Greater Manchester police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd wants to know what cyclists who’ve been involved in a crash think of his force’s performance.
The commissioner has set up an online survey to collect opinions and experiences of cyclists. However, it’s tightly focused on police response to road traffic collisions, and not looking for more general comments on the policing of cycling in Greater Manchester.
The survey even provides a police definition of a collision:
A road traffic collision (RTC) is when a motor vehicle is involved in a collision on a road or in a car park open to the public, where someone else's property or vehicle is damaged, or any person or animal is injured.
User Alfred Chow suggested the survey should have broader scope. He wrote: “There is far too much ‘acceptance’ by the public and the police of poor driving that puts other road users at risks. This needs to be recorded and responded to to raise the overall standard of driving by all motor vehicle users.”
Introducing the survey, Tony Lloyd said: “By listening to the views of people and organisations, I want to know more about your experiences as a cyclist and get a snapshot of the service provided to cyclists by Greater Manchester Police when a collision occurs.”
Greater Manchester’s policing of cycling road safety has come in for criticism recently as its Operation Grimaldi initiative was seen as unfairly targeting cyclists.
Operation Grimaldi — tellingly named for a famous clown — was initially aimed only at cyclists. Police issued 415 fixed penalty notices to riders over 10 days of action spread across five months (February to June 2013) for offences such as running red lights, not having lights fitted, cycling on footpaths and using mobile phones while cycling.
The initiative also tackled driver misbehaviour when it returned later in the year. Over three days in November, police issued 147 fixed penalty notices, 125 to cyclists.
London also saw a road safety initiative in 2013. Operation Safeway flooded the capital’s streets with police in the aftermath of six cyclists being killed in collisions with motor vehicles in less than two weeks in November. Police issued almost 14,000 fixed penalty notices or reports for summons. Motorists copped 9,733 of those, and cyclists 4,085.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.