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Surrey Road Cops explain why enforcement focuses on drivers, not cyclists; LTN myths busted; Geoghegan Hart defends Marcus Rashford after 'embarrassing and vile' coverage; Another motorway cyclist; 14 everestings in 14 days + more on the live blog

It's Tuesday and Dan Alexander is here for all your live blog needs...
17 November 2020, 21:40
The Pub Landlord hearts LTNs

More on this in the morning - but to summarise, Al Murray is against the suggestion to "open up" roads in Chiswick that are blocked to rat-running motor traffic: "I don’t want the street I’ve lived in for decades to become a cut through thirty years after that was stopped. Who would?"

Arguably wiser words than Murray's comedy alter-ego has ever come up with!

17 November 2020, 15:12
Surrey Police explain why road safety enforcement focuses on car drivers

Surrey Police, like the Northumbria Police Force we highlighted earlier, have made a commitment to tackling road safety by focusing enforcement efforts on "those who do most harm to vulnerable road users." The chart above, posted by Surrey Police's Roads Policing Unit, shows the number of fatalities caused by certain forms of transport. 

By far the most common vehicle involved in the death of a vulnerable road user is the car with almost 500 deaths. No other single vehicle recorded more than 100. After 50cc motorcycles and under, bikes were involved in the least amount of vulnerable road user deaths.

The discussion is particularly important considering this week is road safety charity Brake's 'Road Safety Week', which has led several police forces in the UK to reassert their priority for tackling the issue. Last night we reported that Northumbria Police were encouraging people to send in their videos of close passes and said that they take action on the driver in almost 80% of cases.

17 November 2020, 16:30
Eight common LTN myths busted
Ealing LTN (screenshot ITV)

Peter Walker of the Guardian has written a piece mythbusting eight of the most common misconceptions about LTNs including that they slow down emergency services and are bad for local businesses. It's an interesting read considering how fractured the debate has become. Over the weekend Labour MP Rupa Huq even suggested the only way to resolve the debate over LTNs would be to hold a referendum...stop laughing at the back.

On the common accusation that they slow down emergency services Walker wrote: 'This is a genuine factor that has to be taken into consideration with LTNs. Some councils have, after consulting fire or ambulance services, for example, changed a junction to replace physical barriers with camera-enforced signs. But overall, there has been almost no pushback from emergency services – not least as the most common reason for delayed responses is congestion caused by motor vehicles.'

17 November 2020, 14:46
More entertaining replies and praise from Jeremy Vine for Northumbria Police

There's been plenty of praise for Northumbria Police who yesterday encouraged people to send in footage of close passes with the claim that they take action in almost 80% of cases. This morning we shared some of the Force's firm replies to Tweets citing the usual issues people have with cyclists including not using bike lanes and road tax. The comments have kept coming in and so have Northumbria Police's replies...Both the original Tweets were deleted.

17 November 2020, 13:59
Harley Davidson's Serial 1 Cycle company unveil first ebike

Harley Davidson's first venture into the ebike market has been covered over on our sister site ebiketips. If that's your sort of thing then check out the story with all the details of models, pricing and features here.

17 November 2020, 13:33
Another motorway cyclist

We cover incidents like these surprisingly frequently here at Just last week we shared this video of a cyclist riding along the hard shoulder of the M25. During the spring lockdown their were several similar events, including on the M53 in Cheshire - where four cyclists were escorted off the motorway by police.

17 November 2020, 12:50
Fife cyclist to attempt virtual Everest on Zwift 14 times in 14 days
Zwift ride your socks off 2020-06-29

The bar for Everesting continues to be raised. This summer with lockdown preventing conventional racing, the battle for fastest Everesting on the road saw Alberto Contador, Lachlan Morton and many professional riders around the world set frightening times for climbing 8,848m on a bike. Now a 34-year-old from Fife is going to complete an Everest every day for two weeks.

Ross Duncan hopes to climb 124,000 metres of ascent on Zwift to raise money for charities CHAS and My Name'5 Doddie Foundation. Duncan told The Courier: "I’m actually really looking forward to it though, as I’ve always enjoyed challenging myself and proving that even things that seem impossible are possible.”

"As an ultra-cyclist I’ve taken on various difficult challenges that have taken me way out of my comfort zone, and there’s no better feeling than completing a challenge that I have set for myself, such as this."

17 November 2020, 12:05
Cyclist catches lost dog after chasing it around north London for an hour
Cyclist chases dog around London

A cyclist chased a dog across London for an hour after the pet got spooked by a firework and bolted from her owner. Reuben McCartney managed to safely reunite Kiki with her owner after an hour-long pursuit. The map of his ride above shows how the pooch gave Reuben a good workout from near the Emirates Stadium to King's Cross and back along the Pentonville Road.

McCartney told LADbible: "As soon as I saw that the dog was running with a lead attached to her dragging along on the floor I knew I had to try and catch her.

"My biggest fear was that she'd get run over as she was crossing busy main roads at speed and on a couple of occasions the traffic had to stop or swerve. I chased her for about an hour. My biggest fear that I wouldn't be able to catch up and I'd lose her, which I did a couple of times, but managed find her again."

Owner Christina was delighted to be reunited with Kiki and explained how her dog bolted when spooked by a firework: "Her lead slipped out of my hand, and because she's a collie, she's a little fast one.

"I got out onto the main street and everyone was pointing towards the direction that she was running, and she basically kept running in the same direction towards King's Cross."

17 November 2020, 11:38
London has highest helmet use in Europe
Europe helmet use

According to new data from DEKRA Accident Research on helmet use in Europe, London has the highest helmet use in Europe. Cycling Industry News report that the study covered cyclists in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Ljubljana, London, Paris, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb and found that 60.9% of London cyclists wore a helmet. 

Interestingly, the second-highest city was Vienna, where only 26.7% of cyclists recorded wore a helmet - a significant decrease from in London. In Amsterdam just 1.1% wore helmets, while in Zagreb and Ljubljana the rate was also below 10%.

Despite their low rate, The Netherlands was not deemed dangerous for cycling by the study.

DEKRA accident researcher Luigi Ancona said: "When you look at the number of accidents as a ratio of distance travelled, the Netherlands is the second safest country after Denmark in which to ride a bicycle."

Do you wear a helmet?

Created with Poll Maker
17 November 2020, 11:06
Chris Lawless leaves INEOS Grenadiers to join Total Direct Énergie
Chris Lawless at start of Stage 4 of 2019 Tour de Yorkshire (picture credit Alex Whiehead,

Chris Lawless' three-year stay with INEOS Grenadiers has come to an end with the 25-year-old moving to Total Direct Énergie for next season. Lawless won the Tour de Yorkshire last year but has not won a race in 2020. 

Team managerJean-René Bernaudeau was pleased to be able to sign Lawless: "He is a talented rider with a strong character and a great state of mind. He appreciated our offensive speech and wants to be able to express himself in a team that gives him the possibility."

Lawless is the latest signing to Total Direct Énergie's ranks after announcing the signing of experienced WorldTour pros Pierre Latour, Alexis Vuillermoz, Victor de La Parte and Alexandre Geniez.

17 November 2020, 10:06
Tao Geoghegan Hart defends Marcus Rashford

Tao Geoghegan Hart called the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online's reporting of Marcus Rashford as "embarrassing and vile" after the paper published a story titled 'What a result! Campaigning footballer Marcus Rashford has bought five luxury homes worth more than £2million'. Geoghegan Hart said: "This is nothing new, but remains as embarrassing and vile as ever. I am in awe of how Marcus Rashford continues to rise above this treatment. He is an inspiration on many different levels.

"After the last three weeks of overwhelmingly positive experiences with the media, this is yet another reminder of my privilege." 

Rashford asked the paper not to describe him as a 'Campaigning footballer' in stories unrelated to his campaign to extend free school meals into the school holidays. The 23-year-old has twice forced the government into a U-turn on extending free school meals to children from low-income families during school holidays in England. Some have suggested that Rashford's investments are being used as a stick to beat the Manchester United and England forward.

17 November 2020, 08:48
Northumbria Police takes firm zero-tolerance stance on close passes and victim blaming

Last night we reported that Northumbria Police encouraged more people to upload close pass footage and said that action is taken against the driver in almost 80% of cases. The appeal was to mark the start of National Road Safety Week with Chief Inspector Sam Rennison, head of Northumbria Police Force's Road Safety Department, stating: "As it stands, 77 per cent of the footage submissions we do get result in positive action being taken, whether that be a warning or a prosecution.

“But we still don’t see a large number of submissions from vulnerable road users and this week we want to appeal to cyclists to submit more footage. A minority of motorists are not showing the required amount of respect to other road users and that needs to change.Too many vulnerable road users are seriously injured or killed because they have been knocked down by someone driving in a dangerous manner."

Unsurprisingly some anti-cycling types thought it a good idea to let their feelings on cyclists be known with the usual opinions on road tax, helmets, cycle lanes and riding two abreast chucked at the Force's Twitter account. In keeping with their earlier appeal Northumbria Police were decisive in reply...

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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