MP: ‘cyclists bring it on themselves’ if they time trial on dual carriageway

Uttoxeter MP supports petition calling for time trialling to be banned on A50

by Sarah Barth   July 13, 2014  

road.cc news

An MP has supported a public petition to stop ‘dangerous’ time trial cycling on one of the busiest routes out of Uttoxeter, saying ‘cyclists bring it on themselves’ when they are killed there.

Amanda Brooks begun the petition after she was a witness to a crash between a cyclist and an HGV on the A50. She is asking other local residents to help her approach the Department for Transport to stop the use of the road for racing.

Concerned Uttoxeter resident Amanda Brooks, of Drovers Close, who was witness to a horrifying crash between a cyclist and a HGV is lobbying the Department of Transport in a bid to stop cyclists using the A50 for competition races.

The petition now has 90 signatures, still far short of the 100,000 that might create the chance for a debate in the House of Commons.

MP Andrew Griffiths told the Uttoxeter News: “I can completely understand why residents want to start this petition against the cycling time trials. We’ve seen deaths on the A50 and I’ve seen myself near misses.

“I think unfortunately cyclists bring it on themselves. Many time trials aren’t well run and aren’t signposted. Safety measures aren’t in place and unless cyclists start taking it more seriously these calls for cyclists to be banned will only continue.

“It would be a shame for cyclists but they desperately need to do something to protect themselves from other road users.

“One option would be to put warnings and signs at every junction.

“You can get onto the A50 and before you know it there is a cyclist right in front of you.”

Campaign leader Ms Brooks said: “I’m pleased that it’s raising such awareness and it’s making people think about the risks and discuss solutions such as better signage for motorists as this has clearly been inadequate during recent time trials.

“Cyclists have commented saying they are bemused as to why fellow riders would seek time trials on the A50, so it isn’t just motorists that find this dangerous.

“The petition will not only raise awareness but clearly bring to light the conversations that need to be had to make these time trials safer for both cyclists and motorists alike.

“I just hope we get enough signatures to get something done about the way cycle events are held on the A50 in future.

“Two years ago I witnessed a cyclist get struck by a HGV. As a witness, the police kept me informed and the cyclist died leaving behind his wife and children.

“The driver was given a driving ban losing his livelihood.

“Each year that the cycle competition is on the A50 it brings back those memories and its terrifying watching drivers overtake them.”

The petition reads:

Stop cyclists using the A50 (bypassing Uttoxeter) for competition races. 2 years ago a HGV took down a cyclist which led to the cyclists death and the driver sentenced, I'm sure this is not the first or last time you'll hear similar incidents involving cyclists on main roads.

Cyclists struggle to cycle in straight lines when extremely tired in competitions and tend to vier all over the dual carriageway where heavy traffic is travelling at 70mph. Cyclists don't stand a chance with their minimal protection from a potentially fatal RTA.

General traffic end up having near miss accidents when trying to avoid them too. There is a perfectly good cycle path away from the A50 dual carriageway so alter the competition route for everyone's safety.

Cyclists on dual carriageways should be banned unless the routes are closed off which would cause chaos on this particular road. So please sign this petition to ban cyclist from the A50 dual carriageway (Derbys/Staffs) which will help to save lives!

53 user comments

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Thee's a very good reason this petition has attracted so few signatures. It's completely misguided and ill-informed.

All the open TT events I have seen are well-signed and have marshals on every junction. I have never seen people veering when tired in a TT. As another poster said riders veer because of poor road surface and in and of itself this is only a reason to improve the road surface. It is needless victim blaming as the incident she cites the driver hit the cyclist from the rear. Drivers hit others often because they aren't paying attention.

There are very few dual carriageways that are off-limits to cyclists - the lower section of the A470 down the Valleys to the junction of the M4 being one. I can understand why that one is restricted - numerous slip-wayed junctions, bends, inclined and walled off. Maybe the A50 there is similar. However, this is not the way to petition for a change.

posted by IHphoto [100 posts]
13th July 2014 - 12:48

72 Likes

mrmo wrote:
700c wrote:
I can't agree with the post above about dual carriageway cycling being safer than single carriageway cycling.

Which is safer, single carriageway country road with idiots intent on doing 60 round blind bends or a dual carriageway with decent sight lines and cars doing 70?

Well that's not really comparing like with like! Of course I'd take the road without the idiot driver and blind bends every time!

Generally I'd still say TT'ing on a dual carriageway is not a sensible idea, for the reasons outlined above.

posted by 700c [556 posts]
13th July 2014 - 13:08

63 Likes

Doctor Fegg wrote:
Have to admit that in the A38 example I'd prefer one of the carriageways to be given over to motor vehicles, the other to bikes. As it is, I find it fairly safe but it's unlikely to convince anyone to take up cycling, which a bike-only carriageway might do.

A little request to road.cc - in these stories, could you cite the party the MP belongs to? Might help people when deciding who to vote for at the next election...

Very odd, but his party affiliation is very, erm..., discrete on his website (http://www.andrewgriffithsmp.com/content/about-andrew).

He is, of course, a Tory: http://www.conservatives.com/OurTeam/Members_of_Parliament/Griffiths_And...

posted by jacknorell [380 posts]
13th July 2014 - 13:46

72 Likes

MP has said that the paper misquoted him, with reference to the "cyclists bring it on themselves"

https://twitter.com/agriffithsmp/status/488266166520250369

But then careers off into more victim blaming territory claiming the TTs are not managed or signed enough.

Neatly seemingly forgetting about this gem on his very own website

Quote:
It is a very busy road and a very tight road. I hope to have talks with cycling clubs in Uttoxeter and Burton to see how they feel about cycling safety on the A50 and A38 and what could be done to make them safer or ban it altogether.

http://www.andrewgriffithsmp.com/content/mp-call-a50-probe-after-cyclist...

So obviously does not like cyclists. He has not offered to support road justice or space for cycling.

posted by gazza_d [208 posts]
13th July 2014 - 14:00

53 Likes

Agree with 700C.

Our local by pass the A565 ( with plenty of rural side roads) was 70mph but with at least one motorist death a year and countless serious injuries it was dropped to 60mph. Some councillors wanted 50mph but were over ruled. I reckon perhaps 40% are still doing 70mph+ past lorries straddling two lanes to get by a hardy few TT riders. The A59 runs a weekly TT. I support club that runs it: they have a right to do so but it is the front line of the cyclist motorist share the road issue and if motorists don't want to or expect to share the end result is always the same. Motorists are killing each other at a steady rate so cyclists should expect the same.

A roads are dangerous but if it's a danger you choose to accept? Go ahead. As death's increase TT's will either be banned or motorists forced to slow down. I imagine the latter is out of the question.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1059 posts]
13th July 2014 - 14:03

65 Likes

mrmo wrote:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/@51.958917,-2.156817,3a,75y,357.16h,72.85t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1smMtiCwnTzzCwTl8AbRrHGQ!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x48710315cc0d5163:0x45c5d14f33be793d

once upon a time this was a dual carriage way, now it is single and has a nice wide cycle path...

Maybe this is the way forward for all dual carriageways?

Bit of a pity it starts and stops in the middle of nowhere really! I guess you can't have everything!

they did it here on the A38 in Gloucestershire...

http://goo.gl/maps/OXEDT

sadly it's only for a short stretch Sad

posted by Paul_C [182 posts]
13th July 2014 - 14:35

64 Likes

ha ha... finally followed your link and it was to the same stretch... Smile

posted by Paul_C [182 posts]
13th July 2014 - 14:40

62 Likes

Ms Brooks clearly has no understanding of cycling on the roads and being witness to one accident does not mean she is now an expert on cycling road safety.

"Cyclists don't stand a chance with their minimal protection from a potentially fatal RTA."

What protection should the 875 vehicle occupants and 398 pedestrians who were killed on the roads in 2013 have then?

The number of serious cycling injuries & fatalities on the roads is actually not that high (103 fatalities in 2013), yet uniformed MPs and the press continue to portray cycling as some kind of 'extreme sport'.

But getting smashed up in a car crash is just how it is to these people, no need for campaigns here such as lower A road speed limits, 20mph zones, tougher sentencing, etc.

posted by seanbolton [138 posts]
13th July 2014 - 14:58

61 Likes

MP Andrew Griffiths told the Uttoxeter News: “I think unfortunately cyclists bring it on themselves. Sick
“One option would be to put warnings and signs at every junction. At Wits End

Mr Griffiths another option would be to make sure drivers stay under the speed limit look where they're going and actually drive properly.

Try that one for a sound bite. Devil

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [589 posts]
13th July 2014 - 16:51

43 Likes

I always fail to understand the mentality behind cars.

If people get shot dead, then pistols and rifles are banned.
If people get stabbed then knives are banned.
Because people have tried to blow up aircraft we are banned from carrying potential explosives.
Yet if people are killed by cars etc we call for a ban of people not cars.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [293 posts]
13th July 2014 - 18:09

55 Likes

The MP is just looking for a bit of publicity. What a knob.

ride slow, ride far, ride often

posted by mzungu [33 posts]
13th July 2014 - 18:20

59 Likes

Mind you thinking a bit more, the A38 from Thornbury has a lot of cycle path sections, as well as the bit north of Gloucester.

I can only guess that with the M5 taking traffic has allowed a rethink on road use?

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1100 posts]
13th July 2014 - 18:32

65 Likes

Yorkshie Whippet wrote:
I always fail to understand the mentality behind cars.

If people get shot dead, then pistols and rifles are banned.
If people get stabbed then knives are banned.
Because people have tried to blow up aircraft we are banned from carrying potential explosives.
Yet if people are killed by cars etc we call for a ban of people not cars.


Simple. No one, except a few farmers, actually believes they need to carry a gun. Even on here, lots of people believe they need a car. Even the drunken killer of Battle got some sympathy for how hard her life will be sans auto. Until we change that mistaken belief, the desperate attempts to blame everything but the car will continue.

posted by oldstrath [146 posts]
13th July 2014 - 18:55

61 Likes

Shameful the amount of publicity people want from this type of headline.

KalaBlinds 'cos we all need our beauty sleep.

posted by don simon [151 posts]
13th July 2014 - 23:18

55 Likes

Been TTing for a few years, both on DC's & SC's, I've never seen a racer veer "all over" the Dual Carriageway, that is at least 16ft (maybe 20) of "veer"...
Maybe if everyone gave their full attention to the road ahead of (and around) them, we would all be a lot safer.
Shocking bit of 'minority beating' publicity seeking by an MP, going for the LCD vote. Typically Tory (thinly veiled UKIPness).

Currently going slower than I'd like...

posted by stealth [188 posts]
14th July 2014 - 5:46

32 Likes

Paul_C wrote:
!“You can get onto the A50 and before you know it there is a cyclist right in front of you.”!

numpty basically admits to not being aware of their suroundings...

Didn't you know that cyclists can quite literally appear out of nowhere? It's the Flux Capacitor built into all recent electronic shifters, I gather...

posted by brooksby [106 posts]
14th July 2014 - 8:56

31 Likes

Maybe rethinking the default 70mph limit on dual carriageways would be a better idea? These roads weren't typically designed with that speed in mind, and it really isn't safe in most cases. 60mph is much better as a default, and many places should be restricted further.

posted by pikeamus [32 posts]
14th July 2014 - 9:26

30 Likes

I wonder if the honourable MP's views would have been equally victim blaming if this truck driver, with 1000+ m of visibility, had ploughed into the back of a stationary queue of cars killing a family....

posted by sfichele [99 posts]
14th July 2014 - 9:55

34 Likes

Although I can't agree with her intended outcome, to be fair she does actually seem concerned about road deaths. It's an improvement over "cyclists deserve it because they don't pay road tax."
It's these people in the middle ground that we should be courting with positive messages to get them on side rather then writing them off as numpties (although I agree there's plenty of those around too).

posted by JeevesBath [120 posts]
14th July 2014 - 10:18

31 Likes

Queue outrage, but I kind of agree with Ms Brookes (although the way she expressed herself - or she has been quoted - is unfortunate). Riding on dual carriageways is for early mornings before there is any traffic or idiots (or when you are lost). Apart from being unpleasant, it's unsafe. Sometime a bit of pragmatism is in order and there's no point anyone dying to prove a point.

"There is a perfectly good cycle path away from the A50 dual carriageway so alter the competition route for everyone's safety." Seems a perfectly sensible alternative, if true.

"Cyclists on dual carriageways should be banned unless the routes are closed off which would cause chaos on this particular road." Don't know how true this is, but maybe they could consider road closures at certain times. Although this might actually inconvenience people materially. I know we are all up in arms but is it really necessary to have this TT run where it is/when it is?

posted by surly_by_name [144 posts]
14th July 2014 - 11:58

18 Likes

I've got very mixed feelings on the subject of racing on open roads. On one hand there is obviously an increased risk to riders compared to riding on closed roads but if open-road TTs were banned there would be far fewer races overall as the appetite to close roads for such events just doesn't exist.

Personally I would feel more comforatable doing a TT on a nice wide dual carridgeway with good visibility and surfacing rather than a minor A or B road. This is bearing in mind that it's a race rather than a Sunday afternoon pootle and the safety considerations are likely to be different. My top choice would be the minor roads closed to other traffic but that's not likely to happen any time soon.

posted by Matt eaton [395 posts]
14th July 2014 - 12:05

30 Likes

I have to say there are some good points made, and some bad ones.

NO: Cyclists don't "bring it on themselves".
YES: Cycling on a dual carriageway is generally likely to be more hazardous than on a single carriageway road, largely due to the speed involved and the nature of a faster lane overtaking a slower lane. Some cyclists are okay with riding on dual carriageways (obviously). Some don't think it is safe. Let's be aware of the potential risk.

YES: “One option would be to put warnings and signs at every junction. You can get onto the A50 and before you know it there is a cyclist right in front of you.”
If you're driving on a dual carriageway you probably don't expect to see a cyclist on the road, so you're going to be less prepared to deal with a 30mph vehicle. It is simply a sensible move to maximise the awareness of drivers. Why not? That's the general reason we have road signs. I was always happier riding a TT knowing that the junctions had signs at the junctions reading "Warning. Cycle race in progress" - and that was just club 10's.

NO: It doesn't excuse some **** using their phone (texting, driving, reading, doing whatever) whilst driving.

NO: “It would be a shame for cyclists but they desperately need to do something to protect themselves from other road users". Should we leave it to victimes to protect themselves from rape, domestic violence, child abuse, racism etc? NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!

YES: Amanda Brooks has witnessed an horrific incident where someone was violently killed. I can't begin to imagine how traumatic that was for her. She's dealing with it by trying to do something about it.

NO: Banning TT's isn't the only option.

YES: Campaign leader Ms Brooks said: “I’m pleased that it’s raising such awareness and it’s making people think about the risks and discuss solutions such as better signage for motorists as this has clearly been inadequate during recent time trials". At least she's being open minded.

NO: "Cyclists struggle to cycle in straight lines when extremely tired in competitions and tend to vier all over the dual carriageway where heavy traffic is travelling at 70mph". Racing does not equate to people being tired and weaving all over the road FFS!

NO: “The driver was given a driving ban losing his livelihood".
Great! Good! Brilliant! If that driver was texting then he broke the law and killed someone as a direct result. I don't want that driver on the road. He lost his livelihood, but someone else lost their life.

YES: "Cyclists don't stand a chance with their minimal protection from a potentially fatal RTA". True. So we need people to drive with due care & attention!

NO: "There is a perfectly good cycle path away from the A50 dual carriageway so alter the competition route for everyone's safety".
Has she ridden it? Not ideal for time trialling, so it misses the point rather.
I'd add that a large proportion of cycle paths that I use aren't fit for purpose and can be more dangerous than the roads. Of course, if I use the roads instead I get shouts of "Get on the f*****g cycle path".

Apologies for the length of this post, but it is never as black and white as people make it seem. There ARE some reasonable points hidden amongst the idiotic ones.

We have a massive culture problem with poor attitudes of road users, poor standards of road use, inadequate policing of road users & inadequate sentencing of offenders.

Apologies if this seems crass, but would Amanda Brooks also petition for women to be restricted to a 10pm curfew and 2 units of alcohol per evening to reduce the number of sexual assaults? No, it isn't the same... is it?

posted by BikeBud [100 posts]
14th July 2014 - 12:53

34 Likes

I tried cycling on a dual carriageway years ago; never again. I was so glad to get off. The speed differential is too high and you only have to get the 'inattentive, #bloodycyclists, speedster' and then etc etc. I had occasion to drive up the A38 from Plymouth a few years ago at 0630 after coming off a ferry. The light was a bit 'flat' but I spotted something in the distance; 2 blokes cycling side by side nattering and doing about 10mph in the LH lane. A few miles on and, again, I spotted something in the LH lane; a time trial. I just thought, suit yourself but no thanks.

Shades

posted by Shades [197 posts]
14th July 2014 - 12:56

28 Likes

I'm no fan of cycling on busy main roads and have lost the urge to put in fast times due to being dragged along by a lorry's wake. That said her comments are stupid and ill thought. More cyclists are killed on the streets of london than on dual carriage ways so do we ban all cyclists there as well, and they aren't racing?

I would support a ruling that stated all time trials must have a rear flashing led light, anything to catch a drivers eye is worth it.

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [310 posts]
14th July 2014 - 13:28

25 Likes

As an aside, wouldn't a more rational petition to start, after you witness a texting lorry driver crash into and kill a cyclist, be a petition for better inforcement of traffic laws?

posted by pikeamus [32 posts]
14th July 2014 - 14:12

20 Likes

Ms Brooks states “One option would be to put warnings and signs at every junction."
As an official of a club which holds an annual TT on this road, we would be delighted to do so, and to hell with the extra cost.
But get this folks; I understand such signs are not allowed on the A50, wait for it, due to "Health and Safety" regulations ! ! !
In fact I believe the Dept of Transport (or some other such busy-body organisation) has threatened to actually take down any such signs put up by promoting clubs.
This is not doing anything at all for the health and safety of the riders.

K Stand Ken

posted by K Stand Ken [43 posts]
14th July 2014 - 14:58

27 Likes

Simmo72 wrote:

I would support a ruling that stated all time trials must have a rear flashing led light, anything to catch a drivers eye is worth it.

I was with you up to the 'flashing' bit.

posted by andyp [887 posts]
15th July 2014 - 7:59

11 Likes

I'm not sure what the fuss is all about. According to expert witnesses, it's possible to drive even a large vehicle along a lane in which a cyclist is riding, perfectly safely and without having to divert course at all.

https://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/between-the-lines/

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [373 posts]
15th July 2014 - 10:32

9 Likes

Nobody ever brings it on themselves.

Why anybody would ever want to ride a bike along there is beyond. It's motorway fast. Every slip road is an Un-calculated gamble.
It's one of the main Midlands cut through a from the M1-M6 FFS.
I've ridden it once for 5 miles on Christmas Day just gone, on my way up to my Mothers in the Peaks.
I only rode it because I figured no bugger would be on it, there were only a few cars about but it was still unpleasant.

Should be a no go...

DanTe's picture

posted by DanTe [54 posts]
15th July 2014 - 11:23

9 Likes

Presumably this mouth-breathing c--t thinks that this pedestrian 'brought it upon himself' ...

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/pedestrian-treated-for-injuries-af...

'It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning' (Henry Ford)

cyclingDMlondon's picture

posted by cyclingDMlondon [223 posts]
15th July 2014 - 14:06

10 Likes