Home
In the wake of the Charlie Alliston case there's only one sensible thing to do — but you're not going to like it

In the aftermath of the Alliston case, what should you do if you are a cyclist involved in a crash with a pedestrian?

I have one word of advice for you: Leave.

That’s right. Leave the scene. Get out of Dodge. Get away from the situation as fast as you can. Say nothing to anyone. Give nobody your details. Don’t hang around long enough for anyone to get their phone out. Split. Bugger off. Go home the long way — down as many alleys and across as many parks as possible to avoid CCTV.

Say nothing about the crash to anyone. Don’t discuss it in forums. Don’t tweet or post on Facebook about it. Don’t search on Google for news of the crash or its aftermath. Don’t get your bike repaired. Carry on with your life as if nothing happened.

“But, John,” I can hear you say, “that’s awful advice. Ethically you should stop and help, and isn’t leaving the scene an offence?”

Road Traffic Act: leaving the scene

Last point first: no, it isn’t. Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act makes it an offence for the driver of a motor vehicle to leave the scene of a crash, but it specifically only applies to drivers of “mechanically propelled vehicles” as it quaintly calls them. (That means an engine or motor; your bike’s chain and gears don’t count as the propulsion comes from your legs.)

Section 168 makes it an offence to refuse to give your name and address to “any person having reasonable ground” to require it. But they have to ask for it first. Leave before anyone can ask your name, and you’re in the clear. Martin Porter QC, who drew my attention to this part of the Road Traffic Act, added: “I have never yet been supplied with name and address by [a] motorist I have reasonably suspected of careless driving. Asked a few times.”

Ethically, yes, all of this is dreadful. But the Alliston case has put cyclists in the position where we cannot be sure of being dealt with justly. In fact, we can be sure that we will not be treated justly.

There is no way that Charlie Alliston was guilty of manslaughter, and he was rightly acquitted.

But there is also no way he was riding furiously and wantonly. He was riding at 18mph. Traffic and parked vehicles around him left him with nowhere to go and when he yelled to warn Kim Briggs she stepped back into his path. If that’s furious and wanton riding, I’m a banana.

The brakeless fixie issue

You could argue that Alliston would not have ended up in court in the first place if he hadn’t been riding a bike that wasn’t street legal. Would the Met and the CPS have gone after him if he’d been riding a fixie with a front brake? I believe they would.

The tide is turning against cycling in London. The nonsensical claims that a few short stretches of protected cycleway have caused huge increases in congestion and pollution have stuck. Mayor Sadiq Khan has cancelled or postponed shovel-ready cycling schemes and TfL has mysteriously forgotten how to design new ones if its hopeless, inept Nine Elms and Fiveways schemes are anything to go by. I expect that before the end of Khan’s first term, TfL will announce that Cycle Superhighway 3, the world-class protected cycle lane along the Embankment is to be ripped up.

Meanwhile cycling and walking commissioner Will Norman doesn’t realise that his job is to enable active travel, not to run spin for Sadiq Khan’s preference for roads and buses. Khan is running a PR mayoralty, all talk and no delivery, and calling on others to fix problems like air pollution that are well within his power. But to do so would put him into conflict with the influential bus, taxi and haulage lobbies.

With public opinion increasingly hostile to cycling, the Met and the CPS would have gone after Alliston anyway. After all, a mother of two was, tragically, dead. Something Had To Be Done, and prosecuting Alliston was Something. Alliston had dug a huge hole for himself by his forum and Evening Standard postings. He really was a dream defendant — if you’re a prosecutor.

Given the general ignorance about cycling, a fixie with a front brake could still be easily represented as the equivalent to a Formula One car, and equally inappropriate for the streets. Alliston’s lawyer failed to challenge the Met’s nonsensical braking distance tests in either premise or execution; it’s vanishingly unlikely he’d have been able to mount a defence against the charge of furious and wanton cycling even if Alliston had been riding a bike with brakes.

And I don’t believe the bike made any substantial difference. The instinctive reaction when a pedestrian steps into your path is to try and avoid hitting them. Yes, you’ll slow down too and Alliston did, but Kim Briggs stepped back into his path, they butted heads and she fell to the ground. Had he been going slower (as he would not have had time to stop, despite the Met’s staged video), she might still have fallen, she might still have hit her head on the ground. We just don’t know, and we cannot therefore know that Alliston’s inability to stop faster was the primary cause of Kim Briggs’s death.

The not guilty verdict shows that the jury did not think it was. If Alliston was guilty of an illegal act in not having a front brake, and that illegal act led to Kim Briggs’s death, then he was guilty of manslaughter. If he was not guilty, then his illegal act did not cause Kim Briggs’s death.

That also makes the conviction for wanton and furious driving unsafe too, unless the jury took the view that the injuries that Kim Briggs sustained as a result of Alliston riding into her did not cause her death. That would be a somewhat bizarre conclusion, but that’s juries for you. However, I’m not a lawyer and there may be some twist to the legal reasoning here that I’ve missed. Happy to be corrected in the comments or via Twitter.

The justice system is stacked against cyclists

More broadly, the Alliston case is only the latest example of the justice system failing a cyclist, but it’s unusual in that the rider was accused of perpetrating a fatal crash, instead of being its victim.

London’s police have largely been on the back foot when it comes to cycling since the debacle of Operation Safeway, in which the police targeted minor cycling infringements after several cyclists were killed in London in November, rather than going after the motor vehicle behaviour that kills cyclists. They were pilloried for it by cycling groups, and rightly so.

Presented with an unsympathetic defendant in a cocky, pierced teenager riding a hipster bike, the Met and the Crown Prosecution Service must have thought all their Christmases had come at once.

They therefore charged Alliston with offences that had to be heard in Crown Court, rather than any of the more appropriate lesser offences that would have been heard by magistrates, as Martin Porter QC has pointed out.

There’s a legal maxim that if you want to get off a charge, you go for a jury trial if you can. Juries are composed of people who can’t convince the court they’re too important to be excused jury duty. They tend to be sympathetic to mundane criminality, which is why there are so many breathtaking not guilty verdicts in cases of causing death by careless or dangerous driving.

Charlie Alliston, Daily Mail stereotype

Unfortunately for him, with his tattoos and piercings, Charlie Alliston was as close as it gets to the Daily Mail stereotype of an arrogant, reckless, young tearaway, scofflaw cyclist. There was no way he was going to get a sympathetic hearing from a jury of Londoners who are encouraged to hate cyclists by every story about cycling on the local news, in the London papers, in the national papers, on the BBC and on LBC.

And so it went. Anyone who rides bike knows Alliston’s account of the crash was entirely plausible. Between a parked lorry and moving cars he had nowhere to go. Kim Briggs stepped back into his path (presumably seeing the cars, but not registering Alliston) and he was unable to avoid her.

But by bringing the absurd charge of manslaughter, the CPS could be confident they’d get Alliston for something. I can imagine the jury room discussions. “All right, it’s not manslaughter, but the arrogant git’s guilty of something. What’s this wanton and furious thing? Up to two years bird? Yeah, that’ll do.”

Lynch mob

The resulting atmosphere is that of a lynch mob. I’ve seen posts hoping that Alliston gets anally raped if he goes to prison, and wanting to know his usual riding route so they can string wire in his path. Have you ever seen that for a killer driver?

I fear for the safety of the cyclist next time one of us is involved in a crash with a pedestrian who doesn’t immediately get up and walk away. By bringing this spurious prosecution, the CPS has failed in its duty to act in the public interest. It has made the roads more dangerous, not less.

Cyclists have long known that we will not get justice if we are victims of road violence. Now we can be sure we will not get justice if we are accused of being its perpetrators.

And that means our only recourse is to get away from a crash immediately.

Footnote: If you do choose to stay at the scene of a crash, and there’s even the slightest possibility you might be blamed (in other words, any crash at all in the current climate) say nothing to the police without a lawyer present. Don’t try and be helpful, don’t give a statement. Ask for a lawyer and shut up till he or she arrives.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

185 comments

Avatar
beezus fufoon [972 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

"Things Can Only Get Better" was a song by Northern Irish musical group D:Ream.

The Labour Party notably used it as a theme during the party's campaign in 1997.

20 years later and we're still holding our breaths!

Avatar
nbrus [585 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
davel wrote:

How are you optimistic about increasing numbers of cyclists?

Lots of reasons...

There is an overall concern with public health and cycling is one way to promote a healthy lifestyle. This will cut down the cost of funding the NHS.

Global warming is a real concern (ignoring Trump) and electric cars don't help in that regard, they only reduce pollution ... electricity still needs to be generated. Bicycles are a clean mode of transport.

Cars are expensive to run, bicycles are not. People have less money now than before the last financial crisis, so any way to save money and get healthier at the same time is appealing. It will become even more appealing as family budgets are squeezed.

Driverless cars and Uber will result in more people choosing not to own a car, but hire one on demand. If the cost is low enough this will make a lot of sense and will free up our roads and streets. Car shares may become popular ... borrow one when you need it and pay a rental and membership fee. Fewer cars on the road and safer driving technology will result on more people feeling safe enough to cycle.

Public transport is expensive and not as convenient as we'd like. Being able to hop on a bike and go where you want, whenever you want is very liberating.

Most people find cycling requires too much effort, particularly on hills, and you arrive at your destination all sweaty and in need of a shower. E-bikes solve that problem, but they need to get cheaper and longer range.

Theres lots more cycling sports being covered on TV now than in previous years, and its very popular even amoungst those that don't cycle ... some will be motivated to take up cycling.

Cycling is already popular in other countries like Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Japan, Switzerland, Belgium, China, etc. and it will get more popular here. It just takes time.

I don't think its promoting cycling that will get us there, its natural forces (such as mentioned above) that will. People will take to it when they are ready. We're just not quite there yet.

Avatar
oldstrath [981 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes
nbrus wrote:
davel wrote:

How are you optimistic about increasing numbers of cyclists?

Lots of reasons...

There is an overall concern with public health and cycling is one way to promote a healthy lifestyle. This will cut down the cost of funding the NHS.

Global warming is a real concern (ignoring Trump) and electric cars don't help in that regard, they only reduce pollution ... electricity still needs to be generated. Bicycles are a clean mode of transport.

Cars are expensive to run, bicycles are not. People have less money now than before the last financial crisis, so any way to save money and get healthier at the same time is appealing. It will become even more appealing as family budgets are squeezed.

Driverless cars and Uber will result in more people choosing not to own a car, but hire one on demand. If the cost is low enough this will make a lot of sense and will free up our roads and streets. Car shares may become popular ... borrow one when you need it and pay a rental and membership fee. Fewer cars on the road and safer driving technology will result on more people feeling safe enough to cycle.

Public transport is expensive and not as convenient as we'd like. Being able to hop on a bike and go where you want, whenever you want is very liberating.

Most people find cycling requires too much effort, particularly on hills, and you arrive at your destination all sweaty and in need of a shower. E-bikes solve that problem, but they need to get cheaper and longer range.

Theres lots more cycling sports being covered on TV now than in previous years, and its very popular even amoungst those that don't cycle ... some will be motivated to take up cycling.

Cycling is already popular in other countries like Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Japan, Switzerland, Belgium, China, etc. and it will get more popular here. It just takes time.

I don't think its promoting cycling that will get us there, its natural forces (such as mentioned above) that will. People will take to it when they are ready. We're just not quite there yet.

Trying to be polite, I think your post is at best ridiculously optimistic. First, self driving cars will not help us, in fact they ate likely to lead to more demands to clear the streets of cyclists to make it easier. Second, the countries you name don't just happen to have cyclists. They have serious infrastructure. At least in the Netherlands resulting from strong public protests. 

 

Your "wait and all will be well if only we are nice to motorised maniacs" will go exactly nowhere.

Avatar
oldstrath [981 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
nbrus]</p>

<p>[quote=oldstrath

wrote:

Trying to be polite, I think your post is at best ridiculously optimistic. First, self driving cars will not help us, in fact they ate likely to lead to more demands to clear the streets of cyclists to make it easier. Second, the countries you name don't just happen to have cyclists. They have serious infrastructure. At least in the Netherlands resulting from strong public protests. 

Your "wait and all will be well if only we are nice to motorised maniacs" will go exactly nowhere.

Maybe you're right. I looked into Netherlands on Wikipedia...

Quote:

The trend away from the bicycle and towards motorised transport only began to be slowed in the 1970s when Dutch people took to the streets to protest against the high number of child deaths on the roads: in some cases over 500 children were killed in car accidents in the Netherlands in a single year.[11] This protest movement came to be known as the Stop de Kindermoord (literally "Stop the Child Murder" in Dutch).[11] The success of this movement — along with other factors, such as the oil shortages of 1973–74[12] — turned Dutch government policy around and the country began to restrict motor vehicles in its towns and cities and direct its focus on growth towards other forms of transport, with the bicycle being seen as critical in making Dutch streets safer and towns and cities more people-friendly and liveable.

In the UK we are already seeing better cycling infrastructure and cycle friendly policies such as restricting motor vehicles in towns and cities. Granted the pace isn't as quick as we'd like but it is definitely happening. Do you have any ideas on this?

[/quotas

Maybe it's better where you live. In rural Scotland it becomes worse. Less enforcement, a government going around crowing about the amount of money pissed away on new roads while offering up fantasy nonsense about 10% cycling share, apparently by miracle, Sustrans sticking their name on paths that are not fit for purpose, indeed barely fit to be described as paths in some cases.

I don't know. Vote only for Greens, hope something motivates similar protests to those that occurred in the Netherlands. Give up and stick to off road cycling?

Avatar
nbrus [585 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
oldstrath wrote:

Trying to be polite, I think your post is at best ridiculously optimistic. First, self driving cars will not help us, in fact they ate likely to lead to more demands to clear the streets of cyclists to make it easier. Second, the countries you name don't just happen to have cyclists. They have serious infrastructure. At least in the Netherlands resulting from strong public protests. 

Your "wait and all will be well if only we are nice to motorised maniacs" will go exactly nowhere.

Maybe you're right. I looked into Netherlands on Wikipedia...

Quote:

The trend away from the bicycle and towards motorised transport only began to be slowed in the 1970s when Dutch people took to the streets to protest against the high number of child deaths on the roads: in some cases over 500 children were killed in car accidents in the Netherlands in a single year.[11] This protest movement came to be known as the Stop de Kindermoord (literally "Stop the Child Murder" in Dutch).[11] The success of this movement — along with other factors, such as the oil shortages of 1973–74[12] — turned Dutch government policy around and the country began to restrict motor vehicles in its towns and cities and direct its focus on growth towards other forms of transport, with the bicycle being seen as critical in making Dutch streets safer and towns and cities more people-friendly and liveable.

So basically, there was a strong reason for change consisting of several factors and not simply protests, but protests against high numbers of child deaths. Oil crisis etc. That's the point I was making ... natural forces ... whatever shape that might take (economic, technology, etc.). Given that the majorty don't cycle, protesting by 'we want' isn't going to convince those people to spend more on cycling infrastructure. They are going to have to see a benefit for them so that they will be motivated to support more investment.

In the UK we are already seeing better cycling infrastructure and cycle friendly policies such as restricting motor vehicles in towns and cities. Granted the pace isn't as quick as we'd like but it is definitely happening. Do you have any ideas on this?

Avatar
alansmurphy [2195 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

The more you post the less I believe you go out on a bike. London appears to be the only place where there's even half decent infrastructure and that's because the transport system in the city is largely fucked. Yet they still manage to kill dozens and just write it off as it doesn't really matter.

Employers and out of town shopping centres are aware that car is king and do nothing except extend car parks and open up megastores on new areas of green land further away from transport links. Yeah they'll paint and odd line on a pavement but it really is going nowhere and seems merely to tick a box or give the motons more angst.

Within a few hundred meters of where I live there's a cycle path thats on a cars turn into a doctors surgery, I used it twice daily around 250 days a year. I've seen one car stop. There's a cycle path that puts you onto the road facing traffic on the hump of a bridge, there's one that ends with metal railings so you can't get on the road and there's one by the side of a dual carriage way that simply disappears for bus stops (do we float).

People could be choking on their own exhaust fumes to drive 800 metres to the doctors and still wouldn't consider giving up their cars. The only cause of a shift will be a significant change in attitude, maybe you could be first...

Avatar
davel [2722 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
nbrus wrote:
davel wrote:

How are you optimistic about increasing numbers of cyclists?

Lots of reasons...

There is an overall concern with public health and cycling is one way to promote a healthy lifestyle. This will cut down the cost of funding the NHS.

Global warming is a real concern (ignoring Trump) and electric cars don't help in that regard, they only reduce pollution ... electricity still needs to be generated. Bicycles are a clean mode of transport.

Cars are expensive to run, bicycles are not. People have less money now than before the last financial crisis, so any way to save money and get healthier at the same time is appealing. It will become even more appealing as family budgets are squeezed.

Driverless cars and Uber will result in more people choosing not to own a car, but hire one on demand. If the cost is low enough this will make a lot of sense and will free up our roads and streets. Car shares may become popular ... borrow one when you need it and pay a rental and membership fee. Fewer cars on the road and safer driving technology will result on more people feeling safe enough to cycle.

Public transport is expensive and not as convenient as we'd like. Being able to hop on a bike and go where you want, whenever you want is very liberating.

Most people find cycling requires too much effort, particularly on hills, and you arrive at your destination all sweaty and in need of a shower. E-bikes solve that problem, but they need to get cheaper and longer range.

Theres lots more cycling sports being covered on TV now than in previous years, and its very popular even amoungst those that don't cycle ... some will be motivated to take up cycling.

Cycling is already popular in other countries like Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Japan, Switzerland, Belgium, China, etc. and it will get more popular here. It just takes time.

I don't think its promoting cycling that will get us there, its natural forces (such as mentioned above) that will. People will take to it when they are ready. We're just not quite there yet.

These are all great conditions and I agree with them almost entirely. But it doesn't answer my question regarding why cycling is going to increase in popularity.

*Despite* this backdrop of a perfect storm for cycling going through the stratosphere, we have the reality on the ground in the justice system, the trollumnists, the letdown politicians.

My argument runs exactly counter to yours: look how unpopular and unsupported cycling is, *despite* it making perfect sense to back it to the hilt. And I don't think we have time: at least some of your conditions (eg. British sporting success) are at their zenith right now.

I wish I shared your optimism, but logic doesn't just prevail. It takes massive effort by people willing to stick their neck on the line, particularly when the rabble-rousers are paid by car advertisers and policy-makers are paid by motor lobbyists and scared of upsetting the motor industry.

Avatar
nbrus [585 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
davel wrote:

These are all great conditions and I agree with them almost entirely. But it doesn't answer my question regarding why cycling is going to increase in popularity. *Despite* this backdrop of a perfect storm for cycling going through the stratosphere, we have the reality on the ground in the justice system, the trollumnists, the letdown politicians. My argument runs exactly counter to yours: look how unpopular and unsupported cycling is, *despite* it making perfect sense to back it to the hilt. And I don't think we have time: at least some of your conditions (eg. British sporting success) are at their zenith right now. I wish I shared your optimism, but logic doesn't just prevail. It takes massive effort by people willing to stick their neck on the line, particularly when the rabble-rousers are paid by car advertisers and policy-makers are paid by motor lobbyists and scared of upsetting the motor industry.

Maybe I am overly optimistic, but I don't think shouting louder will help much ... the masses that don't cycle need to be convinced ... they need to see a benefit to themselves before they will stick their neck out in support of cycling. Given the state of our roads, that will be more important to them than diverting money to cycling infrastructure. I've still seen improvements where I live, but I am in a city, so that probably plays a large part in this. As regards the British cycling team, wasn't it 'marginal gains' that was responsible for their success? Or as Tesco put it ... every little helps.

Avatar
alansmurphy [2195 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

As said though, every little doesn't help. Paint a cycle lane that's dangerous to cyclists and watch how the motorists behave if you use the road. What has helped, is every little cyclist that died and every motorist that walked away Scott free helped them feel invincible!

Avatar
nbrus [585 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
alansmurphy wrote:

The more you post the less I believe you go out on a bike. London appears to be the only place where there's even half decent infrastructure and that's because the transport system in the city is largely fucked. Yet they still manage to kill dozens and just write it off as it doesn't really matter.

Employers and out of town shopping centres are aware that car is king and do nothing except extend car parks and open up megastores on new areas of green land further away from transport links. Yeah they'll paint and odd line on a pavement but it really is going nowhere and seems merely to tick a box or give the motons more angst.

Within a few hundred meters of where I live there's a cycle path thats on a cars turn into a doctors surgery, I used it twice daily around 250 days a year. I've seen one car stop. There's a cycle path that puts you onto the road facing traffic on the hump of a bridge, there's one that ends with metal railings so you can't get on the road and there's one by the side of a dual carriage way that simply disappears for bus stops (do we float).

People could be choking on their own exhaust fumes to drive 800 metres to the doctors and still wouldn't consider giving up their cars. The only cause of a shift will be a significant change in attitude, maybe you could be first...

I was out on my bike today and for 4 hours no less ... went to take a look at the new Queensferry bridge ... I don't do that everyday of course.

I can understand why you are so pissed given your description of what its like where you are. If you only cycle and don't have a car then all the out-of-town shopping will be a real pain and it has become the norm almost everywhere.  Employers like out-of-town industrial estates as it saves them money and moves the cost and inconvenience onto the employee (that's just one of the reasons I needed a car). Most people are lazy and won't give up their cars ... those people will have shorter lives and more health problems. Even that doesn't seem to motivate them. Maybe we need celebs on bikes to convince them? It won't. On a brighter note, a shift in attitude anywhere in the country will trickle down to where you happen to live. At least they are making some attempt, which is a whole lot better than not even bothering.

Avatar
alansmurphy [2195 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
nbrus wrote:

At least they are making some attempt, which is a whole lot better than not even bothering.

No they aren't and it isn't as I JUST said.

They are doing what the have to do when they build a new road - putting in a shared use path alongside a new road that joins busy roads that few use. Net result additional cost nobody using them, poor state of repair, cyclist using road and people taking vengeance on cyclists.

Or do you think the lanes I previously mentioned are better than nothing? Are you suggesting rather than my kids being taught to ride safely on the road they should be forced onto infrastructure not fit for purpose. Or again, should drivers be allowed to intimidate because they aren't using such thing.

I imagine those who you claim are making these decisions have barely seen a bike...

Avatar
oldstrath [981 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
nbrus wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

The more you post the less I believe you go out on a bike. London appears to be the only place where there's even half decent infrastructure and that's because the transport system in the city is largely fucked. Yet they still manage to kill dozens and just write it off as it doesn't really matter.

Employers and out of town shopping centres are aware that car is king and do nothing except extend car parks and open up megastores on new areas of green land further away from transport links. Yeah they'll paint and odd line on a pavement but it really is going nowhere and seems merely to tick a box or give the motons more angst.

Within a few hundred meters of where I live there's a cycle path thats on a cars turn into a doctors surgery, I used it twice daily around 250 days a year. I've seen one car stop. There's a cycle path that puts you onto the road facing traffic on the hump of a bridge, there's one that ends with metal railings so you can't get on the road and there's one by the side of a dual carriage way that simply disappears for bus stops (do we float).

People could be choking on their own exhaust fumes to drive 800 metres to the doctors and still wouldn't consider giving up their cars. The only cause of a shift will be a significant change in attitude, maybe you could be first...

I was out on my bike today and for 4 hours no less ... went to take a look at the new Queensferry bridge ... I don't do that everyday of course.

I can understand why you are so pissed given your description of what its like where you are. If you only cycle and don't have a car then all the out-of-town shopping will be a real pain and it has become the norm almost everywhere.  Most people are lazy and won't give up their cars ... those people will have shorter lives and more health problems. Even that doesn't seem to motivate them. Maybe we need celebs on bikes to convince them? It won't. On a brighter note, a shift in attitude anywhere in the country will trickle down to where you happen to live. At least they are making some attempt, which is a whole lot better than not even bothering.

So you lookef at the new bridge. Now imagine how much value our government could have given cyclists and public transport with the money they've hosed away on that and dualing the  A9. They talk about cycling and walking a lot, but come the finish all Sturgeon Cates about is hrt bloody vanity project bridge.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [3166 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
nbrus wrote:
oldstrath wrote:

Trying to be polite, I think your post is at best ridiculously optimistic. First, self driving cars will not help us, in fact they ate likely to lead to more demands to clear the streets of cyclists to make it easier. Second, the countries you name don't just happen to have cyclists. They have serious infrastructure. At least in the Netherlands resulting from strong public protests. 

Your "wait and all will be well if only we are nice to motorised maniacs" will go exactly nowhere.

Maybe you're right. I looked into Netherlands on Wikipedia...

Quote:

The trend away from the bicycle and towards motorised transport only began to be slowed in the 1970s when Dutch people took to the streets to protest against the high number of child deaths on the roads: in some cases over 500 children were killed in car accidents in the Netherlands in a single year.[11] This protest movement came to be known as the Stop de Kindermoord (literally "Stop the Child Murder" in Dutch).[11] The success of this movement — along with other factors, such as the oil shortages of 1973–74[12] — turned Dutch government policy around and the country began to restrict motor vehicles in its towns and cities and direct its focus on growth towards other forms of transport, with the bicycle being seen as critical in making Dutch streets safer and towns and cities more people-friendly and liveable.

So basically, there was a strong reason for change consisting of several factors and not simply protests, but protests against high numbers of child deaths. Oil crisis etc. That's the point I was making ... natural forces ... whatever shape that might take (economic, technology, etc.). Given that the majorty don't cycle, protesting by 'we want' isn't going to convince those people to spend more on cycling infrastructure. They are going to have to see a benefit for them so that they will be motivated to support more investment.

In the UK we are already seeing better cycling infrastructure and cycle friendly policies such as restricting motor vehicles in towns and cities. Granted the pace isn't as quick as we'd like but it is definitely happening. Do you have any ideas on this?

Change is not happening at all, not in a positive way. Explain why KSI for road users is going up, explain why despite greater helmet use for instance and more segregated in London there are more seriously injured people who ride bikes?

the UK is going backwards not forwards, we can't wait for a natural situation, not that the oil crisis was natural anyway. The polce have lost control of the roads, they are now targetting and have done for a while the group that does by far the lesser harm, the government are failing to act, you only need look at how the CTC et al have had no joy whatsoever with the recent committee's and asking for changes. Even the mayor of London has stopped all cycling infra.

my local authority hasn't done anything for cycling since I moved here 21 years ago, in fact made it worse. Cut off one of the link roads to the next town/hospital with a bypass road and didn't install a crossing of any sort. We are still stuck with the same shitty ideas that were shit in the 1999 Urban Transport Plan for the area, none of which have being completed anyway, my local police force are not interested in close pass initiatives, not interested when a car collides with you, not interested in hit and run cases but happy to blame the victim for wearing a grey jacket, happy to pervert the course of justice and cover their own when caught out trying to intimidate a victim of crime so as to drop the case. Tthey are interested in threatening bicyclists with public order offences for reacting to dangerous driving.

I can guarantee this will be replicated up and down dale.

but crack on with the things will change theme, without action, direct action, nothing will change even in 20 years.

 

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... [2558 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
nbrus wrote:
davel wrote:

How are you optimistic about increasing numbers of cyclists?

Lots of reasons...

There is an overall concern with public health and cycling is one way to promote a healthy lifestyle. This will cut down the cost of funding the NHS.

Global warming is a real concern (ignoring Trump) and electric cars don't help in that regard, they only reduce pollution ... electricity still needs to be generated. Bicycles are a clean mode of transport.

Cars are expensive to run, bicycles are not. People have less money now than before the last financial crisis, so any way to save money and get healthier at the same time is appealing. It will become even more appealing as family budgets are squeezed.

Driverless cars and Uber will result in more people choosing not to own a car, but hire one on demand. If the cost is low enough this will make a lot of sense and will free up our roads and streets. Car shares may become popular ... borrow one when you need it and pay a rental and membership fee. Fewer cars on the road and safer driving technology will result on more people feeling safe enough to cycle.

Public transport is expensive and not as convenient as we'd like. Being able to hop on a bike and go where you want, whenever you want is very liberating.

Most people find cycling requires too much effort, particularly on hills, and you arrive at your destination all sweaty and in need of a shower. E-bikes solve that problem, but they need to get cheaper and longer range.

Theres lots more cycling sports being covered on TV now than in previous years, and its very popular even amoungst those that don't cycle ... some will be motivated to take up cycling.

Cycling is already popular in other countries like Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Japan, Switzerland, Belgium, China, etc. and it will get more popular here. It just takes time.

I don't think its promoting cycling that will get us there, its natural forces (such as mentioned above) that will. People will take to it when they are ready. We're just not quite there yet.

Seriously? Is this meant to be a serious argument?

None of those 'reasons' are remotely plausible justifications to believe cycling is going to naturally increase (the 'sports on tv' one is particularly risible).

It's already popular in countries like the Netherlands because they made a massive conscious effort to remodel the roads to make it attractive and plausible for ordinary people. And it has _declined_ in China as people have become richer, declined quite dramatically in fact, you can't be so dim that you don't know that.

Driverless cars (if they ever happen, which I think is highly doubtful) will just lead to pedestrians and cyclists being pushed off the streets entirely to make their calculations simpler.

I don't believe you are dim enough to really believe what you just wrote. So it has to be just dishonesty.

As for the remaining 'reasons' - if any of those were going to persuade more people to cycle it would have happened decades ago, when in fact the long-term trend has all been in the other direction.

All that list tells me is that you don't in fact have any problem with the existing situation at all and don't really want anything to change and you post under false-pretences, something that has long been obvious.

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... [2558 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
fukawitribe wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
nbrus wrote:

I don't know if you also drive as well as cycle ... I do

Can't say that comes as a surprise.

Aye. I think it was the lack of hyperbole and a pitchfork that gave away he'd experienced more than one mode of transport in his life..

Nah, not at all. it was more the way he consistently argues for a car-centric culture and clearly doesn't really want any change, even has he makes a weak pretence otherwise. Suggests he tends to view the world through a car windscreen.

Avatar
nbrus [585 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
nbrus wrote:

I don't know if you also drive as well as cycle ... I do

Can't say that comes as a surprise.

Aye. I think it was the lack of hyperbole and a pitchfork that gave away he'd experienced more than one mode of transport in his life..

Nah, not at all. it was more the way he consistently argues for a car-centric culture and clearly doesn't really want any change, even has he makes a weak pretence otherwise. Suggests he tends to view the world through a car windscreen.

Please quote any of my posts that show me arguing for a car-centric culture. You have a vivid imagination. Thing is the cycling infrastructure where I am, though far from perfect, is actually ok and getting better (depending on where you want to travel). Its hard to relate to problems I'm unaware of elsewhere. Maybe road.cc can help the cause by doing a regular article on the poor state of cycling infrastructure across the country and when they have a large number of article they can send links to MPs to try and get support for improvements. I don't think jumping up and down and going hysterical will help.

Avatar
nbrus [585 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

I don't believe you are dim enough to really believe what you just wrote.

These are just examples ... I'll try and keep it simple for you next time as I don't have the energy/willpower to spell everything out for you. You're hard work. But I wouldn't change a thing. 

Avatar
davel [2722 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
nbrus wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
nbrus wrote:

I don't know if you also drive as well as cycle ... I do

Can't say that comes as a surprise.

Aye. I think it was the lack of hyperbole and a pitchfork that gave away he'd experienced more than one mode of transport in his life..

Nah, not at all. it was more the way he consistently argues for a car-centric culture and clearly doesn't really want any change, even has he makes a weak pretence otherwise. Suggests he tends to view the world through a car windscreen.

Please quote any of my posts that show me arguing for a car-centric culture. You have a vivid imagination. Thing is the cycling infrastructure where I am, though far from perfect, is actually ok and getting better (depending on where you want to travel). Its hard to relate to problems I'm unaware of elsewhere. Maybe road.cc can help the cause by doing a regular article on the poor state of cycling infrastructure across the country and when they have a large number of article they can send links to MPs to try and get support for improvements. I don't think jumping up and down and going hysterical will help.

You're highlighting a load of reasons as to why cycling should really increase its modal share. We can debate the actual factors (I happen to share FKoT's driverless car skepticism) but they're not really the point - I think we all agree that an increase in cycling modal share is A Good Thing. We agree that cycling's pitiful modal share and lack of support is the problem, I think. At least that seems to be what you're saying.

But then you're arguing for 'natural forces' to resolve the problem - ie. let things take their course. I'm intrigued by that - I'm not even sure what it means.

This is where we diverge, pretty much 180°.

I think the status quo is shit. I see no evidence that 'natural forces' are resolving anything. Worse: I think that the vast majority of the public doesn't give a shit about cycling increasing modal share. They might tick a box saying it could be A Good Thing in a survey in the cold light of day, but wait til they're threatened with losing a bit of road space, or the next time they're 'stuck behind you' for 10 seconds. If they had the option of ticking Are Cyclists Pains In The Arse Who Should Get Off The Roads?, I suspect there'd be more people ticking that category than even see a bike as a mode of transport.

That apathy and downright hostility among the public: they are your 'natural forces'. That's the public that national and local politicians are playing to. 'We' are a niche. We might be right, but not many people care, and very powerful groups care a lot about saying that we are not right. Unless people who share our view of how things need to turn out - ie. 'us' - force events, they will not play out in our favour.

Avatar
peted76 [1422 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
davel wrote:

I think the status quo is shit.

I'm not having that!  'Pictures of Matchstick Men' is a classic !!

 

In seriousness, there's some good debate going on here, first time for a while it hasn't (yet) devolved into a proper internet fight with name calling and proper swears.

Since this blog by Jon was posted I've read at length the 2017 Cycling and Justice Report https://allpartycycling.org/inquiries/justice/ (please do read the report if you haven't already, some of the references are shocking).... possibly the best headline of a Daily Hate article ever.. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4839454/Cyclist-chases-cab-goads...... and the guff about the bloke walking home with his bike and getting prosecuted.. the article from Chris Boardman about riding on the road and his feelings https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/31/chris-boardman-ridi... ....  the numerous MPs and Councillors who appear to pop up on twitter and spout some loathsome ignorance to either get a few more followers or just moan about being held up for two mins by the local Sunday cycling mob... and the more I think about it and the more I see, frankly it makes me very sad. 

I'm very lucky where I live, I'm five mins away from rolling countryside and my 'town' I can get through one end to the other in 15mins. Every time I travel to London I see idiot cyclists giving normal cyclists a bad name by jumping red lights, weaving through pedestrians, going too fast (in my opinion) for the situation or just dicing with death alongside traffic. I can see how this would become 'normal' for London, but it's not my cycling and it's not the cycling of anyone outside of that populace, it is a small area of increased danger laden with infrastructure issues. I think Alliston was lucky not to get prosecuted for manslaughter and I'm thankful that the law saw sense to recognise that the woman who died was in the wrong by stepping out, he is in my eyes however responsible for that persons death no matter how much of a 'fluke' occurrence, or regardless of the unwanted disproportionate media attention it garnered.

The disparity and inconsistency of the law prosecuting and sentencing drivers is the bigger issue I feel requires our venom moreso than pie in the sky infrastructure changes, which won't happen in my lifetime. On that, if we can get just one city to stand proud with a cycling infrastructure and can demonstrate demographic growth and increased prosperity/health then that'd be a good way forward.

I also think since my first comment about the immoral inflection of Jon's article, having read some of these arguments I'm becoming more militant in my views, I don't quite know what to do with my views but I'm defo a bit more 'Genghis' and a bit less 'Lennon'...

Avatar
davel [2722 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

'one of us, one of us....'  1

Strict liability. Or summat.

Avatar
nbrus [585 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
peted76 wrote:

...the article from Chris Boardman about riding on the road and his feelings https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/31/chris-boardman-ridi... ...

Here's the bit from your Chris Boardman link that relates to the subject of this thread...

Quote:

Boardman watched closely the coverage of the conviction of Charlie Alliston, the London bike courier who caused the death of a pedestrian when cycling on a track bike with no brakes, describing it as “a proper lynch mob”.

He said the prosecution was right, but “all road crime needs to be treated as crime, which his was. You’re going after somebody for manslaughter, OK that’s fine, and we should treat injuries caused by people driving a car in the same way.”

He added: “There is inequality on the propensity to cause harm, and that’s what’s been lost in the past week when there has been a proper lynch mob in the press, focused on a story taken out of all proportion, like a killer shark.”

But Boardman suggested Alliston was foolish to ride a track bike with no brakes. “I periodically see people riding around on a track bike and I think: you’re joking, what the hell are you doing?’ For your own safety as much as anybody else.

I’ve raced on a fixed gear bike on the road, but it’s got a brake on it, for my own safety. It’s scary as hell to do it any other way, it’s scary as hell and I don’t understand why people do it. If I was a policeman I’d just take the bike away, for their own good, not the danger they cause to other people.”

 

Here's the bit about how Chis Boardman is helping Manchester improve its cycling infrastructure... 

Quote:

The 49-year-old, from Hoylake on the Wirral, has been appointed by the mayor, Andy Burnham, to revolutionise greater Manchester’s streets. He wants to encourage at least 10% of people to cycle or walk rather than drive within 10 years. Less than 2% of the population in Greater Manchester regularly ride a bike.

Boardman wants to spend “billions” redesigning the region’s streets and is exploring the possibility of closing parts of Manchester city centre to motorised traffic – including, potentially, the main thoroughfare of Deansgate, which runs from the Castlefield canal district right down to the shopping area of Market Street.

Not much use if you're not in Manchester, but at least its progress of sorts and it can only spread.

Avatar
alansmurphy [2195 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

So Boardman agrees with the majority here - the roads are dangerous largely due to big metal killing machines and piss poor infrastructure supported by terrible laws and sentencing, and Charlie A or a.n other riding a fixie with no brake is a bit of a dick?

 

What's your point again?

Avatar
nbrus [585 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
alansmurphy wrote:

So Boardman agrees with the majority here - the roads are dangerous largely due to big metal killing machines and piss poor infrastructure supported by terrible laws and sentencing, and Charlie A or a.n other riding a fixie with no brake is a bit of a dick?

 

What's your point again?

My point is that progress in infrastructure improvements might be painfully slow, but it is happening and will gather momentum as those not on bikes see what is happening in places like Manchester. The bit you left out.

Avatar
dafyddp [467 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I suspect  that this isn't the last we'll hear of this case and that at some point it will be used by politicians as a deflection from a much more serious matter:

Interviewer: "Following Brexit, how will the UK make up the shortfall in EU Road Safety Grants?"

Chris Grayling (or whover): "I think what you're really asking here is whether, as the Alliston case highlighted, the law relating to helmets, speed regulations and personal insurance for cyclists should be revisited"

Avatar
alansmurphy [2195 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
nbrus wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

So Boardman agrees with the majority here - the roads are dangerous largely due to big metal killing machines and piss poor infrastructure supported by terrible laws and sentencing, and Charlie A or a.n other riding a fixie with no brake is a bit of a dick?

 

What's your point again?

My point is that progress in infrastructure improvements might be painfully slow, but it is happening and will gather momentum as those not on bikes see what is happening in places like Manchester. The bit you left out.

 

Please enlighten me, what is happening in Manchester?

 

https://goo.gl/images/8f3C1k

Avatar
nbrus [585 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
alansmurphy wrote:
nbrus wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

So Boardman agrees with the majority here - the roads are dangerous largely due to big metal killing machines and piss poor infrastructure supported by terrible laws and sentencing, and Charlie A or a.n other riding a fixie with no brake is a bit of a dick?

 

What's your point again?

My point is that progress in infrastructure improvements might be painfully slow, but it is happening and will gather momentum as those not on bikes see what is happening in places like Manchester. The bit you left out.

 

Please enlighten me, what is happening in Manchester?

 

https://goo.gl/images/8f3C1k

(Chis Boardman) ... has been appointed by the mayor, Andy Burnham, to revolutionise greater Manchester’s streets.

Avatar
alansmurphy [2195 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
nbrus wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:
nbrus wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

So Boardman agrees with the majority here - the roads are dangerous largely due to big metal killing machines and piss poor infrastructure supported by terrible laws and sentencing, and Charlie A or a.n other riding a fixie with no brake is a bit of a dick?

 

What's your point again?

My point is that progress in infrastructure improvements might be painfully slow, but it is happening and will gather momentum as those not on bikes see what is happening in places like Manchester. The bit you left out.

 

Please enlighten me, what is happening in Manchester?

 

https://goo.gl/images/8f3C1k

(Chis Boardman) ... has been appointed by the mayor, Andy Burnham, to revolutionise greater Manchester’s streets.

 

Now you're just making stuff up - revolutionise you say?

 

Last time he tried that...

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/recreational-cycling/10464893/Chris-Boardman-ban-HGVs-from-our-rush-hour-roads.html

 

You really are delusional aren't you?!

 

Avatar
nbrus [585 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
alansmurphy wrote:
nbrus wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:
nbrus wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

So Boardman agrees with the majority here - the roads are dangerous largely due to big metal killing machines and piss poor infrastructure supported by terrible laws and sentencing, and Charlie A or a.n other riding a fixie with no brake is a bit of a dick?

 

What's your point again?

My point is that progress in infrastructure improvements might be painfully slow, but it is happening and will gather momentum as those not on bikes see what is happening in places like Manchester. The bit you left out.

 

Please enlighten me, what is happening in Manchester?

 

https://goo.gl/images/8f3C1k

(Chis Boardman) ... has been appointed by the mayor, Andy Burnham, to revolutionise greater Manchester’s streets.

 

Now you're just making stuff up - revolutionise you say?

 

Last time he tried that...

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/recreational-cycling/10464893/Chris-Boardman-ban-HGVs-from-our-rush-hour-roads.html

 

You really are delusional aren't you?!

 

I'm optimistic ... improving infrastructure is different to banning HGV's as that affects business.

Avatar
alansmurphy [2195 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

You said he was going to revolutionise - your word, not there's.

 

So what you're saying is more paint is on order so long as Starbucks still get their marshmallows and only the odd cyclist gets crushed to death. Seems to fit with your agenda nicely!

 

Avatar
alansmurphy [2195 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

So when you said Burnham appointed him to revolutionise, Burnham had never actually said those words?

And to take it further, he's hoping to close a street more than a mile long, with some of Manchester's biggest department stores to ALL traffic when he couldn't stop any lorries in ANY part of London when he was policy adviser despite 6 cyclist deaths in 2 weeks.

Given we know you like shopping you could be "disgusted from Tunbridge Wells"

Your optimism is baffling!

Pages