Improving cycling safety

Robert Gifford writing in the Independent on making cycling safer while correctly noting that drivers should note Paragraph 139 of the Highway code:

give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would a car when overtaking (see Rules 188, 189 and 191.

falls into the usual problem area for people looking for a solution. That of segregated cycle paths and tracks. Good quality cycle tracks and paths are a pipe dream. They would need to reduce the number of junctions that cyclists face, recall that the vast majority of accidents occur at junctions, the terrible accident which resulted in his comment is an exception. Then the paths and tracks would have to be swept and maintained regularly. It could be done but in reality it is never going to happen. The real estate required makes that a certainty.

He then moves to the real issue. That of inappropriate speed. However rather than simply suggesting a zero tolerance to speeding. I would suggest removing fines for speeding so that the motoring lobby can no longer suggest that safety cameras are a revenue generating solution and simply go straight for driving bans. 3 points and a 3 month driving ban. 6 points 6 months etc. Job done.

Instead he suggests adding pinch points. Pinch points put vulnerable road users at greater risk. Indeed the only road I have been scared off riding on is Oatlands Drive between Walton and Weybridge which was fine until pinch points were added. They even have cycle “paths” that lead you into the pinch point at the same time as vehicles are swerving towards you. Truly horrible, prior to giving up on this road I took to just taking the same route as the cars which used to irritate them as I would only be doing 30mph (it is down hill).

He even then falls for the Helmet suggestion while admitting that they won't prevent accidents he seems to imply that they will make a difference. Another pipe dream.

I fear for the state of cycling safety while those that advocate it to parliament seem to have such a poor grasp of reality.

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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