London Cycling Campaign
30.04.09 by Buffalo Bill
Their e-newsletter is in my inbox. Despite my having resigned from the organisation two and a half years ago in protest at their participation in ‘Share the Road’, a deeply flawed road ‘safety’ initiative, launched by TfL in partnership with the LCC. I do share their number 1 goal, which is to get more Londoners cycling regularly, but I disagree with the promotion of the London Cycling Network.
I understand that cycle lanes are a useful tool to counteract public perception of cycling as dangerous. I also accept that more cyclists will mean that motorists will expect to see cyclists, thus will look for them, thus there will be less crashes caused by ‘sorry mate, I didn’t see you’ driving. Therefore cycle lanes are a good thing if they encourage more people to cycle.
On the other hand, I have written a lot about the dangers of riding up the left-hand side and stopping to the front and left of lorries.1 This is exactly what cyclists are encouraged to do by painted lanes and advanced stop lines. If one is wearing a hi-vis vest, a helmet and has followed an on-road cycle lane into an ASL, all of which behaviour is reccomended in the Highway Code2, then one might consider oneself to be a responsible road-user, and that one would be safe. Not so, as evidence from numerous fatal collision investigations has shown.
Chris Carlsson, a well-known ‘radical’ cycle activist, in promoting what he calls a ‘compelling vision of a citywide grid of safe, separate, horticulturally designed and artistically adorned cycling paths’, calls those of us who dissent from the cycle lane orthodoxy ‘Republican Efficiency Freaks’3, which is clearly some sort of political insult. I am not against all cycle lanes and paths. I guess my problem is that I worry that if they are promoted to the public as a safer alternative to streets without lanes or paths then inexperienced cyclists will feel safe, and not recognise the inherent hazards of riding up the inside of stationary traffic. Nothing will put people off cycling more than hearing about cyclists being killed.
1 Like this article, about the junction where Emma Foa was killed.
3 In this article, on streetsblog. He was also once kind enough to call me a ‘sell-out’.
Guardian piece on Sheppard's death and trial by media
Guardian story on lorry deaths makes serious error
Two London cyclists killed in two days by lorries
8th female London cyclist killed by lorry?
Police appeal for witnesses to fatal collision, 11th London cyclist killed
Cycle lanes are convenient for motorists, not cyclists
Mayor's transport questions and answers, doublethink and other nonsense
'Psychiatrist' says bicycles kill more people than 'terrorism'
Appeal for witnesses to fatal collision, 29th June 0820, Kennington
Boris left at the lights