Cyclists need to show more respect to motorists, says Salford councillor

Comments come as hundreds of riders take to Manchester’s streets to call for Space for Cycling

by Simon_MacMichael   May 19, 2014  

City Tower, Manchester

A Salford councillor who is a member of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) committee has said that cyclists need to show more respect to motorists. His comments came as hundreds of cyclists took to the city’s streets at the weekend to call for improved conditions for bike riders.

Conservative councillor Robin Garrido was speaking at a meeting of the committee where an update on cycling initiatives currently planned by TfGM was discussed, reports the Manchester Evening News.

He said that while motorist were often urged to be more considerate towards people on bikes, the opposite should also happen.

“There is a lot about motorists treating cyclists with respect but I think cyclists should also treat motorists with respect,” said Garrido.

“I would like to get a message out to cyclists to treat motorists with respect.

“There are things like crossing red lights, and crossing from the near side to the left hand side.

“I do think we ought to be telling cyclists to pay more attention to road users,” he added.

The councillor said he was in favour of TfGM’s efforts to provide better facilities for cyclists in Greater Manchester, but added: “We have all seen situations were cyclists seem to regard traffic lights as not necessarily for them or road signs as not being for them so we need to increase training for cyclists as well as motorists.

“If we improve facilities it may have a knock on effect to improve the way we cycling.”

However, Pete Abel, a volunteer of Manchester’s Love Your Bike campaign group said it was right that “people driving vehicles that can kill people” should have a bigger share of responsibility for the safety of vulnerable road users.

“All road users need to show respect to each other but it is car drivers that are responsible for the vast majority of deaths and injuries to other vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists and therefore they need to show a true level of respect for all vulnerable road users,” he said..

“People who drive one-tonne or 20-tonne vehicles have a higher responsibility because they are driving heavy vehicles with air bags that can kill people.”

TfGM’s transport strategy director Dave Newton said it provided training to foster mutual respect between motorists and those on bikes.

“What is required is mutual respect between motorists and cyclists,” he said. “We offer training to motorists and cyclists.

“With cyclist training, we help to give people more confidence and brush up on their skills in cycling in commuter-based traffic.”

On Saturday, as in many other cities across England, hundreds of cyclists took to the streets of Manchester to call for more Space for Cycling. You can see photos of the event on the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign’s Flickr stream.

57 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

TheHound wrote:
What precisely has Robin Garrido said that is so out of place. I don't see him "victim blaming". Just making a few comments full of common sense.

If we cyclists wish to take the moral high ground, then there's a large minority of us that need to stop acting like a Neolithic tribe and take responsibility for our actions.

Second to that the responses to this article don't really make us seem a civilized bunch worthy of anyone's respect.

A little less petty name calling and some more emotionless reasoned arguments are what is needed, should people find something disagreeable.

As others have also remarked, you've sort of missed the point. That's been covered above so I won't repeat here.

As for emotional responses, and there are a few on here, in the context of woefully inadequate cycling infrastructre and the high number of cycling casualties, I can quite see why this man, responsible for policy, is coming in for some stick. Can't you?

posted by 700c [587 posts]
19th May 2014 - 15:56

13 Likes

700c wrote:
TheHound wrote:
What precisely has Robin Garrido said that is so out of place. I don't see him "victim blaming". Just making a few comments full of common sense.

If we cyclists wish to take the moral high ground, then there's a large minority of us that need to stop acting like a Neolithic tribe and take responsibility for our actions.

Second to that the responses to this article don't really make us seem a civilized bunch worthy of anyone's respect.

A little less petty name calling and some more emotionless reasoned arguments are what is needed, should people find something disagreeable.

As others have also remarked, you've sort of missed the point. That's been covered above so I won't repeat here.

As for emotional responses, and there are a few on here, in the context of woefully inadequate cycling infrastructre and the high number of cycling casualties, I can quite see why this man, responsible for policy, is coming in for some stick. Can't you?

I don't disagree that improvements could and should be made, but it's embarrassing some of the rubbish written here.

posted by Joelsim [1452 posts]
19th May 2014 - 16:00

17 Likes

TheHound wrote:
A little less petty name calling

Absolutely. But calling fellow cyclists "imbeciles" and "Neolithic" (?) isn't helping. I don't agree with many of the more militant cyclists, including on this forum - but I'm heeding your advice.

posted by Duncann [90 posts]
19th May 2014 - 16:05

8 Likes

The councillor said he was in favour of TfGM’s efforts to provide better facilities for cyclists in Greater Manchester.

“If we improve facilities it may have a knock on effect to improve the way we cycling.”

Doesn't really seem anti cycling does he. A guy say's we should show the respect we very vocally demand, and that facilities should be provided that make it easier for us to do so, and he gets slammed?

What exactly do you want him to say?

Violence is not the answer, but it will do until we find out what is.

posted by TheHound [67 posts]
19th May 2014 - 16:27

19 Likes

That a councillor on the committee of the transport authority should speak in a way that echoes the views of so many people who are not well informed is a shame and shows that perhaps he doesn't understand the issues as he should. That the Manchester Evening News got hold of the comments and decided to use them in typical fashion to inflame feelings is also a shame. It's a shame but it isn't a surprise.

When I don't like what my councillors, or MP, do then I tell them and if I'm still not happy I use my vote against them. That would explain why our local MP came to talk to me about Space for Cycling recently (he wants my vote, and those of other people who ride bikes, for himself and his colleagues on the council).

The councillor makes, as do so many, the mistake of talking about the need for respect. It really isn't about respect at all but simply about behaving responsibly to those around you whether you respect them or not.

E.G. I don't respect drivers who drive badly around me and put me at extra risk (whether I'm cycling, driving or being a pedestrian) and I don't respect people on bikes who cycle badly (again whether I'm cycling driving or being a pedestrian). Behave badly and I'll tend not to respect you even if that is temporary!

But even when I don't respect people I will still behave responsibly around them.

What we need more of is people behaving well and being responsible and as Pete Abel so ably put it that means being careful of the most vulnerable.

Shay

posted by shay cycles [254 posts]
19th May 2014 - 16:34

14 Likes

I always thought Bez had it spot on about 'respect'.

https://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/the-most-basic-respect/

Joselito's picture

posted by Joselito [143 posts]
19th May 2014 - 16:44

13 Likes

But what does HE mean by "Respect"? It means different things to different people and is applied differently to different groups.

Look, we all know not all car drivers are demons just as we know that all cyclists are not saints. It's just that when one of us does something wrong we all do something wrong. It's an old joke but it's still true that...

"A 6'2" cyclist dressed like a tropical toad is completely invisible to car drivers until he jumps a red light. At which point he becomes all cyclists and visible from space."

This is why so many cyclists (including myself) have reacted so defensively. He may just have been bitten by the sound bite but he still should know better. I still think he's electioneering. He is an elected representative who sits on a powerful committee, he does not get benefit of doubt.

Once again - What does HE mean by "Respect"?

posted by levermonkey [395 posts]
19th May 2014 - 16:57

16 Likes

It would also be educative to learn what he means by;

“There are things like... crossing from the near side to the left hand side."

And not reported above but in the local paper;

"...cutting across cars"

You'd hope any competent journo from local rag would have contacted the Councillor as asked him to clarify what he meant.
But no, just report the remarks and watch the clickbait counter.

Joselito's picture

posted by Joselito [143 posts]
19th May 2014 - 17:06

11 Likes

TheHound wrote:

Once again the cycling mob shows it's ugly head on this site.
To all the people slagging this guy off. Have you actually read what he's said? It's not really anything out of the ordinary is it.

He's not gone to the press, but expressed pretty sensible fair views in the appropriate forum.

I hate being labelled a cyclist with some of you, when you're quite clearly imbeciles.

The "cycling mob" ...? Sorry mate, but the only imbecile I'm seeing here is you. We would simply like to survive our journeys and not constantly get hit on the head with this lazy and utterly retarded victim blaming by the likes of him. Fuck you!

Work harder. Buy a tank.

replyquote
I think above demonstrates that a lot of people do not know anymore how to treat each other with respect...unless they learn manners and consideration they will remain ignorant and transfer that attitude in what ever they are doing. On the road they will always be right, whether they drive a car or cycle. Only difference is the cyclist is more likely to suffer.

posted by Sub5orange [36 posts]
19th May 2014 - 18:01

4 Likes

It seems to me that the councillor is clearly making a threat. What does it mean for a driver to decide that cyclists are not worthy of respect?
He is implicitly saying that he will drive differently around cyclists because some cyclists behave in ways he doesn't like.
Joselito's link to Bez explores the idea well.

felixcat's picture

posted by felixcat [298 posts]
19th May 2014 - 18:15

13 Likes

Yawn.
Some people drive like idiots.
Some people ride like idiots.
Some people say stupid things.
Some journalists report rubbish.
Calm down.
Carry on.
That is all.

posted by BikeBud [116 posts]
19th May 2014 - 19:01

9 Likes

I openly invite any councillor from Tameside or Manchester to join me on my daily cycle commute into Manchester. This will give them a very real idea of who respects who on the roads in and around this area. I have asked them repeatedly to join my on my daily 10 mile commute down the A57 and never seem to get an answer! I wonder why??? Confused

Mattrb78

posted by Mattrb78 [21 posts]
19th May 2014 - 19:19

9 Likes

Darn shame, he could have joined us on Saturday with a couple of very nice, enthusiastic people from TFGM, who cycled up Wilmslow Road and back with 250 or so other cyclists.

Oh well, I'm sure he has plenty to teach me about respect. Say, at 10am on Saturday morning when we can cycle up and down Wilmslow/Oxford Road until teatime. We'll both have learnt a lot about respect by then.

posted by Argos74 [301 posts]
19th May 2014 - 19:32

6 Likes

Belaroo wrote:
Every day I thank my lucky stars I don't live in Cheshire...

Its really not that bad. Cheshire is the Surrey of the North. Beautiful rolling planes and the Peak District on the doorstep. Muppets are endemic to any urban area. Fix the road to the edge and I will gladly cycle there.

As for TheHound, I won't dignify his comments with another quote, but we will soon see if he sticks around. I'll just go back to being another aggressive cyclist from the 'mob' again tomorrow when I move out into the middle of the road to avoid the same potholes I go past everyday.



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1434 posts]
19th May 2014 - 19:52

6 Likes

"Cycle awareness campaigns – British Cycling's core philosophy is the need for mutual respect between all road users. Often, awareness campaigns focus on what road users must do to improve their behaviour, however this can be counterproductive. Messages should be focussed on mutual respect such as the need to "share the road", "look out for each other" and "leave plenty of space"."

Taken from: (http://www.theguardian.com/local-government-network/2014/may/19/why-brit...)

I think this makes a good point. Any debate started with "X should do more" is not going to be very fruitful, as is focuses the narrative unnaturally (and unfairly) on X, when X is just a piece of something much greater. It doesn't represent the real issues and the real situations that determine whether people live or die on the roads, and is thus utterly unprogressive.

There is no 'us and them'. There is just a single, shared space. And until that space gets allocated a bit more sensibly, we all have to get by and use it effectively.

Of course, 'allocating that space more sensibly' is a key issue, but a separate one, unrelated to these sorts of comments thrown around about various subgroups and what they should or should not be doing.

Designing the road system should be about planning for the mistakes of the future, ironing them out, and ensuring they don't end up being fatal. It's a very different thing from throwing around the blame of the past.

Vaguely related, I first saw this today: (www.visionzeroinitiative.com). It's a very agreeable concept. And it's got a solid name too; everything seems more concrete when it's given a name.

posted by Quince [204 posts]
19th May 2014 - 20:45

11 Likes

Cuts both ways in my opinion.

Endorphines going up and adrenaline going down, who needs drugs?

posted by banzicyclist2 [264 posts]
19th May 2014 - 21:07

6 Likes

Respect is earned.

Lumping all cyclists together as disrespectful lawbreakers is disrespectful in of itself.

It sounds to me like Conservative councillor Robin Garrido is asking people to respect him when he doesn't respect them.

posted by kie7077 [565 posts]
19th May 2014 - 22:56

7 Likes

kie7077 wrote:
Respect is earned.

No it isn't - it's the default position.

If respect has to be earned then you are disrespectful to everyone until someone else demonstrates something to you that you can then respect. When you meet someone for the first time you don't wait for them to 'earn' respect before being pleasant, do you?

If respect is the default then you respect everyone until an incident occurs that causes this respect to be lost BY THAT INDIVIDUAL and not the unlinked group
of individuals they may or may not associate themselves with.

posted by teaboy [187 posts]
20th May 2014 - 8:05

8 Likes

teaboy wrote:
kie7077 wrote:
Respect is earned.


No it isn't - it's the default position.

If respect has to be earned then you are disrespectful to everyone until....

I think the disagreement is based on respect being a funny word with 2 definitions being quite far apart:

Respect:
1. a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

2. due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.

Many car drivers 'wish' I weren't cycliing on the roads they use, they 'feel' I shouldn't be there because I don't pay road tax - which gives them the 'right to be there'.

Now, who is disrespecting who? I certainly don't feel respected on the roads even though I try to be courteous and helpful.

posted by kie7077 [565 posts]
20th May 2014 - 8:44

6 Likes

*can* airbags kill people?

posted by andyp [1072 posts]
20th May 2014 - 9:19

1 Like

Joelsim wrote:
Treat car drivers courteously and they are as good as gold, except for the odd muppet here and there.

Likewise there are also some cycling muppets who ride too fast, who go over zebras when people are crossing and as for red lights, I would say that 20% of cyclists ignore them. Quite frankly that isn't good enough and gives us all a bad name.

1 in 100 (or whatever) drivers being bad is enough to prevent 90% (or whatever) of people ever seriously considering cycling on the roads. That one muppet can kill or maim in the blink of an eye. Your 20% of cyclists (or whatever) cannot be condoned but they are also unlikely to injure anyone. I hate seeing inconsiderate riding as much as anyone but to give the two equivalence is just playing into the driving lobby hands.

The whole hysteria over cyclist RLJ is a smoke screen and displaced frustration. It's dangerous as it always comes along as people are demanding safer cycling infrastructure. Good quality infrastructure is expensive so arguing cyclists don't deserve it is an easy way of avoiding the cost.

posted by Cranky Acid [38 posts]
20th May 2014 - 9:44

15 Likes

TheHound wrote:
A guy say's we should show the respect we very vocally demand, and that facilities should be provided that make it easier for us to do so, and he gets slammed?

What exactly do you want him to say?

Again with this odd use of 'we'! I don't understand the thought-processes at work here. "We" should show respect? What are you talking about? Who is this 'we'?
I follow the rules on the road. A very high proportion of motorists I encounter don't and so make cycling both more stressful and dangerous than it needs to be. What this mythical 'we' has to do with this situation I have no idea.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [747 posts]
20th May 2014 - 10:29

7 Likes

I have just read this thread after reading the sportive v. road race story. It seems that some cyclists cannot even show some respect to other cyclists. Examples like that are a breath of fresh air to the anti-cycling brigade and all the evidence they need to 'prove' their irrational dogma.

posted by SideBurn [873 posts]
20th May 2014 - 10:37

4 Likes

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
TheHound wrote:
A guy say's we should show the respect we very vocally demand, and that facilities should be provided that make it easier for us to do so, and he gets slammed?

What exactly do you want him to say?

Again with this odd use of 'we'! I don't understand the thought-processes at work here. "We" should show respect? What are you talking about? Who is this 'we'?
I follow the rules on the road. A very high proportion of motorists I encounter don't and so make cycling both more stressful and dangerous than it needs to be. What this mythical 'we' has to do with this situation I have no idea.

We = Cyclists. Nothing mythical or confusing there.

Violence is not the answer, but it will do until we find out what is.

posted by TheHound [67 posts]
20th May 2014 - 12:31

5 Likes

We = Cyclists. Nothing mythical or confusing there.

But when I passed my driving test I did not hang up my bike, when I passed my hgv test I did not sell my car. I ride to work, jump behind the wheel spend a lot of time behind the wheel then ride home. The only thing I cannot claim to be is a motorcyclist.
I am not sure what that makes me, at one time I drove a large white van.... does that make me white van man? Would I like to defend their actions? I have spent most time driving a red van... are red van drivers worse or better than white van drivers?
So when people say that 'we' should show more respect, what am 'I' supposed to do? Hand out leaflets?
Presumably when handing out these leaflets I should not use a white van

Trying to define a person by their choice of transport is plain silly.

posted by SideBurn [873 posts]
20th May 2014 - 13:56

10 Likes

SideBurn wrote:
We = Cyclists. Nothing mythical or confusing there.

But when I passed my driving test I did not hang up my bike, when I passed my hgv test I did not sell my car. I ride to work, jump behind the wheel spend a lot of time behind the wheel then ride home. The only thing I cannot claim to be is a motorcyclist.
I am not sure what that makes me, at one time I drove a large white van.... does that make me white van man? Would I like to defend their actions? I have spent most time driving a red van... are red van drivers worse or better than white van drivers?
So when people say that 'we' should show more respect, what am 'I' supposed to do? Hand out leaflets?
Presumably when handing out these leaflets I should not use a white van

Trying to define a person by their choice of transport is plain silly.

I wasn't defining an entire demographic by using the word "we" and to suggest I am, is entirely missing the point I've made and is just plain silly.

Violence is not the answer, but it will do until we find out what is.

posted by TheHound [67 posts]
20th May 2014 - 16:18

2 Likes

TheHound wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
TheHound wrote:
A guy say's we should show the respect we very vocally demand, and that facilities should be provided that make it easier for us to do so, and he gets slammed?

What exactly do you want him to say?

Again with this odd use of 'we'! I don't understand the thought-processes at work here. "We" should show respect? What are you talking about? Who is this 'we'?
I follow the rules on the road. A very high proportion of motorists I encounter don't and so make cycling both more stressful and dangerous than it needs to be. What this mythical 'we' has to do with this situation I have no idea.

We = Cyclists. Nothing mythical or confusing there.

Actually, confusing and mythical. There's no hierarchical organisation controlling everyone who ever uses a bike. I have no authority over other cyclists and no responsibility for them. There is no 'we' in the way you use the word, as an active subject. Just equating it to 'cyclists' doesn't make the attitude make any more sense. Cyclists are not a 'we' in that sense. When I got a bike I didn't join a club or sign up to some disciplined organisation.

I was going to add that despite how I worded the previous comment, I don't actually ascribe such collective responsibility to motorists either. I wouldn't argue no roads should be provided for them till every last one behaves perfectly.

Where there _is_ a meaningful collective responsibility is with politicians (like this councilor, albeit in a small way in that case), the state they are part of, and the population who vote for them.

In that case there is a choice as to whether to enforce the laws that are needed to limit the threat the bad motorists can pose to everyone else, and a choice whether to provide for non-motorists the infrastructure that can help keep them safe from the bad motorists. In that case there is a 'we', in the sense there is a political structure that can exercise power.

Cyclists have no such structure of their own, they are not a nation.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [747 posts]
20th May 2014 - 16:39

6 Likes

Respect is a two way street and the comment from a councillor that cyclists should show motorists some or more respect clearly indicates the mind set of the man. He is not necessarily pro-cars but he is certainly not pro-bikes. He probably wants to get out of the EU, is annoyed at the immigrants and detests teenagers out for a laugh of a weekend. All things of his Parties own making. Well, if you make the bed, you can lie in it.

I don't want to get all political but I'm going to anyway. Since the 1980's Tory Governments created the world we live in today; relatively selfish, short tempered, congested, and deregulated. We were encouraged to be pro-car and anti-public transport, pro-pedestrian and anti-cyclist. Well times have changed and we, the cycling electorate, want to see our roads less congested and our living spaces quieter and cleaner. To that end we need to be more even handed about cycling and public transport. In order of priority our road management policies should be as follows; pedestrians, cyclists, public transport, motorcycles, cars, lorries. Whenever there is potential conflict, cyclists and pedestrians should be put together in the same space.

No one complains if a pedestrian crosses a road when the traffic lights are Red because they are not directed at them and we need the same attitude towards cyclists. If a Cyclist filters through a Red light carefully and does not cross the path of oncoming traffic, or across traffic coming from the left, then I don't see what the problem is. At all times the cyclist should be respectful of all other road users and pedestrians and so long as they are why should they be penalised? Where cyclists are concerned the spirit of the law is what matters, not the letter, but unfortunately there are too many pedants out there, who will never get passed the 'rules'. When I drive I expect the unexpected and keep my eyes open for cyclists and motorcycles at all times. Being a motorcyclist, and cyclist too, probably helps my awareness but it really isn't difficult. I just keep my mind on my driving and not on my mobile phone, lighting a cigarette, or the screaming kids, etc.

Things are getting better though. In Twickenham, I noticed the busy High Street T-junction has had the pavement dropped to allow cyclists to filter onto the footpath area and effectively through the lights in safety. A great idea and a bit of good sense by traffic managers. The principle should be duplicated everywhere it is possible to do so, not just at pinch points.

posted by BigBear63 [72 posts]
20th May 2014 - 20:22

3 Likes

Totally agree, if we show respect whether in a car or on a bike, it'll avoid the majority of grief. I would add one exception,,,Volvo drivers, but not all of them, just 90%!!

posted by Surf57 [10 posts]
20th May 2014 - 20:53

2 Likes

Joselito wrote:
I always thought Bez had it spot on about 'respect'.

https://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/the-most-basic-respect/

That's a very good article.

posted by Gourmet Shot [18 posts]
20th May 2014 - 22:43

4 Likes