Home
Councillor Julian Bell believes more people would cycle if safe infrastructure were built

The leader of Ealing Council has said that “segregated cycle lanes are the answer” to road traffic congestion, the growing obesity crisis and premature deaths caused by air pollution.

Councillor Julian Bell’s remarks, which he made in a column for the Ealing Gazette, follow the deaths of two cyclists on the west London borough’s roads in recent weeks.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/safe-segregated-cyc...

He wrote: "What can we do to tackle these challenges? May I suggest the humble bicycle is the answer!

“What we need is a major shift away from car use for particularly short journeys and get more people cycling and walking.”

But the Labour politician maintained that safe infrastructure was needed to encourage people to begin travelling by bike.

"Having been an active cyclist for the last six years, I am convinced of the health and environmental benefits of cycling, but in my conversations with non-cyclists, the one thing that puts people off is their worries about safety,” he explained.

"The concerns have been amplified by the tragic deaths of two Ealing cyclists in the last month in accidents involving lorries."

Last week, 86-year-old retired teacher Darshan Singh was killed when he was struck by a lorry while pushing his bike along South Road in Southall.

In October, former Metropolitan Police officer Claudia Manera, aged 51, died in hospital following a collision in West Ealing also involving a lorry.

Vigils were held following the deaths of both cyclists calling for safer streets for vulnerable road users.

"How do we tackle these very real fears and create a safer environment for cycling?” asked Councillor Bell.

"The critical thing is to create segregated cycle lanes and give cyclists their own protected road space.”

The borough missed out on Mini Holland funding when Boris Johnson was Mayor of London, but Councillor Bell said that Ealing was “originally promised significant money for a major transformation of Ealing town centre for cycling.

"Sadly, the previous Mayor never came up with his promises.”

He outlined steps the council was taking to improve the safety of cyclists, saying that it “has put in £500,000 of its own money and received match funding from TfL to do one element of the original scheme and build the cycle lanes from Ealing town centre along the side of Ealing Common that are nearing completion.

"We have also just bid for £8 million of 'Liveable Neighbourhood' funding from TfL for West Ealing that will include improvements for both cyclists and pedestrians around the Lido junction, if we get the money.”

He added: "Segregated cycle lanes are the answer and I will do all in my power to deliver them for Ealing."

A planned Cycle Superhighway in west London will pass just to the south of the borough, with a Transport for London consultation for the first phase from Kensington Olympia to Brentford closing at the end of last month.

> Plans for new West London Cycle Superhighway unveiled - but there's a missing link through Kensington

A second consultation is due to be held next year for a subsequent extension to Hounslow via Syon Park and Isleworth.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

33 comments

Avatar
LastBoyScout [363 posts] 2 months ago
10 likes

Segregated cycles lanes are not the answer - being given the space and consideration that cyclists are legally entitled to is.

Avatar
fukawitribe [2088 posts] 2 months ago
10 likes
LastBoyScout wrote:

Segregated cycles lanes are not the answer - being given the space and consideration that cyclists are legally entitled to is.

..and while we're waiting for Utopia to arrive perhaps some decent segregated infrastructure may help more people out of their cars and onto their bikes ? We'd ideally have both but one of them can be directly under our control, now, and the other... not so much.

Avatar
Jem PT [152 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

Agree. Segregated cycle lanes are not The Answer. They can help in some circumstances/situations but can never replace education of drivers to drive better and be more considerate towards more vulnerable users. Introducing presumed liability (on drivers) in the event of an 'accident' would help a lot, be cheaper and quicker than education, but would still not on its own be The Answer. 

Avatar
HarrogateSpa [505 posts] 2 months ago
10 likes

Segregated cycle lanes in towns and cities are a large part of the answer, to encourage utility cycling - as successful European cycling nations demonstrate.

Avatar
davel [2055 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
fukawitribe wrote:
LastBoyScout wrote:

Segregated cycles lanes are not the answer - being given the space and consideration that cyclists are legally entitled to is.

..and while we're waiting for Utopia to arrive perhaps some decent segregated infrastructure may help more people out of their cars and onto their bikes ? We'd ideally have both but one of them can be directly under our control, now, and the other... not so much.

I agree that both should be the aim.

However, given the effort in political will and campaigning necessary to get decent infrastructure built, I wonder whether similar effort could result in something meaningful for respect on the roads.

Something like presumed liability.

Avatar
crazy-legs [951 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes
LastBoyScout wrote:

Segregated cycles lanes are not the answer - being given the space and consideration that cyclists are legally entitled to is.

But segregated cycle lanes (done properly) give you that space and consideration without having to rely on a fuckwitted driver who is driving, smoking, texting and arguing with the kids in the back to give you space and consideration.

I can't believe that on a cycling forum people are actually against this kind of stuff?!

Although I will reiterate my previous comment that segregated lanes must be done properly like the best CS ones in London or pretty much any Dutch / Danish cycle lane.

It's refreshing to see a councillor come up with this as well unlike the morons at Southwark Council who said they didn't want cycle lanes because of pollution. WTAF????!

Avatar
Bluebug [276 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
Jem PT wrote:

Agree. Segregated cycle lanes are not The Answer. They can help in some circumstances/situations but can never replace education of drivers to drive better and be more considerate towards more vulnerable users. Introducing presumed liability (on drivers) in the event of an 'accident' would help a lot, be cheaper and quicker than education, but would still not on its own be The Answer. 

Presumed liability will just mean more dashcams in cars. This will result in more cyclists ending up like the cyclist sued by the taxi company. 

Avatar
davel [2055 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes
Bluebug wrote:
Jem PT wrote:

Agree. Segregated cycle lanes are not The Answer. They can help in some circumstances/situations but can never replace education of drivers to drive better and be more considerate towards more vulnerable users. Introducing presumed liability (on drivers) in the event of an 'accident' would help a lot, be cheaper and quicker than education, but would still not on its own be The Answer. 

Presumed liability will just mean more dashcams in cars. This will result in more cyclists ending up like the cyclist sued by the taxi company. 

Like it does in every other country in Europe?

Except of course Cyprus, Malta, Ireland and Romania - exalted company indeed.

Avatar
Bluebug [276 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
crazy-legs wrote:
LastBoyScout wrote:

Segregated cycles lanes are not the answer - being given the space and consideration that cyclists are legally entitled to is.

But segregated cycle lanes (done properly) give you that space and consideration without having to rely on a fuckwitted driver who is driving, smoking, texting and arguing with the kids in the back to give you space and consideration.

I can't believe that on a cycling forum people are actually against this kind of stuff?!

Although I will reiterate my previous comment that segregated lanes must be done properly like the best CS ones in London or pretty much any Dutch / Danish cycle lane.

The problem is if you are fit and healthy adult you have the ability to  cycle in traffic so you don't see the need have segregated cycle lanes. However if you are a child under 12,  have limited mobility or are an older slower adult then to get you cycling on your own these lanes are needed.  

One of the problems in the UK is where separate direct cycling infrastructure would be helpful there is none as it is seems it is too difficult to put direct cycle lanes on roundabouts, at junctions and cutting across one way systems.

Avatar
Bluebug [276 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
davel wrote:
Bluebug wrote:
Jem PT wrote:

Agree. Segregated cycle lanes are not The Answer. They can help in some circumstances/situations but can never replace education of drivers to drive better and be more considerate towards more vulnerable users. Introducing presumed liability (on drivers) in the event of an 'accident' would help a lot, be cheaper and quicker than education, but would still not on its own be The Answer. 

Presumed liability will just mean more dashcams in cars. This will result in more cyclists ending up like the cyclist sued by the taxi company. 

Like it does in every other country in Europe? Except of course Cyprus, Malta, Ireland and Romania - exalted company indeed.

I was actually thinking of Russia where drivers have dashcams to protect themselves primarily from other drivers but also from pedestrians who want a pay off.  

Insurers are businesses so if they have a chance of getting dashcam footage to sue a cyclist to recover their costs they will.

 

Avatar
davel [2055 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
Bluebug wrote:
crazy-legs wrote:
LastBoyScout wrote:

Segregated cycles lanes are not the answer - being given the space and consideration that cyclists are legally entitled to is.

But segregated cycle lanes (done properly) give you that space and consideration without having to rely on a fuckwitted driver who is driving, smoking, texting and arguing with the kids in the back to give you space and consideration.

I can't believe that on a cycling forum people are actually against this kind of stuff?!

Although I will reiterate my previous comment that segregated lanes must be done properly like the best CS ones in London or pretty much any Dutch / Danish cycle lane.

The problem is if you are fit and healthy adult you have the ability to  cycle in traffic so you don't see the need have segregated cycle lanes. However if you are a child under 12,  have limited mobility or are an older slower adult then to get you cycling on your own these lanes are needed.  

One of the problems in the UK is where separate direct cycling infrastructure would be helpful there is none as it is seems it is too difficult to put direct cycle lanes on roundabouts, at junctions and cutting across one way systems.

Or, worse, we get millions spent on lousy and dangerous white paint, which ticks a local authority box and infuriates drivers when you ignore it for your own safety.

Avatar
kevvjj [310 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes

In cities with a decent population density we do need segregated cycle infrastructure. Copenhagen. Amsterdam. It works. EVERYWHERE that segregated infrasructure has been installed has seen a massive increase in the numebr of commuter/short trip/shopping cyclists. This means fewer cars on the road at the same time with the commensurate saving of not having to build more road (car) infastructure - which we all know is a waste of money.

Avatar
kevvjj [310 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
Bluebug wrote:
Jem PT wrote:

Agree. Segregated cycle lanes are not The Answer. They can help in some circumstances/situations but can never replace education of drivers to drive better and be more considerate towards more vulnerable users. Introducing presumed liability (on drivers) in the event of an 'accident' would help a lot, be cheaper and quicker than education, but would still not on its own be The Answer. 

Presumed liability will just mean more dashcams in cars. This will result in more cyclists ending up like the cyclist sued by the taxi company. 

As it should be if the cyclist is at fault - the whole point of presumed liability. The cyclist sued by the taxi company was at fault (his words) therefore he needs to pay damages.

Avatar
Rich_cb [530 posts] 2 months ago
7 likes

The problem with calling for better driving standards is that bad driving behaviour is so ingrained in our society that it will take decades to eradicate.

Driverless cars will be with us long before any meaningful change in driver behaviour can be achieved. Better to concentrate on long lasting infrastructure than, soon to be obsolete, driver education.

Segregated infrastructure encourages novice cyclists to cycle more and will do more to encourage a modal shift than any amount of driver education or enforcement.

Avatar
davel [2055 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

Driverless cars will be with us long before any meaningful change in driver behaviour can be achieved.

They really won't.

Will we have cars made by several companies capable of navigating themselves perfectly autonomously? Of course - very soon.

But them becoming a reality on the roads is way off.

For that to happen, cars have to talk to each other, so we need agreed standards and platforms. That means the likes of VAG, Ford, Mercedes, Toyota, Tata, Nissan, BMW, Porsche, GM, Google, Apple, Dyson, Facebook, Tesla etc etc are yet to fight the Mother of all Standards Wars. It'll make Betamax vs VHS look quick and easy.

And then there's letting them loose on the streets. Do you blend them in with humans? You can't - either they're programmed to defer to humans or unpredictability, and then human drivers, cyclists and peds will just take the piss and cut them up, or they can only interact with each other and will need entirely separate infrastructure (so they take over the roads).

And what the carmakers will want as standard behaviour/infrastructure, they'll want replicated across all markets. That means that what goes in the US will have to go in Germany will have to go in China...

Technologically, it's a piece of piss.

Politically, decades away.

Avatar
Rich_cb [530 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
davel wrote:

They really won't.

Will we have cars made by several companies capable of navigating themselves perfectly autonomously? Of course - very soon.

But them becoming a reality on the roads is way off.

For that to happen, cars have to talk to each other, so we need agreed standards and platforms. That means the likes of VAG, Ford, Mercedes, Toyota, Tata, Nissan, BMW, Porsche, GM, Google, Apple, Dyson, Facebook, Tesla etc etc are yet to fight the Mother of all Standards Wars. It'll make Betamax vs VHS look quick and easy.

And then there's letting them loose on the streets. Do you blend them in with humans? You can't - either they're programmed to defer to humans or unpredictability, and then human drivers, cyclists and peds will just take the piss and cut them up, or they can only interact with each other and will need entirely separate infrastructure (so they take over the roads).

And what the carmakers will want as standard behaviour/infrastructure, they'll want replicated across all markets. That means that what goes in the US will have to go in Germany will have to go in China...

Technologically, it's a piece of piss.

Politically, decades away.

You're completely wrong.

They're already driving on public roads.

https://youtu.be/aaOB-ErYq6Y

The economic benefits of self driving technology are so huge that they will be commonplace far far sooner than you think.

Avatar
darrenleroy [253 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

Don't believe a word of it. We have seen three deaths on or around the Uxbridge Road in the last year, two of them in the last month. 

We have set up a Facebook group called Justice for Ealing Cyclists & Pedestrians to demand action from Bell and his colleagues. We have asked for a sit down to discuss ways to make cycling in Ealing safer; simple things like not allowing cars to park in cycle lanes, introducing 20mph across the borough, checking cars for illegal use, designing junctions with ASLs, you know, common sense kinds of stuff. 

All we get from Bell is talk. He even had the gall to turn up to dead cyclist Claudia Manera's vigil and tell us what a great job his council are doing. We shouted him down. 

We want action. We're sick of people dying. No more words. No more excuses.

 

 

Avatar
davel [2055 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:
davel wrote:

They really won't.

Will we have cars made by several companies capable of navigating themselves perfectly autonomously? Of course - very soon.

But them becoming a reality on the roads is way off.

For that to happen, cars have to talk to each other, so we need agreed standards and platforms. That means the likes of VAG, Ford, Mercedes, Toyota, Tata, Nissan, BMW, Porsche, GM, Google, Apple, Dyson, Facebook, Tesla etc etc are yet to fight the Mother of all Standards Wars. It'll make Betamax vs VHS look quick and easy.

And then there's letting them loose on the streets. Do you blend them in with humans? You can't - either they're programmed to defer to humans or unpredictability, and then human drivers, cyclists and peds will just take the piss and cut them up, or they can only interact with each other and will need entirely separate infrastructure (so they take over the roads).

And what the carmakers will want as standard behaviour/infrastructure, they'll want replicated across all markets. That means that what goes in the US will have to go in Germany will have to go in China...

Technologically, it's a piece of piss.

Politically, decades away.

You're completely wrong.

They're already driving on public roads.

https://youtu.be/aaOB-ErYq6Y

The economic benefits of self driving technology are so huge that they will be commonplace far far sooner than you think.

The odd one, probably with a driver ready to step in, absolutely. But that video didn't look like London during a rainy winter evening, did it? And it definitely wasn't Mumbai during a religious holiday. What works in Silicon Valley in a quiet afternoon is not typical of what's needed across swathes of the world that will define the market. It didn't have to negotiate a deliveroo rider or tuktuk or ped listening to music while reading Facebook.

But that wasn't your original point anyway - your implication was critical mass, that driverless cars will step in and make the debates about human driver behaviour moot. That's decades away.

Honestly, this isn't pessimism or alarmism - just realism based on an understanding on the different levels of automation. We're currently at around level 1: we need to be 4 or 5 (what seems to be the waymo car. I'm skeptical about that, but as I said it isn't the technology that will be the main problem) or driverless cars to be a reality, and the implementation is even more difficult.

It takes a decade to get a few miles of decent bike infrastructure in London or a new bit of railway track laid. Let's revisit this thread in 30 years.

Avatar
Rich_cb [530 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
davel wrote:

The odd one, probably with a driver ready to step in, absolutely. But that video didn't look like London during a rainy winter evening, did it? And it definitely wasn't Mumbai during a religious holiday. What works in Silicon Valley in a quiet afternoon is not typical of what's needed across swathes of the world that will define the market. It didn't have to negotiate a deliveroo rider or tuktuk or ped listening to music while reading Facebook.

But that wasn't your original point anyway - your implication was critical mass, that driverless cars will step in and make the debates about human driver behaviour moot. That's decades away.

Honestly, this isn't pessimism or alarmism - just realism based on an understanding on the different levels of automation. We're currently at around level 1: we need to be 4 or 5 (what seems to be the waymo car. I'm skeptical about that, but as I said it isn't the technology that will be the main problem) or driverless cars to be a reality, and the implementation is even more difficult.

It takes a decade to get a few miles of decent bike infrastructure in London or a new bit of railway track laid. Let's revisit this thread in 30 years.

The cars in the video don't need a backup driver.

Right now there are fully driverless cars carrying passengers on public roads.

They are therefore, by definition, level 5.
They do not require any special infrastructure.

The company featured in the video was created in 2009.

If you think it's going to take decades to get from that video to cars in all cities I think you fail to understand the speed of progress in the field.

My point was that changing driver behaviour will take multiple decades. Driverless cars will be commonplace, if not ubiquitous, within 1 decade.

Avatar
davel [2055 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

My point was that changing driver behaviour will take multiple decades. Driverless cars will be commonplace, if not ubiquitous, within 1 decade.

So the technology's there to scoot round California streets in the afternoon. Slightly different AI level need from that to drive across London at 5.15 on a Thursday, no?

I doubt it will reacht that AI level for a longtime - but as you say, I could be massively underestimating it. Fundamentally, that isn't what I think the delay will be down to. The implementation... think it through. Do you just think the volumes of driverless cars will increase as people replace their current vehicle?

Avatar
Rich_cb [530 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
davel wrote:

So the technology's there to scoot round California streets in the afternoon. Slightly different AI level need from that to drive across London at 5.15 on a Thursday, no?

I doubt it will reacht that AI level for a longtime - but as you say, I could be massively underestimating it. Fundamentally, that isn't what I think the delay will be down to. The implementation... think it through. Do you just think the volumes of driverless cars will increase as people replace their current vehicle?

Not a huge difference no.

We've gone from zero to fully autonomous cars on public roads in 8 years.

Do you really think it will take another 30 years to cope with busy city traffic?

I think private car ownership will collapse as driverless cars become more common, owning a private car in a city will become incredibly rare.

Each driverless car will replace at least 5 private cars.

Avatar
davel [2055 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

We've gone from zero to fully autonomous cars on public roads in 8 years. Do you really think it will take another 30 years to cope with busy city traffic?

I think if 8 years is zero to driverless in Caluifornia on a Sunday afternoon, then yes - to continue that trajectory to cope with London, Mumbai, Beijing, Sao Paulo... probably another 30 years.

But I keep saying, that's the easy bit. I don't think that's the route it will go, because I think it will be next to impossible. As soon as a driverless car hits a pedestrian (and they will, if they're implemented in that manner) there will be backlash by media and poltiicians and people just not ready for it.

The alternative is to go 'big bang' and move all the roads over to an agreed platform whereby all cars communicate with each other so they all know where the others are. That requires less AI, but standards that, again, won't be agreed in 30 years.

Then there's the updating of regulation to cover responsibility and what 'driverless' actually means. The manufacturers will want something fairly standard (as it is, largely, with current driving laws) for them to be able to launch everywhere and be economically viable. So, Europe, the US and China has to see these cars in the same manner and pass similar regulation.

Decades.

Avatar
Rich_cb [530 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
davel wrote:

I think if 8 years is zero to driverless in Caluifornia on a Sunday afternoon, then yes - to continue that trajectory to cope with London, Mumbai, Beijing, Sao Paulo... probably another 30 years.

But I keep saying, that's the easy bit. I don't think that's the route it will go, because I think it will be next to impossible. As soon as a driverless car hits a pedestrian (and they will, if they're implemented in that manner) there will be backlash by media and poltiicians and people just not ready for it.

The alternative is to go 'big bang' and move all the roads over to an agreed platform whereby all cars communicate with each other so they all know where the others are. That requires less AI, but standards that, again, won't be agreed in 30 years.

Then there's the updating of regulation to cover responsibility and what 'driverless' actually means. The manufacturers will want something fairly standard (as it is, largely, with current driving laws) for them to be able to launch everywhere and be economically viable. So, Europe, the US and China has to see these cars in the same manner and pass similar regulation.

Decades.

Well we'll have to wait and see.

I think 80-90% ofthe work is already done for major city driving in developed countries.

Driverless cars will be massively safer than normal cars so whilst any fatality will garner significant media attention it won't halt the change.

The ridiculous sums of money to be made by both companies and countries will ensure legislation is implemented swiftly.

Avatar
Christopher TR1 [162 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
HarrogateSpa wrote:

Segregated cycle lanes in towns and cities are a large part of the answer, to encourage utility cycling - as successful European cycling nations demonstrate.

Not the answer. Segregated cycle lanes are only going to give numpty car drivers another excuse to drive badly/agressively if you are not using them.

Is Germany a successful European cycling nation? I hope not because it really doesn't feel like it when you are often required by law to use really crappy bits of pavement or potholed gravel track because it has been designated "cycling infrastructure". Or when a reasonable stretch of cycle path abruptly ends or continues on the opposite side of a busy road.

Cycling infrastructure is just a ploy by the pro-car lobby to get us cyclists off the road (I admit I could be a teeny-weeny bit paranoid!):

Avatar
jasecd [503 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:
davel wrote:

I think if 8 years is zero to driverless in Caluifornia on a Sunday afternoon, then yes - to continue that trajectory to cope with London, Mumbai, Beijing, Sao Paulo... probably another 30 years.

But I keep saying, that's the easy bit. I don't think that's the route it will go, because I think it will be next to impossible. As soon as a driverless car hits a pedestrian (and they will, if they're implemented in that manner) there will be backlash by media and poltiicians and people just not ready for it.

The alternative is to go 'big bang' and move all the roads over to an agreed platform whereby all cars communicate with each other so they all know where the others are. That requires less AI, but standards that, again, won't be agreed in 30 years.

Then there's the updating of regulation to cover responsibility and what 'driverless' actually means. The manufacturers will want something fairly standard (as it is, largely, with current driving laws) for them to be able to launch everywhere and be economically viable. So, Europe, the US and China has to see these cars in the same manner and pass similar regulation.

Decades.

Well we'll have to wait and see. I think 80-90% ofthe work is already done for major city driving in developed countries. Driverless cars will be massively safer than normal cars so whilst any fatality will garner significant media attention it won't halt the change. The ridiculous sums of money to be made by both companies and countries will ensure legislation is implemented swiftly.

 

I spent a couple of days working with a company called UK Autodrive last week - they're currently testing self driving Range Rovers and Tatas on the streets of Coventry. They're not driving on quiet backstreets but a circuit of busy roads around the university, which have lots of pedestrians and junctions with no priority, which the cars navigate impressively well. I chatted to a number of the engineers involved and the consensus opinion was that this technology will be availble with five years and commonplace within ten.

Avatar
andyp [1549 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

oh, is it 'Jeapordy'?  Can I play?

 

'What is a really, really fucking stupid idea?'.

 

I win. Better luck next time, Ealing Council chap.

 

Avatar
Yorkshie Whippet [626 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

I guess most of those clammering for segregated lanes do the vast majority of their riding in built up areas that probably would benefit. However away from these areas what are cyclist supposed to do when drivers are conditioned not to look for cyclist, see them as a hazard and slow down for.

I hate the glass strune, gravel and debris filled car parks that Leeds Council have created.

I hate having to give way at every side street, bus stop or anything that would cause a cyclist to get in the way of motor vehicles.

I hate the way that every ride now, I'm being told to go ride on the cycle path by drivers who have slowed down to spout abuse, whilst miles away from one or travelling at 20mph plus.

I hate the way you are forced to fight for space with parked cars, bus stops and pedestrians with/out pushchairs, dogs...

I hate the way I can no longer ride on the clean, smooth tarmac but forced to avoid  drain covers and potholes, bits of cars, broken headlights and  bus shelters, bottles etc because there is some paint on the road. The same paint which is totally ignored by the same drivers at traffic lights.

I hate the way I'm sudden spat out onto the road in front of a vehicle that is not expecting me to be in their way.

I hate the noise of cyclists after ignoring a red light, makes riding into the side of my car whilst I'm turning left on my green light. As they think they always have right of way or are solely focussed on riding to/from work as quickly as possible.

I hate the way the same cyclist rant and rave at me about getting rid of my car and get a bike.

I do however like the looks on their faces when I show them the £2.5K-£5k bike I was transporting in the boot at the time, even more so when I compare it to the £500 jobby they are on.

I pay council tax, that goes towards the upkeep of urban roads. I also pay VED that goes to pay for the highways. I also pay VAT and income tax.........

WHY CAN I NO LONGER USE WHAT I CONTRIBUTE TO? 

Is it progress that as a cyclist I can longer use roads that I did 5yrs as they have effectively become no go areas because there is a piece of the above hazardous tarmac to my left?

Can someone please explain why Article Two of the Human Right Convention no longer applies unless I am dressed up like a demented clown having sex with Blackpool illumintations?

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [1149 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

If segregation is the answer to all our problems how come the Dutch with their wonderful infra still manage to have circa 180 deaths annually? I get that they cycle a heck of a lot more miles but if the vast majority of that is on protected/segregated infra with specific light phases for people on bikes and the pro cycling thinking from governemnt etc how on earth do they get so many deaths?

the answer is (in part) that those in cars are still not as good as people think they are, there are still many motorvehicle/cyclist interactions that are crossing points and people on bikes being on roads that simply do not have infra, so the point about driver education and restriction of motorists from areas where you are going to get (hopefully going to get) lots of cycling is massively important.

In this country driver education is working better than cycling infra IMHO, that's not to say that if proper infra can be put in that shouldn't be done but even in London where a shit ton of money has being spent they still don't have the infra that would encourage a 5 year old to cycle confidently along with a parent in all but a few miles.

To think that infra as per the Dutch will happen in the next 20 years or even 40 years is utterly bonkers, it's a complete pipedream, it simply will not happen. it didn't happen in the 20s/30s when roads were being laid except for some parts of london and it was bloody awful so the cyclists of the day didn't want to use it and it was sparse and only in one big city (ring any bells).

If we focus on restricting motorvehicle use in towns and cities, completely take back whole lengths of the highway as well as enforcing the law plus the most important bit of all driver education we can change things.

We need to remove parking on through roads except for the odd spot for diabled, we need to give people on bikes priority most of the time, we need to introduce presumed liability, we need kids to get onto bikes when they are very young and not punish them for not wearing body armour or castigate them/blame them for getting hurt when it was the fault of the adult for not doing what they should do and take account for the vulnerable (you know, like every man and his dog expected of Charlie alliston), we need to make it so that every driver sees a person on a bike as a human being on a bike not as a cyclist and take precaution to ensure they are as safe as you can allow it to be taking into account mistakes made.

changing things so that it is difficult to get anywhere in a town/built up area by motorvehicle should be part of the change so that people are forced in some ways to choose alternative methods and the more that happens the more people will choose a bike, the more people choosing a bike the better drivers they are when they do drive. Getting this cycle going (pardon the pun) needs to happen from the age of 3 upwards, not wait until folk are already in cars and trying to frag them out.

Infra can help but changing the mindset of society as a whole and that of drivers works far quicker and indeed more effectively IMHO.

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... [1938 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

If segregation is the answer to all our problems how come the Dutch with their wonderful infra still manage to have circa 180 deaths annually? I get that they cycle a heck of a lot more miles but if the vast majority of that is on protected/segregated infra with specific light phases for people on bikes and the pro cycling thinking from governemnt etc how on earth do they get so many deaths?

They cycle a _lot_ more miles.  And, furthermore, the demographic of cyclists is very different.  Some of those deaths are of older people who could just as easily have died from a fall while walking (I think some are even heart-attacks that occur while on a bike).

Besides, I'm quite ready to agree that even the Dutch don't go far enough - they still have a fair bit of bad infrastructure, and personally I'd tax motoring far more and introduce more road tolls for motor vehicles, as well as creating still more dedicated cycle infrastructure but starting from where we are one has to at least be somewhat realistic.  If we were starting from where the Dutch are it might be plausible to be more ambitious.

 

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

the answer is (in part) that those in cars are still not as good as people think they are, there are still many motorvehicle/cyclist interactions that are crossing points and people on bikes being on roads that simply do not have infra, so the point about driver education and restriction of motorists from areas where you are going to get (hopefully going to get) lots of cycling is massively important.

Personally I think far too much faith is put in 'education' as a cure for all ills.  I don't see much evidence that it works (for example, some I know think it will solve all problems of social mobility or lack of jobs - as if!).  I reckon this is because those proposing it as a solution are people who themselves have a lot of education and tend to overvalue it.

And rigorous legal enforcement is a fine idea in principle, but it's very, very expensive and realistically is never going to happen - socieity won't pay for that many police officers permanently monitoring the roads.

Restriction of motorists from certain areas is precisely what segregated infrastructure is all about, surely?

 

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

In this country driver education is working better than cycling infra IMHO

Not sure where you get that from.  IMHO it isn't working at all.

 

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

To think that infra as per the Dutch will happen in the next 20 years or even 40 years is utterly bonkers, it's a complete pipedream, it simply will not happen. it didn't happen in the 20s/30s when roads were being laid except for some parts of london and it was bloody awful so the cyclists of the day didn't want to use it and it was sparse and only in one big city (ring any bells).

 

To think that education is going to solve the problem is what is truly bonkers and a pipe-dream though.

 

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

If we focus on restricting motorvehicle use in towns and cities, completely take back whole lengths of the highway as well as enforcing the law plus the most important bit of all driver education we can change things.

 

But that _is_ segregation, so I'm not sure what you are arguing about.  Except for 'driver education' which is mostly a waste of time.  And the only affordable way to enforce the law is to change the physical environment to make it physically difficult to break the law (i.e. infrastructure).  Doing it with cops on the street is a pipe-dream.

The only form of 'education' that will really help is that of drivers getting used to cyclists around them and getting used to cycling themselves.  And the best way to achieve that is by building more infrastructure so more people decide to cycle.

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... [1938 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:
davel wrote:

So the technology's there to scoot round California streets in the afternoon. Slightly different AI level need from that to drive across London at 5.15 on a Thursday, no?

I doubt it will reacht that AI level for a longtime - but as you say, I could be massively underestimating it. Fundamentally, that isn't what I think the delay will be down to. The implementation... think it through. Do you just think the volumes of driverless cars will increase as people replace their current vehicle?

Not a huge difference no. We've gone from zero to fully autonomous cars on public roads in 8 years. Do you really think it will take another 30 years to cope with busy city traffic? I think private car ownership will collapse as driverless cars become more common, owning a private car in a city will become incredibly rare. Each driverless car will replace at least 5 private cars.

 

But all of what you say here seems very unlikely to me.  So far autonomous cars have gone from zero to negligable.  They don't seem remotely ready for mainstream use.  Personally I think they are overhyped techno-evangelism, and if they ever do break through it will probably be for the worse anyway.

Pages