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Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth & co-chair of the APPCG slams driving culture in UK and says "not enough is being done to protect cyclists"...

"Not enough is being done to protect cyclists from injury and intimidation" says the co-chair of the All Party Parlimentary Cycling Group (APPCG) and MP for Brentford and Isleworth, Ruth Cadbury.

In a blog posted on national cycling charity Cycling UK's website the Labour Party Shadow Housing Minister called for more to be done in the UK to prevent new cyclists from being intimidated on the road and subsequently put off cycling altogether, citing the non-injury cycling incident study the Near Miss Project.

"I don’t find it acceptable that people just trying to get to work or to the shops are so regularly intimidated," Ms Cadbury writes. "New cyclists report twice as many ‘very scary’ incidents as the more experienced. Maybe they’ll ‘harden up’ and get used to harassment. But our general failure to increase cycling suggests many new cyclists just stop cycling altogether."

"Cycling is a safe transport mode, not just for the cyclist but also other road users: you’re much less likely to kill someone else than if you’re driving a motor vehicle. You’re not causing air or noise pollution. And you’re keeping yourself healthy."

>Read more: APPCG co-chair Ruth Cadbury calls for Central London lorry ban

Ms Cadbury writes that "people cycling are doing something that according to policy and research is the right thing," and goes on to suggest ways that we, as a nation, can look to support cyclists - new and old - in avoiding that intimidation culture.

"People [who were questioned] in the Near Miss Project often said protected infrastructure would help, by separating them from motor vehicles. There’s a long way to go on this. Only 3% of Transport for London’s roads have protected tracks, and most of the country lags far behind London.

"We also need to improve driver behaviour and the way the criminal justice system deals with motoring offences. It wasn’t that long ago that drink-driving was common and socially accepted in the UK. I think we need a similar attitude change when it comes to the treatment of vulnerable road users like cyclists."

In terms of what is actually being done, Ms Cadbury highlighted the work that the APPCG has been doing and changes that it has been calling for, such as substantial increases in spending on cycling, including more and better cycle infrastructure.

She also highlights initiatives that allow cyclists to report near misses and the work cycling police officers are doing to crack down on drivers who pass cyclists too closely.

She finishes the blog post by saying that the APPCG is "planning an inquiry into road justice for cyclists in early 2017" and that the group will produce "recommendations for action" in regards to all aspects of the criminal justice system.

"Our vision," the APPCG co-chair writes "is a Britain where jumping on a bike is as normal as putting your shoes on to go out of the door. Reducing injury and intimidation are a crucial part of getting there."

Elliot joined team road.cc bright eyed, bushy tailed, and straight out of university.

Raised in front of cathode ray tube screens bearing the images of Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong, Elliot's always had cycling in his veins.
His balance was found on a Y-framed mountain bike around South London suburbs in the 90s, while his first taste of freedom came when he claimed his father's Giant hybrid as his own at age 16.

When Elliot's not writing for road.cc about two-wheeled sustainable transportation, he's focussing on business sustainability and the challenges facing our planet in the years to come.

20 comments

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the little onion [168 posts] 11 months ago
15 likes

This is all music to my ears - so let's hear more parliamentarians saying this, and let's see pressure being put on the government to turn warm words about cycling into action.

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 11 months ago
2 likes

It's already forgotten about. 

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burtthebike [1106 posts] 11 months ago
4 likes

Finally, someone in government gets it.

Such a pity that her views will be ignored by those with the real power, in the justice department and the ministry for cars.

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wycombewheeler [1199 posts] 11 months ago
4 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Finally, someone in government gets it.

Such a pity that her views will be ignored by those with the real power, in the justice department and the ministry for cars.

Not quite - Shadow minister. All the apcc is formed by members of all parties.

I think the only way to get people out of their cars would be carbon rationing. With people forced to choose between driving, domestic energy and travel.

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severs1966 [412 posts] 11 months ago
5 likes

"Ms Cadbury highlighted the work that the APPCG has been doing "

????

The APPCG has done nothing at all for cycling in the UK. This is the cycling organisation that is actully inside the legislative body of the nation, but has been responsible for no legislation to enable or promote cycling. None at all, ever.

 

No national standards; no funding; no infrastructure; no laws.

Even Sustrans, who come in for huge amounts of criticism, have done huge amounts more for cycling in the UK, and they are a CHARITY. The APPCG, the organisation inside the corridors of power, has done nothing.

And despite this, their chair considers it acceptable to say that "not enough is being done" as if she has the right to criticise?

This is the most complete case of the pot calling the kettle black that a UK politician has done in the domain of cycling.

I did point this out on twitter, but rather than counter the argument with examples of why I am wrong, the APPCG just blocked me. Couldn't even come up with the slenderest defence.

I conclude that the APPCG is actually just a cycling club for politicians and their underlings, not an organisation attempting to make things better for the rest of the people in the country.

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muffies [76 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes

While im all for the rest, "reducing intimidation" seems like a slippery slope.

 

I'm saying that as someone communting by bike 5 times as week. I have my fair share of fingers and cars swerving or ramming me on purpose (which again is not the majority but it just does happen at least once a week, if not once a ride).

 

Giving the finger to bikes is free speech to me, even thus it sucks i would defend their right to do so. Swerving, yeah, jail these guys.

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Jitensha Oni [87 posts] 11 months ago
5 likes
muffies wrote:

While im all for the rest, "reducing intimidation" seems like a slippery slope.

Way to miss the point on two counts:

1. it's not you this is a problem for, it's the millions who are put off cycling after a short-lived attempt at it. The millions are worth encouraging (and enabling) IMO.

2. in the larger scheme of things, I'm seeing drivers trying to intimidate each other, never mind cyclists, more and more in the last couple of years. Anything that gets people tp tone down the sheer childishness of such behaviour to be supported IMO.

Agree 100% with severs1966 though - how the APPCG can help, given their past record, strains the imagination somewhat. File them under "mostly harmless".

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JonD [485 posts] 11 months ago
3 likes
severs1966 wrote:

"Ms Cadbury highlighted the work that the APPCG has been doing "

????

The APPCG has done nothing at all for cycling in the UK. This is the cycling organisation that is actully inside the legislative body of the nation, but has been responsible for no legislation to enable or promote cycling. None at all, ever.

 

No national standards; no funding; no infrastructure; no laws.

Even Sustrans, who come in for huge amounts of criticism, have done huge amounts more for cycling in the UK, and they are a CHARITY. The APPCG, the organisation inside the corridors of power, has done nothing.

And despite this, their chair considers it acceptable to say that "not enough is being done" as if she has the right to criticise?

This is the most complete case of the pot calling the kettle black that a UK politician has done in the domain of cycling.

I did point this out on twitter, but rather than counter the argument with examples of why I am wrong, the APPCG just blocked me. Couldn't even come up with the slenderest defence.

I conclude that the APPCG is actually just a cycling club for politicians and their underlings, not an organisation attempting to make things better for the rest of the people in the country.

Do you not understand what an all-parliamentary group is ??? Let me help you:
"All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. An APPG is an informal group of Members who join together to pursue a particular topic or interest. It is essentially run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords, although many groups involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities"
https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-financial-...

Or to put it another way, it's a group that looks at a particular area, but has no power to compel the government to produce legislation (or recently in this case, funding). 'Course, individual members can try to initiate legislation but it requires MPs to support it - and in the case of funding, the Government to commit to it (good luck with that).
So the group itself can do good work, but government buy-in is another matter.

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wycombewheeler [1199 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes

Deleted

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wycombewheeler [1199 posts] 11 months ago
6 likes
muffies wrote:

While im all for the rest, "reducing intimidation" seems like a slippery slope.

 

I'm saying that as someone communting by bike 5 times as week. I have my fair share of fingers and cars swerving or ramming me on purpose (which again is not the majority but it just does happen at least once a week, if not once a ride).

 

Giving the finger to bikes is free speech to me, even thus it sucks i would defend their right to do so. Swerving, yeah, jail these guys.

Verbal and gestures is not intimidation in my book.

Moving a vehicle into a space to force a cyclist to yield is. The people who try to overtake you (even though you are less than 2 seconds behind the car in front and taking the lane) and then squeeze to the kerb as they can't get past and won't back down.

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HarrogateSpa [493 posts] 11 months ago
5 likes

I think Severs has misunderstood the nature of the APPCG. As another commenter pointed out, it's an informal cross-party group of MPs, which has been making recommendations, and pressuring the DfT and Treasury to commit to improving conditions for cycling, and asking for more funding.

We would all like to see more action and money for cycling. The APPCG have been arguing for this. Yes, it would be better if they had been more successful; on the other hand, it would be much worse if nobody on Parliament bothered taking up the case for cycling.

We need constructive criticism of people who are essentially on our side. Too often, though, the criticism is ill-informed and lazy - just lashing out through frustration.

We could all get stuck in to local campaigning too - which is often frustrating, but you have to keep going, and making the case.

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Daveyraveygravey [535 posts] 11 months ago
5 likes

Any body that raises the issue of bad driving and treatment of cyclists is doing something positive so I welcome the comments. I ride over 100 miles a week, mainly quiet Sussex lanes but I see close passing, pointless and dangerous overtakes every time I go out. I just want to be given some care and consideration by drivers, I am not asking for too much.

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Kim [249 posts] 11 months ago
3 likes

If the APPCG is serious, they could start by backing a private members bill for Presumed Liability as the Cross Parliamentary Group at Holyrood has done.

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RMurphy195 [110 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes

It isn't just new cyclists is it - if you are trying to get your confidence back after an accident, it gets very difficult.

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SiRush [28 posts] 11 months ago
1 like

I don't want "protected infrastructure would help, by separating them from motor vehicles. "

 

I'd like to ride my bike together with other vehicle drivers, with mutual respect, where we can all be thoughtful about each other. No dooring, close passes, or pulling out of junctions into the path of a cyclist.

And cyclists don't dangerously duck and dodge between cars as happens in the big smoke.

I have a dream.... 

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FluffyKittenofT... [1788 posts] 11 months ago
2 likes
SiRush wrote:

I don't want "protected infrastructure would help, by separating them from motor vehicles. "

 

I'd like to ride my bike together with other vehicle drivers, with mutual respect, where we can all be thoughtful about each other. No dooring, close passes, or pulling out of junctions into the path of a cyclist.

And cyclists don't dangerously duck and dodge between cars as happens in the big smoke.

I have a dream.... 

Never, ever going to happen. I mean, can you point to anywhere where it has? Its flying in the face of what we know of human behaviour. Let a lot of people habitually weild weapons and wear armour and they will tend to assume priority over those who don't.

Besides, I don't want infrastructure that separates cyclists from motor vehicles, I want infrastructure that separates motor vehicles from everyone else.

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SiRush [28 posts] 11 months ago
1 like
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
SiRush wrote:

I don't want "protected infrastructure would help, by separating them from motor vehicles. "

 

I'd like to ride my bike together with other vehicle drivers, with mutual respect, where we can all be thoughtful about each other. No dooring, close passes, or pulling out of junctions into the path of a cyclist.

And cyclists don't dangerously duck and dodge between cars as happens in the big smoke.

I have a dream.... 

Never, ever going to happen. I mean, can you point to anywhere where it has? Its flying in the face of what we know of human behaviour. Let a lot of people habitually weild weapons and wear armour and they will tend to assume priority over those who don't. Besides, I don't want infrastructure that separates cyclists from motor vehicles, I want infrastructure that separates motor vehicles from everyone else.

 

Go for a ride in Mallorca - the respect there is collosal.

 

Other places are similar; drivers wait to pass you giving 1.5 metres, don't overtake on blind bends, etc. Many places in France and Spain I've ridden are great like this.

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urbane [87 posts] 11 months ago
1 like
wycombewheeler wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

Finally, someone in government gets it.

Such a pity that her views will be ignored by those with the real power, in the justice department and the ministry for cars.

Not quite - Shadow minister. All the apcc is formed by members of all parties. I think the only way to get people out of their cars would be carbon rationing. With people forced to choose between driving, domestic energy and travel.

Carbon rationing is destructive, Watermelon, AGW propaganda BS; f'that because we have much more pressing things to think about which make cycling look damned smart!

As seen at http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-22/thermodynamic-oil-collapse-why-global-economy-will-disintegrate-rapidly the world economy will be f'd in the next 10 to 15 years because the net energy in oil after extraction, transport and refining will apparently become zero/negative because the oil pre-use energy costs have risen massively since oil was first commercially extracted, so all oil powered vehicles will effectively become scrap metal!

What is needed is to make suppression of the true free market cost of oil illegal so that people wake up damned fast to the impending peak economical oil (not peak oil reserves), so that a rocket is put under development/deployment of decentralised practical other energy sources (not wind) e.g. Thorium nuclear fission reactors, wave power, solar, biomass etc. and maybe fusion if that can ever be made to work. We will probably have no choice but to reopen workable Coal mines too, where this is energy economical.

If we don't have non-oil based energy use in place in the next decade then especially developed countries are probably f'd, with the collapse of infrastructure, industry and food availability, and mass death!

People should minimise use of plastics filled vehicles anyway because the plastics off gas nasty hormone mimics, which are harmful, and other toxins, and to get more regular exercise!

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes

Even if you make the switch to sustainable energy use, you can't keep growing the population at current levels without catastrophy on another level, so perhaps a fossil fuel induced cull would be appropriate before the next age of technology.

 

Or maybe you can make a vast population workable. Simply let people live their lives in a state of suspension, plugged into a neural network. What need for manual work when it can be done through automation. 

 

We're already plugged in most of our waking day. Getting a bit Matrix-y now I guess.

 

 

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severs1966 [412 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
HarrogateSpa wrote:

I think Severs has misunderstood the nature of the APPCG. As another commenter pointed out, it's an informal cross-party group of MPs, which has been making recommendations, and pressuring the DfT and Treasury to commit to improving conditions for cycling, and asking for more funding.

We would all like to see more action and money for cycling. The APPCG have been arguing for this. Yes, it would be better if they had been more successful; on the other hand, it would be much worse if nobody on Parliament bothered taking up the case for cycling.

We need constructive criticism of people who are essentially on our side. Too often, though, the criticism is ill-informed and lazy - just lashing out through frustration.

We could all get stuck in to local campaigning too - which is often frustrating, but you have to keep going, and making the case.

 

A reasonable point, but refusing to reply to EVERY SINGLE ONE of the emails I have sent, and blocking me on twitter for asking a valid question, is not really characteristic of decent behaviour from parliamentarians, and it is difficult to "keep going and make the case" when a group such as APPCG refuses to listen.

Given that they are just an informal group, it is indeed frustrating when they launch a campaign intended to gather specific event details, which feels like they are pretending to be a proper, official campaign or lobby organisation within the political process. This is very contradictory behaviour when they refuse to communicate with people, like me, who have tried to tell them about real-world problems in the past.

I'd LOVE to give constructive criticism, along the lines of "please bring this up in parliament" or "please try to attach this point to such-and-such debate", but being stonewalled prevents this, and all that is left is the negative criticism of noticing that the whole APPCG-are-our-friends thing is a politician's self-aggrandisement exercise. I'd love to believe otherwise and engage in a useful process, any useful process, but the evience doesn't support it. Because there isn't any evidence.

I will happily, joyfully eat my words when the APPCG finish their public listening exercise and do anything at all useful with the data. Except that this is "if", and past lack of efforts on their behalf doesn't bode for a promising future.

If this is what lashing out in frustration looks like, then I apologise. I'm just so fed up of being run over, and everyone in authority at every stage and at every level not giving a shit.