Greater Manchester police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd wants to know what cyclists who’ve been involved in a crash think of his force’s performance.
The commissioner has set up an online survey to collect opinions and experiences of cyclists. However, it’s tightly focused on police response to road traffic collisions, and not looking for more general comments on the policing of cycling in Greater Manchester.
The survey even provides a police definition of a collision:
A road traffic collision (RTC) is when a motor vehicle is involved in a collision on a road or in a car park open to the public, where someone else's property or vehicle is damaged, or any person or animal is injured.
User Alfred Chow suggested the survey should have broader scope. He wrote: “There is far too much ‘acceptance’ by the public and the police of poor driving that puts other road users at risks. This needs to be recorded and responded to to raise the overall standard of driving by all motor vehicle users.”
Introducing the survey, Tony Lloyd said: “By listening to the views of people and organisations, I want to know more about your experiences as a cyclist and get a snapshot of the service provided to cyclists by Greater Manchester Police when a collision occurs.”
Greater Manchester’s policing of cycling road safety has come in for criticism recently as its Operation Grimaldi initiative was seen as unfairly targeting cyclists.
Operation Grimaldi — tellingly named for a famous clown — was initially aimed only at cyclists. Police issued 415 fixed penalty notices to riders over 10 days of action spread across five months (February to June 2013) for offences such as running red lights, not having lights fitted, cycling on footpaths and using mobile phones while cycling.
The initiative also tackled driver misbehaviour when it returned later in the year. Over three days in November, police issued 147 fixed penalty notices, 125 to cyclists.
London also saw a road safety initiative in 2013. Operation Safeway flooded the capital’s streets with police in the aftermath of six cyclists being killed in collisions with motor vehicles in less than two weeks in November. Police issued almost 14,000 fixed penalty notices or reports for summons. Motorists copped 9,733 of those, and cyclists 4,085.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.