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"Drivers will weaponise hatred and take it out on cyclists": CyclingMikey blasts police on Jeremy Vine show for misinformation about "speed-limits"; Jumbo Visma not "put under pressure" at Tour of Britain; La Pietà at Vuelta + more on the live blog

Is it summer? Is it autumn? Who knows anymore, but either way it’s a good weather to be reading this live blog! Join Adwitiya this Thursday for all the latest cycling news and of course, the usual complaining too


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07 September 2023, 10:57
"Drivers will weaponise this hatred and take it out on cyclists": CyclingMikey goes to the Jeremy Vine show and blasts police force spreading misinformation about "speeding" riders

Ahoy, the "cyclists breaking the speed-limit" debate ship is still sailing!

It all kicked off earlier this week when Devon and Cornwall Roads Policing Team took to Twitter to call out a group of cyclists in Dartmoor who were apparently breaking the speed limit, despite it not applying to them.

> "The charge for speeding on a bicycle is called pedalling furiously": Reaction to police shaming cyclists for ‘breaking the speed limit’ had reached out to the policing team, who told us that "on this occasion, road safety advice was given to a group of cyclists and no offences were recorded" and "the engagement - which carried a road safety, not speed enforcement, message - was received positively by the group".

So we all thought it was just a case of either a poorly worded misadventure into the cyclists' speed-limit policing territory, or a genuine mistake by the team unaware of the Highway Code. The police held to account, we hope the mistake wouldn't be repeated again, and water under the bridge.

Right? Wrong.

Since then, it has grabbed the attention of the UK public, and been covered by almost all mainstream national media, with just the original video by the police team's account (with 12k followers) having been viewed over 2 million times.

> The Independent gets involved in "cyclists speeding" debate

Mike van Erp, the London cyclist and cycling safety advocate, better known by his alter-ego Cycling Mikey, had earlier replied to the police's tweet saying that the cyclists weren't breaking the law and that "that’s probably quite reasonable when a bicycle weighs maybe 10kg and an average car 1.5-2 tonnes".

And this morning, Mikey was on the Jeremy Vine show on Channel 5, talking about the issue. And boy, did he not mince his words.

> 'Speeding cyclists' talk reaches (very tired) day three thanks to a loophole-loving lawyer

"For me, the UK is perhaps the most hostile country in Europe to cycle in," said CyclingMikey. "There are a lot of people who didn't know that speed limits don't apply cyclists, and a lot of people who got very angry about those cyclists."

"My huge worry really is that some drivers will weaponise this hatred and take it out on cyclists in the UK".

Vine, not unfamiliar with Mikey, having edited a few of his videos himself, asked him if he mean that people are going to see the film posted by Devon and Cornwall Roads Policing Team and think that cyclists don't obey the law, so "we don't have to respect them".

Mikey replied: "Exactly. It's already a case that people think cyclists don't obey the law, but the reality is different. Studies from two different countries found that cyclists are very similarly law abiding as drivers, and maybe even more so."

> "Stoking cyclist hate will get him more publicity": CyclingMikey hits back at Mr Loophole's latest attack on "snitch society" camera cyclists

He elaborated a little more on his reply to the force, saying that the BMW car in which the police were travelling in, would have 30 times the energy of a cyclist upon impact. "They [cyclists] have far less momentum and transfer far less momentum to something else in the event of a collision, simply because they are so much lighter," he said.

Blimey, will this debate ever die?

Mikey also spoke about pavement riding and the priority pedestrians have in the road safety hierarchy.

"We cyclists shouldn't be on the pavements unless it's a shared use pavement, and be super careful around pedestrians," he said. "Part of the reason why cyclists ride on pavements is the fear of drivers and the relatively poor and primitive infrastructure we have in the UK."

> Do cyclists have to stick to the speed limit?

07 September 2023, 15:36
Sebastián Molano puts up a brutal sprint to win stage 12 of Vuelta a España

Vamos was the cry as Colombian sprinter Juan Sebastián Molano beat the green jersey Kaden Groves to the line at a blink-and-you'll-miss-it sprint on stage 12 of Vuelta.

Alpecin-Deceuninck, after doing the hard work for most of the final kilometres of the stage today, found its star sprinter from Down Under Kaden Groves boxed in, who suffered a mechanical as well.

In a sprint dominated by the gusts coming from the right, Alpecin, just like most other teams, decided to be on the left. However, that left the entire road open to attack by the rampaging Portugese Rui Oliveira from UAE Emirates, leading out Molano, with precious space opening up for launching the final sprint.

Groves, tried to make space for himself, and in the process, ended up hitting the wheel of his teammate from behind in what could have ended very, very badly for everyone. But he managed to get going and once he was away, he was once again, unsurprisingly, very quick, almost catching up with Molano in the final hundred metres.

But the 28-year-old Colombian would hold on to take the victory in Zaragoza, his first at a Grand Tour, hugging and embracing teammate Oliveira who couldn't hide his emotions after allowing his teammate to sprint to victory, saying: "F***, this almost feels like my win!"

Molano said: ​"This victory is for my team, for my family. Very happy to win a stage in Vuelta and to get a win against such a strong team like Alpecin. We've got GC guys too, who need to be looked after first, but I'm delighted to win in front of so many Colombian fans. I dedicate my victory to them!"

Groves, who cut a dejected figure at the finish line, rued his chances, and will now have to wait for his third victory at this Vuelta until Madrid.

"Not too much to say, the team did a fantastic job. UAE came with the momentum and my chain dropped, so nothing I could do. Unlucky mechanical, could've been win number three! But we're still in the hunt for points," said Groves.

Now, the ruthless GC battle resumes tomorrow, as the peloton will finish at the top of the iconic Col du Tourmalet in tomorrow's stage. Kuss will still be riding in red, ahead of UAE's Marc Soler, Soudal Quick-Step's Remco Evenepoel, and Jumbo Visma's Primož Roglič.

07 September 2023, 15:18
The Italian Job (almost ruined by British Airways): Cross-Europe charity riders' bikes misplaced by airlines transit

A charity cycle ride by 14 cyclists from south England were flying to Milan to kick off their Italian Job challenge in aid of Cancer Research UK.

However, their Italian job was almost put in jeopardy by British Airways, after 11 of the team's bikes were lost in transit.

The charity said the bikes had since been located at Heathrow Airport and were brought out to Italy where - with some last-minute planning - they were reunited with the riders at Lake Como, reports the BBC.

British Airways, meanwhile has blamed "operating constraints", saying: "We're very sorry our customers' bikes were delayed last night.

"Our teams have worked hard behind the scenes and the customers have now been reunited with their bikes in Milan. We wish everyone taking part in the cycling challenge the best of luck."

The riders will join other fundraisers for the Italian Job challenge, cycling from Rome to London.

Cancer Research UK's Elisa Mitchell said earlier the charity had been told the high-spec racing bikes were left on the tarmac at Heathrow and not loaded on to the plane bound for Milan.

She said the debacle was "really disappointing" but insisted the cyclists had remained "stoic". "Their attitude was 'it's not going to stop us - whatever is thrown at us, we will continue'," she said.

07 September 2023, 15:13
Perks of an electric car...

Now before anyone loses their minds, this is in no way endorsing or opposing EVs, but just some playful mockery of some, ahem, other uses of EVs.

Electric car running bike trainer (Facebook)
07 September 2023, 14:31
Wout van Aert launches a solo attack to win stage 5 of Tour of Britain, takes lead in the GC

Surprise surprise!

Well that wasn't half as dull was it? The difference a pure ciclisimo attack can make in a race!

Going offensive on the final kilometre of the stage, the Belgian all-rounder managed to thwart the valiant efforts of the chasing pack, ie. everyone else to bring it home in style, gifting Jumbo Visma its fifth win, although denying Olav Kooik a record-breaking fifth consecutive win at the race.

There was much drama before the finish too, with the entire team of Jumbo Visma took a wrong turn with just about 10km to go, giving us a glimpse of an unusual mistake from the well-oiled machine of a team.

Ethan Vernon of Soudal Quick-Step, riding in his home race, took second place once again today, followed by Bora Hansgrohe's Danny van Poppel — the 30-year-old trying everything but still unable to beat Jumbo Visma.

And with this late attack, Van Aert has now opened up 3-second lead over his rivals. There's just one more flat stage left, before the hills start creeping in, and then the mouth-watering finale finish at the Caerphilly hill climb. Could this Tour of Britain be finally getting interesting?!

07 September 2023, 14:19
Trek reveals plan to accept used bikes and sell second-hand as part of sustainability drive, even if it "means making and selling less"
Trek Sustainability Report press release

Trek's Sustainability Report outlines the brand's commitment to a more sustainable future, calls for "scepticism" about companies' net-zero pledges, and commits to ending use of carbon offsets to calculate its carbon footprint...

> Trek reveals plan to accept used bikes and sell second-hand as part of sustainability drive, even if it "means making and selling less"

07 September 2023, 13:14
Tyne Valley searches for a "bicycle mayor", after surge in cycling popularity "propelled by the Tour of Britain and Netflix's Tour de France documentary"

After all these years, who would've thought a dramatised depiction of Tour de France is what it takes to "propel" cycling in the Tyne Valley? Oh, that and the very exciting ongoing race right now, the Tour of Britain. What, did you think I was going to say the Vuelta?

Did everyone just completely the miss almighty Worlds just over a hundred miles away?

Cyclists in Northumberland (licensed on Flickr under CC-BY-NC 2.0 by Judith)

Cyclists in Northumberland (licensed on Flickr under CC-BY-NC 2.0 by Judith)

But what comes as a breath of fresh air, the region is looking for a 'bicycle mayor' after a "notable increase" in cycling popularity since the Covid pandemic, reports the Hexham Courant.

The position will be a voluntary role designed to 'help all who ride a bike in the Tyne Valley.' Currently, there are thirteen bicycle mayors and youth bicycle mayors across the UK and the new recruit will be the fourteenth.

> UK’s first Bicycle Mayor outlines plans to get Cumbria pedalling

The successful candidate would become part of a supportive global network, the Bicycle Mayor Network (BYCS), based in Amsterdam, where the first bicycle mayor was elected in 2016.

Hexham Town Councillor John Ord said: “I am very excited to be part of this search for a bicycle mayor for the Tyne Valley. This is a wonderful area for cycling.

"Since Covid lockdown there has been a notable increase in the numbers of people cycling and we’d like to continue and encourage that trend through the bicycle mayor initiative.

"A Tyne Valley bicycle mayor could promote the environmental and health benefits of cycling especially among traditionally under-represented groups such as women and young people.

"BYCS is especially interested in having applications from minorities, women and students who can spread the message of cycling as fun as well as good for you and the environment."

07 September 2023, 12:02
Er, a not-so-good morning, from Birmingham

That's a few kids in Birmingham signing the late book this morning...

07 September 2023, 11:49
"One of the only safe road cycling routes": Cyclists object to complete closure of "key part" of National Cycling Network
Quiet road on western shore of Thirlmere. Image by Cathredfern (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Cycling UK has urged people to oppose the proposed closure, which would force vulnerable road users to use a busy A-road "hemmed in by walls with fast flowing traffic and heavy goods vehicles" as the "only alternative"...

> "One of the only safe road cycling routes": Cyclists object to complete closure of "key part" of National Cycling Network

07 September 2023, 10:22
"Things you could put in a Tour of Britain": Suggestions from the couch peloton

Seems like the moaning about Tour of Britain is destined to continue until the race finishes and the victor is decided at Caerphilly (my thoughts with the organisers). Meanwhile, here are some suggestions offered by the couch peloton...

07 September 2023, 09:50
2023 Tour of Britain stage two, Olav Kooij wins in Wrexham ( Williams)
Dan Martin says Jumbo Visma haven't been "put under pressure" at Tour of Britain

We all know how quick fans are to turn on their beloved sport if things don't stay interesting enough for them (aren't we all a bunch of spoilt brats), with this edition of Tour of Britain, criticised for not being nowhere close to exciting or thrilling.

Yesterday's live blog was dominated by moaning about the route being too flat, with the same rinse, repeat cycle of a breakaway, Jumbo Visma catching up, and Olav Kooij winning the sprint now on display for four consecutive stages, and as things stand, most likely to continue for two more days.

The social media account of Tour of Britain hit back, saying that "organising cycle races in the UK is harder than ever before" (I wonder why) and "you cannot just stick pins in a map and say 'we’re going to have a stage there'".

> "Organising cycle races in the UK is harder than ever before": Tour of Britain hits back at "dull" racing critics

Now, former Irish pro rider has attributed to cycling fans' woes while watching the Tour of Britain to other teams not doing enough to push Jumbo Visma.

"To clarify, the councils fund the stages and guide the Tour of Britain routes," wrote the Tour de France and Vuelta stage winner. "But the course is the course and only Ineos on stage 3 have shown real intent to try mix things up. Jumbo haven’t really been put under pressure otherwise. Hope that changes today."

Although he is right (I would point that Danny van Poppel and Sam Bennett have also tried to snatch the sprint victories from TJV), I wonder which teams and riders would have it in them to keep the pace against Jumbo and then try to match the leadouts performed by Wout van Aert?

I wouldn't be holding my breath for Jumbo Visma to take it easy anytime soon though. Kooij has already matched the record for four consecutive wins, and we know the Dutch team, or any team with that sort of ambition, wouldn't prefer anything over total domination.

07 September 2023, 09:37
"Interesting tactics" from Thomas De Gendt

While today's stage is one for the sprinters (or a breakaway?), tomorrow brings another day of pain for the peloton which will be climbing up the spine-tinglingly enchanting Col du Tourmalet. Thomas De Gendt has some interesting tactics up his sleeve, or should I say, backpocket.

07 September 2023, 09:28
Halfords "adversely affected by unfavourable weather and low consumer confidence" as bike sales go down
halfords fix your bike 2.PNG

Halfords, the UK's largest retailer of cycling products and services, saw its cycling-related sales slump during the middle part of 2023 as motoring filled the void left by the hit to spending in cycling.

> Cycling sales down at Halfords as retailer shifts focus to car repairs

07 September 2023, 09:03
La Pietà at La Vuelta

This couldn't get more meta. Jesus Herrada, nonchalantly, unintentionally, and almost perfectly, recreating the iconic Pietà, after winning yesterday's summit finish stage at La Laguna Negra.

What an image. If I was two years younger and saw this shot in an indie movie, I would have screamed and raved at the 'totally subtle and understated' reference. Now I am doing the same, only with this biblical sport. Oh how things change but stay the same! 

07 September 2023, 08:30
"Inaction is a political choice": Withdrawal of support for cycling policies by Labour and Lib Dems, described as a "rug pull", leaves campaigners dismayed

Cambridge's cycling campaign, Camcycle, has come down strongly on the decisions made by the Liberal Democrats and Labour parties on the current proposals for a Sustainable Travel Zone in Cambridge, which after a "rug pull" by the council yesterday, are now "unlikely to proceed".

In August last year, the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) announced proposals for a transformational change to the city’s transport network to be developed over the next six years, called 'Sustainable Travel Zone', or STZ.

The GCP said that this new transport zone would cut the number of car journeys within Cambridge by a staggering half, with motor vehicle journeys disincentivised with a £5 charge per day for using the zone between 7am and 7pm on weekdays only.

The plane laid out additional charges for other vehicles, LGVs £10 and coaches and HGVs £50. A system of discounts, exemptions and reimbursements would apply to groups including emergency vehicles, blue badge holders, low-income households, some NHS patients and staff, social care workers and zero-emissions, accessible taxis.

The revenue raised was to be used to fund active travel projects as well as buses. An estimated £20 million annually will be available for infrastructure investment.

Sounds a lot like another zone from another city, over which battle lines have been drawn?

> Whose ULEZ is it anyway? Political chicanery as clean air zone set to expand to outer London

Cambridge CYCLOPS junction (Camcycle)

Cambridge CYCLOPS junction (Camcycle)

Camcyle said: "Inaction is a political choice that will have a detrimental impact on our transport network. It will not address the urgent issues of our growing region including health, pollution, road safety and carbon emissions.

"Cycling has always been, and will continue to be, part of the solution. Camcycle will never stop campaigning for the things that enable more, better and safer cycling, which will in turn deliver benefits for everyone, even those who do not ride themselves.

"To achieve a high-quality, accessible cycle network across our region, it is essential to secure both an increased level of investment in dedicated cycle infrastructure and a reduction in the speed and volume of motor traffic on our roads. Our rural routes should be safe for all ages and abilities, and our urban areas should be places for people not traffic jams."

The proposed flat fares were due to be introduced from next year, if the plan was approved this summer. When Camcycle members were surveyed in October 2022,  88 per cent were in support of it.

However, after concerns against the plan were raised by the Lib Dems, the Labour group on the council has now voted to withdraw support for the proposals, saying that it was worried about the "impact on low income families".

> "Upholding ULEZ good news for all cyclists": Cycling groups welcome High Court ruling ULEZ expansion as lawful

Asked how "dead" the plans were, Labour leader of the council, Mike Davey said: "They are not going to go ahead.

"There were bits we liked and bits we remained concerned about. Sustainable travel has not gone away – something is going to have to happen. Something will have to go ahead because we have a problem with congestion in this city, which is only going to get worse."

> Cambridge cyclists issue impassioned 'Please stop killing us' plea

However, Camcycle has not been pleased one bit with the decision.

The group said: "If decision-makers are going to completely give up on this idea, and all the benefits it would have brought, urgent action is needed on alternative schemes that will achieve a reduction in motor traffic and the income for sustainable transport modes that is equal to what the STZ was forecast to achieve.

"What cannot happen is that our region wastes another decade and more millions of taxpayers’ money failing to take action for change. Since 1990, when congestion charging was first discussed, our young people (the majority of whom supported the Sustainable Travel Zone in the 2022 consultation) have been failed. The poorest and most isolated in society have been failed. Our local businesses, strangled by congestion, have been failed. It’s time to turn the tide."

Adwitiya joined in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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NOtotheEU replied to chrisonabike | 10 months ago

It's not wide all the way and at some points it's just a shared use pavement but apart from the point where it goes from one side of the dual carriageway to the other with no signage (that I've noticed) it's a good start.

I think AlsoSomniloquism said they use it regularly but I've only been on it 3 or 4 times.

AlsoSomniloquism replied to NOtotheEU | 10 months ago

Yep it is my route. If I'm on my hybrid* I use it and it is used regularly by delivery cyclists coming in for shifts and others. Typical of the DM to take the one section with "queueing traffic" and blame the bike lane for it when it happens to be leading to traffic lights and a section which has no actual changes to the road layout at all. 

*If I'm on my road bike I don't simply because there is still a bus lane which I can use to go faster as most of it is used by pedestrians rather then the pavement running next to it. 

Rome73 replied to NOtotheEU | 10 months ago

Turns out Birmingham really is a dump after all. Levelling Up and that 350m a week should sort the problem. 

brooksby replied to Rome73 | 10 months ago


Turns out Birmingham really is a dump after all. Levelling Up and that 350m a week should sort the problem. 

I read something in the news which said that Birmingham's financial problems "could" be laid at the door of their having paid humongous amounts of money hosting the Commonwealth Games.  The games that various states - not just cities! - around the world have announced that they cannot afford to run.

chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 10 months ago
1 like

Didn't it all start from "we don't need to give women the same incentives to work (like money) as we do men"?   That's hardly unique to Birmingham of course.  Nor was their response to a hundred or so women making a discrimination claim: "Settling up would be expensive!  Let's go to the courts instead".  Followed by a lengthy wrangle about time limits (and presumably cash spent defending previous discrimination) which finally ballooned into "Oh no!  The courts now say that lots of women (not just the hundred or so initial claimaints) could be due the money we didn't bother to pay them!  That's far more expensive!"

However Socialist Worker says it's really the Tory cuts wot did it and spineless Labour not fighting them, so I guess opinions vary.

AlsoSomniloquism replied to chrisonabike | 10 months ago
1 like

Most of what you mentioned was under a NOC (Con-LibDem Coalition) council. Yes 10 years later it should have been proritised but as you mentioned, the payments were due at a time central government were making cuts. It would have been interesting, if we hadn't just voted Labour back in whether Eric Pickles would have bailed us out at the time when asked. The council has tried to raise money by selling their crown jewels (NEC sold for £300mil in a rush to raise funds and then was sold again a few years later for £800mil) 


AlsoSomniloquism replied to brooksby | 10 months ago

£184mil is quoted as the councils cost for the CW games, although that is also partners as well. There were several businesses and local Uni's who were quoted as "partners" on the advertising gumph so maybe not all of that was council money. The whole thing was £800mil or so. Victoria had it listed as £1.1billion but as high as 3-4billion so not sure why the massive jump. It might be that we already had most buildings and usage, Alexander Stadium just needed some temp stands, Edgbaston for Cricket, Brum Uni and NEC as other places. It was only the Swimming centre which needed building and originally it was looked at the Uni as they had a new pool built but the capacity wasn't there. Only the track cycling was outside the area.

NOtotheEU replied to Rome73 | 10 months ago
1 like

Turns out Birmingham really is a dump after all. Levelling Up and that 350m a week should sort the problem. 

Birmingham's a dump and politicians lie. Hard to disagree with that.

hutchdaddy | 10 months ago

Nice to see there's one news outlet that we can trust to encourage safer behaviour on our roads ....

Hirsute | 10 months ago

Cycling Mikey is on GMB tomorrow at 725. Apparently some arsehole lawyer is going to be on too.

"Can you get me off this NIP for dangerous driving on some technicality?

I mean, that is your approach to road safety?"

Steve K replied to Hirsute | 10 months ago

Hirsute wrote:

Cycling Mikey is on GMB tomorrow at 725. Apparently some arsehole lawyer is going to be on too.

"Can you get me off this NIP for dangerous driving on some technicality?

I mean, that is your approach to road safety?"

If he says we need legal parity between bikes and cars, can someone please ask him if that means motors limited to 250W and cutting out at 25kph.

IanMK | 10 months ago

Just so I know I've got this right. Drivers are angry (presumably at the government) because speed limits don't apply to cyclists and simultaneously angry with cyclists for not sticking to speed limits. That's a lot of anger issues.

David9694 replied to IanMK | 10 months ago

Drivers can barely conceal their daily disappointment with the actual driving experience vs a mixture of nostalgia for past times, flukey times when there was no one around and the odd car ad.  

Anything can then be the focus of all this excess energy, not least a cyclist doing the speed limit (or not) keeping up with them.  Driver non-compliance with speed limits and a range of other rules occurs on an industrial scale but, notwithstanding this backdrop it's always "I saw cyclist... doing x" 

where x = too slow, on the pavement, too fast, not on the pavement, etc 

brooksby replied to David9694 | 10 months ago
1 like

David9694 wrote:

Drivers can barely conceal their daily disappointment with the actual driving experience vs a mixture of nostalgia for past times, flukey times when there was no one around and the odd car ad.  

Car adverts are particularly odd.

I have never seen one where the cars are "stuck in traffic" in an urban environment - they are always completely empty cities like the beginning of 28 Days Later or else Wide Open Spaces.


(edit) Actually, I can recall one ad I've seen where the cars are barely moving.  A recent one for some mini SUV thing, with the USP for the vehicle being that "the driver is sat high up so has good visibility" I think...

chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 10 months ago


Can't find it but IIRC a while back there was an article here on a German chap who'd done just that as commentary. ("Good for traffic jams!")

And there was this:

Dnnnnnn | 10 months ago

I fear hearing to CyclingMikey on the Jeremy Vine show is more likely to promote hatred of cyclists than D&C constabulary's tweet.

HoldingOn | 10 months ago

Looks like Birmingham could do with getting rid of those cycle lanes to make more room for cars. Look at all those cyclists, stopping the drivers from getting where they need to go.

ROOTminus1 replied to HoldingOn | 10 months ago
1 like

I wonder how much clearer the road was just a week ago before the schools went back? Probably still not a pleasant experience, but I imagine it was at least moving

Dogless replied to ROOTminus1 | 10 months ago
1 like

Probably much quieter, which begs the question: how many of those journeys could have been made by bike? In an urban environment you're maybe, what 15 mins from a high school max, significantly less from a primary school.

HoldingOn replied to Dogless | 10 months ago

When I walk my kids to school (not in Birmingham) about half way along the ten minute walk, we pass a family getting into their people carrier. We then see the same family getting out of the people carrier, dropping their kids off at the same school we are going to.
It depresses me every time I see it.

brooksby replied to HoldingOn | 10 months ago

HoldingOn wrote:

When I walk my kids to school (not in Birmingham) about half way along the ten minute walk, we pass a family getting into their people carrier. We then see the same family getting out of the people carrier, dropping their kids off at the same school we are going to.
It depresses me every time I see it.

I will always remember walking from my house down to the takeaway in the village, this one time.  Maybe a five/ten minute walk.  I passed a bloke a few houses down getting into his car.  When I arrived at the takeaway, he was getting out of his car...

chrisonabike | 10 months ago

"Inaction is a political choice"

It is not easy.  The voters (or some voters) are so quick to baulk at the idea of changes affecting driving.  What we might see as "positive change to promote better places, more efficient travel, health etc." many clearly see as a less than zero-sum game.  It's not "inaction" to them (though they'll continue to moan about the roads).  They'll see it as not deliberately choosing to ruin everyone's lives for ... a handful of cyclists? wrote:

... the Labour group on the council has now voted to withdraw support for the proposals, saying that it was worried about the "impact on low income families".

We can't regulate cars, because (somewhat) poor people have cars*.

Councillor Mike Davey wrote:

There were bits we liked ...

Photo ops in quiet streets with people walking about, mums and children on bikes...

Councillor Mike Davey wrote:

... and bits we remained concerned about.

Like shouty people who are rich enough to run a car but "poor" - actually, we're not really fussed about those either.  It's the middling folks writing strongly worded letters / threatening to take us to court, local businesspeople, all the other councillors who drive ...

Councillor Mike Davey wrote:

Sustainable travel has not gone away – something is going to have to happen. Something will have to go ahead because we have a problem with congestion in this city, which is only going to get worse.

... and it always will.  Because we can't get beyond seeing this as a political landmine which we'll only tackle if we absolutely have to.  After all the other issues have been sorted.  Which is never.

* You might think that a councillor would ask "what do people need to get around for, and how best to facilitate that given the other goals".  This is clearly too advanced though.  You might think a Labour representative would at least ask "and why are the incomes so low?".  Unfortunately I bet the answer is always "x years of Tory cuts!" which doesn't really advance the plot here.

IanMK replied to chrisonabike | 10 months ago

It does seem that low income families (obviously, as you say, not defined in any way) are a bit of a political football at the moment. I don't know how it is in Cambridge but in general poorer areas have very low turn out in the elections. That would suggest they do not feel represented by any of the political parties. In that case, it would be better to hear directly from the "low income families" rather than those claiming to be representing their interests. Perhaps they would understand that needing to own a car to get to the shops is an imposition and would actually get the most benefit from improved public transport.

chrisonabike replied to IanMK | 10 months ago
1 like

Is it even simpler, that powers (autocrats, parties of all hues) have a long history of threatening others with the lumpenproletariat?  Times past (mostly) this was directly, as a large force of "desperate people".  Or more subtly, like e.g. Belarus encouraging migrants and then pushing them across the borders to Poland.

As you say the poorest seem to vote less and aren't normally in a position to e.g. fund politicians. I'm sure some folks do mean what they say about helping people.  However there are few saints in real life, plus those at the bottom of the pile may have identified that their problem is - at least partly - those in better positions who wish to remain there!

Hirsute | 10 months ago

"Inaction is a political choice"

It's odd that people think doing nothing is not a choice.
Had this sort of debate in the local rag (well, as much as you can). Apparently pushing for active travel is imposing your will on others when you know nothing about them.
Whereas doing nothing apparently isn't a choice and isn't imposing your will on others (more congestion, pollution, health issues, traffic collision damage).

IanMK replied to Hirsute | 10 months ago

Exactly this, we seem very reluctant as a society to point this out. I suppose it's the very definition of "laissez-faire" which is of course a choice.

brooksby | 10 months ago

Riding in this morning I stopped at the end of a queue of cars approaching some temporary traffic lights.  There are roadworks in my lane, so there are three-way lights controlling traffic onto a pair of mini roundabouts.  The lights changed and the traffic moved forward.

As I reached the actual lights they turned to amber - I knew I didn't have time to clear the whole 'controlled' area before they go red, so I stop.  As I put my foot down on the ground, a van and two cars speed past me from behind... 

On the positive, I watched a squirrel carrying an apple across a zebra crossing and try to go through a gate into the car park for the university chaplaincy building.  It couldn't fit, the apple was too big, so it moved right and tried the next gap (with no success, the bars on the gate were evenly spaced, obviously).  It did it again, and again, turned to go back the way it had come, but then turned back and - quite by chance, I think - ran around the end of the gate angry

mitsky replied to brooksby | 10 months ago
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Per this clip:

(and my own comment on the video)

the police do take action if the evidence is clear.

wtjs replied to mitsky | 10 months ago

the police do take action if the evidence is clear

Maybe yours do (although watch out for them claiming to 'take action' and then doing nothing) but they don't here, no matter how good the evidence.

mitsky replied to wtjs | 10 months ago
1 like


Yeah, I guess I should re-word it to "the police may take action...". angry


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