody thought anything of it, while the crashes simply weren't reported.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2338 posts]
28th February 2014 - 21:55

7 Likes

Ush wrote:

You are absolutely correct: you value your car and its use like the vast majority of people which use them. Your convenience, comfort and profit vastly outweigh all other considerations. Well done. Enjoy it. This is the world that you and those that think like you have created.

.

K I will thanks. It sounds like we've created a pretty decent one on the whole, and we'll probably work out how to make it even better.

posted by nuclear coffee [171 posts]
28th February 2014 - 22:01

6 Likes

Ush wrote:
Quote:
“Segregation is the biggest issue for cyclists and they believe that better traffic junctions are critical to their safety.

Most motorists believe that cyclists should not be on the roads. This survey appears to represent the views of a sizeable proportion of cyclists who agree with the motorists. But apparently they don't realize that they're co-operating from a position of weakness.

Why does being pro-segregation equate to 'cyclists should not be on roads'?
I'm pro-segregation, insofar that I think _motorists_ should not be on many roads.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [790 posts]
1st March 2014 - 21:08

4 Likes

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Ush wrote:
Quote:
“Segregation is the biggest issue for cyclists and they believe that better traffic junctions are critical to their safety.

Most motorists believe that cyclists should not be on the roads. This survey appears to represent the views of a sizeable proportion of cyclists who agree with the motorists. But apparently they don't realize that they're co-operating from a position of weakness.

Why does being pro-segregation equate to 'cyclists should not be on roads'?
I'm pro-segregation, insofar that I think _motorists_ should not be on many roads.

Because cyclists are being removed from the roads?

posted by Ush [440 posts]
1st March 2014 - 21:22

5 Likes

Ush wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Ush wrote:
Quote:
“Segregation is the biggest issue for cyclists and they believe that better traffic junctions are critical to their safety.

Most motorists believe that cyclists should not be on the roads. This survey appears to represent the views of a sizeable proportion of cyclists who agree with the motorists. But apparently they don't realize that they're co-operating from a position of weakness.

Why does being pro-segregation equate to 'cyclists should not be on roads'?
I'm pro-segregation, insofar that I think _motorists_ should not be on many roads.

Because cyclists are being removed from the roads?

That doesn't answer the question I just asked. Its a non-sequitor.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [790 posts]
1st March 2014 - 21:40

4 Likes

OldRidgeback wrote:

Hmm, you know the fatality rate on the UK's road network now is a fraction of what it was in the 70s?
Deaths by drunk driving are a sixth of what they were in 1979.
The fatality rate is down to what it was in the late 1940s and there were a lot fewer vehicles on the roads then.
My sons just did a bikeability course and it was a lot more comprehensive than the crappy cycling proficiency I did in the 70s.
The good old days weren't that good. We just accepted back then that fatalities were going to happen on the road and nobody thought anything of it, while the crashes simply weren't reported.

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you (because this issue is very complicated and in general you have a valid point that the 'good old days' are rarely as good as one remembers them) but you do need to, as a minimum, consider fatality rates amongst those inside vehicles entirely separately from rates amongst those outside them. The former is irrelevant to this discussion, no?

You also need to consider levels of walking and cycling, particularly amongst the young, and the mortality effects of lack of physical activities, becuase you have to factor out non-drivers just giving up and staying out of the way.

The drunk-driving thing is an important one though. It would be good to have clear handle on why that happened, and whether it can be repeated with other motoring topics. The problem, perhaps, is that drunk-driving clearly endangered the drunk-driver as much as anyone else, and its easier to change behaviour if there is a fundamental self-interest involved.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [790 posts]
1st March 2014 - 21:42

4 Likes

OldRidgeback wrote:
oozaveared wrote:
Ush wrote:
oozaveared wrote:

I knoe what you are saying and I partially agree. Where I slightly part company is that for novice cyclists, just getting abouters school kids etc segregation is exactly what's needed.

I will be facing that situation soon with my own kid.

oozaveared wrote:

So in point of fact I would like segregated facilities for some cyclists so long as it doesn't mean that I am compelled to be on the cycle path when cycling.

That is something that I could live with. But from several years experience in California with "optional" bike lanes I can testify that motorists get much more aggressive "when we've provided all these special facilities and you don't use them", etc.

That's a fair point. There are drawbacks to segregated provision but I think that has to be lived with if we want more people to ride bikes as transport. ie people that use a bike but aren't "cyclists" if you know what I mean.

When I was a kid back riding a bike back in the 60s early 70s I had nice quiet roads to learn on, to get used to riding. That's no longer the case these days . It's in at the deep end if you go on the roads. Sure there is cycling Proficiency / Bikeability but it's woefully inadequate. Get em riding on paths and their proficiency and confidence grows. You can only really be a good road user when you have mastered your vehicle and have stopped thinking about driving or riding and start focusing on traffic. That needs a bit of space and time.

Hmm, you know the fatality rate on the UK's road network now is a fraction of what it was in the 70s?
Deaths by drunk driving are a sixth of what they were in 1979.
The fatality rate is down to what it was in the late 1940s and there were a lot fewer vehicles on the roads then.
My sons just did a bikeability course and it was a lot more comprehensive than the crappy cycling proficiency I did in the 70s.
The good old days weren't that good. We just accepted back then that fatalities were going to happen on the road and nobody thought anything of it, while the crashes simply weren't reported.

But the cycling fatality rate is higher in the Uk than elsewhere in Europe, eg http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cyclists-three-times-more...

and the rate of cycling lower, as reported on here recently. So maybe we're doing something wrong as regards cycling? And maybe our idea of safe cycling is that nobody cycles, so everyone who can afford to can dash around without hindrance

posted by oldstrath [216 posts]
1st March 2014 - 22:02

8 Likes

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
OldRidgeback wrote:

Hmm, you know the fatality rate on the UK's road network now is a fraction of what it was in the 70s?
Deaths by drunk driving are a sixth of what they were in 1979.
The fatality rate is down to what it was in the late 1940s and there were a lot fewer vehicles on the roads then.
My sons just did a bikeability course and it was a lot more comprehensive than the crappy cycling proficiency I did in the 70s.
The good old days weren't that good. We just accepted back then that fatalities were going to happen on the road and nobody thought anything of it, while the crashes simply weren't reported.

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you (because this issue is very complicated and in general you have a valid point that the 'good old days' are rarely as good as one remembers them) but you do need to, as a minimum, consider fatality rates amongst those inside vehicles entirely separately from rates amongst those outside them. The former is irrelevant to this discussion, no?

You also need to consider levels of walking and cycling, particularly amongst the young, and the mortality effects of lack of physical activities, becuase you have to factor out non-drivers just giving up and staying out of the way.

The drunk-driving thing is an important one though. It would be good to have clear handle on why that happened, and whether it can be repeated with other motoring topics. The problem, perhaps, is that drunk-driving clearly endangered the drunk-driver as much as anyone else, and its easier to change behaviour if there is a fundamental self-interest involved.


My impression, having lived through the change, is that two things mattered. Better enforcement, driven in part by technological change; and a determination by the government to make drunk driving unacceptable, manifest in both punishment and very direct advertising. The government clearly could do this with speeding at least, but it needs a push by those of who don't confuse law breaking with freedom to elect only politicians committed to making the change.

posted by oldstrath [216 posts]
1st March 2014 - 22:08

5 Likes

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Ush wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Ush wrote:
Quote:
“Segregation is the biggest issue for cyclists and they believe that better traffic junctions are critical to their safety.

Most motorists believe that cyclists should not be on the roads. This survey appears to represent the views of a sizeable proportion of cyclists who agree with the motorists. But apparently they don't realize that they're co-operating from a position of weakness.

Why does being pro-segregation equate to 'cyclists should not be on roads'?
I'm pro-segregation, insofar that I think _motorists_ should not be on many roads.

Because cyclists are being removed from the roads?

That doesn't answer the question I just asked. Its a non-sequitor.

Only if you ignore the context of this actual news article and the history of every piece of "infrastructure" proposed and implemented in the U.K. Specifically, where in the above proposals, are you seeing a move to remove cars from the roads? Is there a scheme being discussed here where I will be able to ride side-by-side with friends?

EDIT: I guess my point is that while you and I and a small number of other people might agree that cars should be removed from roads, that's not what is actually tabled at the moment. Right now all the "something must be done" people are proposing (and implementing) schemes which make cycling much less pleasant, practical and safe IMHO.

posted by Ush [440 posts]
1st March 2014 - 22:46

4 Likes