Cycle campaigner proposes 'London Drive to Work Day'

Ditch the bike and make a point

by Sarah Barth   September 16, 2012  

red traffic light.jpg

Worried by the war on the motorist?

P*ssed off by the price of petrol?

Annoyed by the arrogance of cyclists and bus users?

These questions David Dansky poses to you, and if the answer is 'yes', you'll probably want to look away now, actually.

We're actually quite curious to see whether this grows legs. Dansky, Head of Training and Development at Cycle Training UK, has set up a Facebook group proposing a 'Drive to Work Day' in London on December 11th.

He says:

Leave your bike at home, your oyster card in the drawer, your walking shoes in the cupboard and join thousands of others on Tuesday 11th December for London's own Drive to Work Day.

Experience the rush, the freedom of London streets empty of pesky cyclers and walkers. Laugh as you wizz by the empty buses and tubes!

(If you don't have a car then get a taxi to work)

You don't live in London? Start a Drive to work day in your town.

91 people have signed up so far; probably not enough to make an impact given that according to TfL, 23.8 million trips are made in, to or from London on an average day, and in 2007, 38 per cent of those were by private motorised transport.

And in 2007, only 2 per cent of London's journeys were made by bike (although that's probably higher post-Boris bike).

The logistics of London's cycle community all driving to work are numerous and complex, though. Beth Anderson took to the page's wall to ask: "Is it ok to still wear lycra if you drive to work? Asking for a friend."

Predictably, some readers have taken it all a little seriously. One commented: "Hope you and your kids don't get bad asthma attacks or other related illnesses thanks to your lovely extra pollution."

And there might be some surprising converts to the idea; the president of the AA, Edmund King, tweeted: "Interesting... London Drive to Work Day 11th December. Will cost £10 Congestion Charge, £45 parking, £12 petrol".

 

36 user comments

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@JohnS

You'd be faster than those in their cars if you did.

posted by Henz [40 posts]
16th September 2012 - 18:14

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I have fully loved this idea since it began to be banded about on cycle forums about 6-8 years ago. There are an estimated 13 million regular UK cyclists (eg ride more than twice a week, many commute too) so it would be interesting to see the effect.

Perhaps cyclists could identify themselves with a bumper sticker "My other car is actually a bike" or some such?

Even if you dont drive the extra strain on public transport would surely show the benefit of cycling upon modern society.

downfader's picture

posted by downfader [199 posts]
16th September 2012 - 20:04

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Put simply you couldn't pay me enough Wink
I used to have to drive in London as part of my job as a computer engineer and despised it. It once took me over an hour to get from Oxford Circus to Trafalgar Square because of "badly phasing traffic lights" at Haymarket....In the same time on my bike I could cover at least 15 miles I reckon!

If it does go ahead great, I imagine it'll be similar scenes to when the tube strike was on, MASSIVE queues! The only difference there was some people did the sensible thing and swapped 4 wheels for 2 Smile

posted by bassjunkieuk [31 posts]
16th September 2012 - 20:16

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Good idea - though I commute out of London and not into it these days. I remember taking 1 1/2 hours once to do a 10 mile trip I could do across London on my bike in 40 minutes. More cars will jam the roads solid, not my idea of fun.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2172 posts]
16th September 2012 - 20:59

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Love it! I'll hire a limo.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
16th September 2012 - 21:01

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Drive to work day or may become Critical Gas Day!

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [156 posts]
16th September 2012 - 22:27

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Hurrah! Another London based story....

I love hearing all about some place where I'm actually not. Do keep it up.

posted by crikey [106 posts]
16th September 2012 - 22:51

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crikey wrote:
Hurrah! Another London based story....

I love hearing all about some place where I'm actually not. Do keep it up.

London's the capital city. a lot of stuff happens there. we could just not report it based on the fact that you don't live there, but that'd just make a bunch of other people cross. it's a balancing act. Thinking

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7312 posts]
16th September 2012 - 22:59

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give every cyclist a little flag with a bike on it to stick on their car on critical gas day. that way everyone will be able to see the extra traffic...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7312 posts]
16th September 2012 - 23:01

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Since when have bus users been arrogant?

djcritchley's picture

posted by djcritchley [146 posts]
17th September 2012 - 7:39

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crikey wrote:
Hurrah! Another London based story....

I love hearing all about some place where I'm actually not. Do keep it up.


+ 1

posted by fred22 [207 posts]
17th September 2012 - 8:24

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fred22 wrote:
crikey wrote:
Hurrah! Another London based story....

I love hearing all about some place where I'm actually not. Do keep it up.


+ 1

because we *never* write anything about the manchester area, do we?

http://road.cc/newspage/manchester

Thinking

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7312 posts]
17th September 2012 - 9:07

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Ah but Dave - what do you write about my small village outside Huddersfield?

Nowt, I'll bet.

Wink

posted by Chris James [182 posts]
17th September 2012 - 9:27

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Actually, thinking about it, I like reading articles about commuting in London as it makes me feel glad that I don't live there!

posted by Chris James [182 posts]
17th September 2012 - 9:29

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Hurrah! Another London based story. I like reading articles about where I am. It's good to know that a cycling website covers stories concerning the capital and the many cyclists who live here.

posted by Coleman [329 posts]
17th September 2012 - 10:05

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Is this page going for the world record for Most Usages of "Actually" on a Web Page?

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [371 posts]
17th September 2012 - 10:05

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djcritchley wrote:
Since when have bus users been arrogant?

Arrogant, no, but on the rare occasions I take one into Oxford I'll allow myself a sly smirk as I sit on the top deck and watch the traffic queueing up ahead of the roundabout on the ring road while we zoom up the bus lane Wink

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [8009 posts]
17th September 2012 - 10:21

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Bez wrote:
Is this page going for the world record for Most Usages of "Actually" on a Web Page?

maybe. let's hope the current record is one, then we're in with a shout

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7312 posts]
17th September 2012 - 11:04

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Is it me or did someone just remove one of the three "actuallys" in the first two sentences of the article? Smile

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [371 posts]
17th September 2012 - 12:32

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A good idea, if done on a decent scale would gridlock the capital.

London's traffic is already balanced on a knife edge. A while ago I cycled home from the City to Brixton past stationary traffic the whole way. I though there had been an accident. But talking to a friend who works for TfL Surface Transport, they hadn't been able to switch the traffic lights from the afternoon setting to evening rush hour. This alone caused most of inner London to be gridlocked.

posted by thereverent [298 posts]
17th September 2012 - 12:44

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Actually, I live in London but I'm moving out in the near future so I'm not actually sure whether to support this or not. Thinking

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
17th September 2012 - 14:31

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I live and commute in Northern Ireland - search for articles about that - I'll wait.. still waiting...

Anyway after a brief overnight to the capital last month for the first time in 30 years I was excited to see how many people commute, people on all sorts of bikes incl Boris's - and so do want to hear about things in London and other places. The same principles filter down to most of us in some way or another eventually - we just have less incidents regarding cyclists here thank God.

So keep up the good work and interesting articles.

Ps, got the coach from central london to gatwick at rush hour - despite downhill mountain biking for years I still wouldn't have the nerve to commute on my bike, it was frightening Surprise - you have my every respect - safe journeys to you all

posted by bfslxo [118 posts]
17th September 2012 - 14:37

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dave_atkinson wrote:
fred22 wrote:
crikey wrote:
Hurrah! Another London based story....

I love hearing all about some place where I'm actually not. Do keep it up.


+ 1

because we *never* write anything about the manchester area, do we?

http://road.cc/newspage/manchester

Thinking


as UK 's second city? Proportionally, compared to your London coverage? No, not enough
http://road.cc/newspage/london

posted by fred22 [207 posts]
17th September 2012 - 16:30

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Like it or not, the presence of the media, and the rate at which cycling is increasing makes London important for the rest of us. It drives perceptions outside the capital, as well as informing much of the stuff that ends up as national policy. If London can't get cycling right, sadly the rest of us have sod all chance.

I ride mostly in Crewe/Manchester, but I think events in London are important to the rest of us.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [418 posts]
18th September 2012 - 9:37

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I'd join in the drive to work day, or as others have called it (and it sounds better) critical gas day. If people were to really get behind this idea and have a badge/flag to show others what their doing it would bring it in to context for a lot of drivers that could cycle. Now all I need is 1, a car 2, someone to teach me how to drive 3, someone to pay for it

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [583 posts]
18th September 2012 - 12:43

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fred22 wrote:
dave_atkinson wrote:
fred22 wrote:
crikey wrote:
Hurrah! Another London based story....

I love hearing all about some place where I'm actually not. Do keep it up.


+ 1

because we *never* write anything about the manchester area, do we?

http://road.cc/newspage/manchester

Thinking


as UK 's second city? Proportionally, compared to your London coverage? No, not enough
http://road.cc/newspage/london

Why bring Birmingham into this?

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
18th September 2012 - 18:39

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dave_atkinson wrote:
crikey wrote:
Hurrah! Another London based story....

I love hearing all about some place where I'm actually not. Do keep it up.

London's the capital city. a lot of stuff happens there. we could just not report it based on the fact that you don't live there, but that'd just make a bunch of other people cross. it's a balancing act. Thinking

Surely London's A capital city in the UK as opposed to THE capital city ....

posted by tombarr [17 posts]
19th September 2012 - 21:20

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could we make it a week please?

posted by wyadvd [117 posts]
19th September 2012 - 21:28

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JohnS wrote:
What if you don't have (or want) access to a car, like a sizeable minority of Londoners? Walk down the roads?

book now with Addison Lee to beat the rush

posted by hirsthirst [16 posts]
19th September 2012 - 22:05

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I love this idea. Absolutely brilliant. I hope it works there, and I am going to try and bring it to my city too!

I'm riding the 2013 Giro d'Italia for charity! Check it out and follow my progress live at www.tourletour.com

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posted by Tour Le Tour [91 posts]
19th September 2012 - 22:40

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