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Ditch the bike and make a point

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".

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

36 comments

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 3 years ago
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If everyone was to take up this idea, It would show the everyday driver that cyclist and other forms of transport as essential as the traffic will just be at a stand still and it will add so much longer to people's journeys to work

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shrinkinbggaz [100 posts] 3 years ago
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great idea

chaos will ensue  16

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lokikontroll [51 posts] 3 years ago
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Wonderful idea!

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 3 years ago
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Simple ideas are the best. Sounds like genius to make the point that perhaps its good to have other forms of transport on the road.

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JohnS [198 posts] 3 years ago
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What if you don't have (or want) access to a car, like a sizeable minority of Londoners? Walk down the roads?

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Simon E [2539 posts] 3 years ago
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shrinkinbggaz wrote:

great idea

chaos will ensue  16

or perhaps  19

Judging by stories and helmetcam footage people post, I get the impression that in some urban routes it wouldn't take much more than a few extra vehicles at each junction or confluence to see the tailbacks get even worse.

Was good to see you on the telly Gary, hope all is well.

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Henz [50 posts] 3 years ago
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@JohnS

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

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downfader [203 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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bassjunkieuk [32 posts] 3 years ago
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Put simply you couldn't pay me enough  3
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  1

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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Love it! I'll hire a limo.

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lushmiester [170 posts] 3 years ago
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Drive to work day or may become Critical Gas Day!

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crikey [1252 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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dave atkinson [6139 posts] 3 years ago
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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.  39

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dave atkinson [6139 posts] 3 years ago
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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...

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djcritchley [181 posts] 3 years ago
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Since when have bus users been arrogant?

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fred22 [158 posts] 3 years ago
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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

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dave atkinson [6139 posts] 3 years ago
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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

 39

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Chris James [363 posts] 3 years ago
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Ah but Dave - what do you write about my small village outside Huddersfield?

Nowt, I'll bet.

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Chris James [363 posts] 3 years ago
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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!

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Coleman [331 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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Bez [584 posts] 3 years ago
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Is this page going for the world record for Most Usages of "Actually" on a Web Page?

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Simon_MacMichael [2442 posts] 3 years ago
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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  3

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dave atkinson [6139 posts] 3 years ago
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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

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Bez [584 posts] 3 years ago
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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?  1

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thereverent [386 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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londonplayer [620 posts] 3 years ago
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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.  39

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bfslxo [144 posts] 3 years ago
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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  13 - you have my every respect - safe journeys to you all

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fred22 [158 posts] 3 years ago
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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

 39

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

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John_the_Monkey [436 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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