Broadcaster Jon Snow blogs about Boris's brush with death

CTC President also calls for better cycling facilties and a ban on cars in major city centres

by Rebecca McIlhone   May 28, 2009  

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Boris Johnson’s brush with death during a recce to find suitable roads for separated cycle lanes in London forms the peg for cycling journalist Jon Snow's latest blog.

As reported by road.cc the London mayor was with a group of cycling researchers when a passing lorry's rear door sprung open catching and dragging a parked car up the street very close to the group. The incident was caught on CCTV and can be seen in full below.

 

"I am, like Boris, a jobbing cyclist," says the Channel 4 News anchor known for his colourful ties and socks, but also for his love of cycling. "I use the machine every working day of my life – to, from, and at work," he says, "Several times a week something happens that perhaps a second or two later, or a metre or so closer, might have killed me."

Interestingly, Snow makes this statement as a measure of how things have become safer for cyclists on London's roads - twice weekly brushes with death an improvement on daily brushes with death in the past.

He says: "I was at a launch for MPs of CTC’s Safety in Numbers campaign in the House of Commons the other day. They produced statistics which show that cycling in London since 2000 has increased by 91 per cent and that fatalities have fallen by 33 per cent.

"But facilities are still awful. Separated cycle lanes are rare and parking hoops, whilst more prevalent, are completely absent from Whitehall. I retain my Commons pass more for parking my bike than for attending any debate."

He ends his blog by suggesting a ban of all private cars from the centres of our major cities.

"There are absolutely no votes to be lost by doing so," he says. "It was Ken Livingstone, in introducing the congestion charge, who discovered that fewer than 15 per cent of people living in inner London ever bring their cars into central London.

"In 10 years’ time we shall look back and wonder how we ever let them in in the first place as we breeze along our car-less boulevards on electric public transport, on streets configured to give bus, bike and walking human all the space they presently dream of."

Photograph: Copyright CTC