Leave the bike at home tomorrow - it's Drive to Work Day in London

Cyclists, walkers and public transport users urged to join capital's car commuters to see what they've been missing

by Simon_MacMichael   December 10, 2012  

London:cyclist in traffic (copyright Simon MacMichael).jpg

Traffic in could be a touch heavier than usual tomorrow with the first Drive To Work Day. As we reported last month, the idea was dreamt up by David Dansky, Head of Training and Development at Cycle Training UK.

So far, 216 people have confirmed as participating on the event’s Facebook page with another 48 thinking about it, but if you assume that means it won’t be a success, think again – they’ll be joined by more than 100,000 people who drive into the city every single day. Gridlock guaranteed.

On the Drive to Work website, Dansky poses the questions:

Worried by the War on the Motorist?

P*ssed off by the price of petrol?

Annoyed by the arrogance of cyclists and bus users?

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)

The set-up may be firmly tongue-in-cheek, but the message is a serious one - the fact that many people are still content to sit in a car for hours in end, regardless of the effects on their health or the environment not to mention having little control over their journey time, when alternatives do exist if only they could be encouraged to think outside the (metal) box.

11 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I hope it's absolute mayhem.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3349 posts]
10th December 2012 - 11:46

4 Likes

what a stupid idea, all trundling along at 5mph.

posted by Karbon Kev [681 posts]
10th December 2012 - 12:13

3 Likes

I'm more than game as I've just spent £1,250 on a service, tax and MOT, but why am I going to do that 90 minute slog each way if you can't guarantee me some twunt isn't going to breakdown on Putney Bridge or the Wandsworth Gyratory, when burning a gallon of fuel every 10 miles I want it to really hurt.

posted by georgee [139 posts]
10th December 2012 - 12:44

0 Likes

I hope a few people do this. I would only take a small increase in traffic in central London to grind everything to total halt (rather than the very slow moving jam it normally it).

Evan some good publicity about the day would mean all traffic problems would be blamed on it, prehaps getting people to think about did they really need to make their journey by car.

posted by thereverent [310 posts]
10th December 2012 - 12:45

4 Likes

pretty hilarious idea

new-to-cycling's picture

posted by new-to-cycling [47 posts]
10th December 2012 - 13:51

2 Likes

There's been a lot of very good cycle campaigns this year, but this isn't one of them.

It's a pub idea, one that sounds great after a couple of pints, but with a sober head should appear rather less so.

posted by thereandbackagain [155 posts]
10th December 2012 - 14:48

1 Like

thereandbackagain wrote:
There's been a lot of very good cycle campaigns this year, but this isn't one of them.

It's a pub idea, one that sounds great after a couple of pints, but with a sober head should appear rather less so.

If it makes car drivers a little more considerate to cyclists (after all, he could be really blocking your way in his/her car), I'm all for it. Why is it a bad idea?

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3349 posts]
10th December 2012 - 15:59

2 Likes

Quote:
If it makes car drivers a little more considerate to cyclists (after all, he could be really blocking your way in his/her car), I'm all for it. Why is it a bad idea?

Cos they won't think like that.
They'll think "oh the traffic is heavier than normal today" and they might get a bit wound up and then the day after it'll be "alright" again (as alright as it gets sitting there in a car doing an average of 8mph to go 6 miles).

And they won't care or know, they certainly won't think about the logic behind it and if by some miracle they do think about cycling, I'm willing to bet that it'll be "all these other morons should get off the road and travel by tube/bike/bus then I can go much faster in my car"

posted by crazy-legs [538 posts]
10th December 2012 - 16:04

5 Likes

It's a bad idea because it won't have any visible effect, so it's bad in the sense of being utterly ineffective.

If people don't notice anything different then they won't even begin to question why today is different than any other day.

I don't think it'll have any negative impact on cycling, because it'll be invisible to everyone except the participants.

posted by thereandbackagain [155 posts]
10th December 2012 - 17:04

2 Likes

In my my 15 years of cycling to work in London the only events that had a REAL effect on the amount of bicycles on the road are prolonged Tube Strike. Some of the worst maintained shed-dwellers appeared at traffic lights as the days went on.

Car Drivers are lost to us... tube travellers just need the right motivation....

If someone could come up with a campaign to get people of the tube {Real or spoof), the bicycle could be the alternative they choose.

Any idaes?

posted by MadDog Madill [9 posts]
10th December 2012 - 17:28

3 Likes

Ok, so I brought the car to work and it took 1 hour 15 minutes, compared with 45 minutes if I travel by train and bicycle or by motorcycle. It was an intensely frustrating trip.

It's worth noting how many car drivers try and shove in ahead by being in the wrong lane and such as by being in a right hand turn only lane and then shoving over without indicating into traffic flow heading forwards for instance. It's no wonder so many cyclists (and pedestrians and motorcyclists) get knocked down when so many car drivers are clearly so aggressive and impatient. I expect a lot of crashes happen between cars, vans, buses and trucks because people are trying to shove in rather than driving with more consideration for others.

I don't drive very often at the rush hour because I find it a waste of time and really frustrating. And i've just reminded myself of that. I'll be using my normal tranport mode tomorrow.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2250 posts]
11th December 2012 - 11:54

0 Likes