/ War on Britain's Roads

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2012/dec/03/bbc-cycling-documentary-irresponsible-mp

Probably going to send a very poor message about cyclists tomorrow night.

Worth reading the following for an opinion of a cyclist involved in the programme.

http://www.magnatom.net/2012/11/war-on-britains-roads.html

Smacks of red top tabloid sensationalism and poor investigative journalism (a bit like the OMM floods craps the BBC pumped out the other year).
Pennine - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat: No guesses to what the non cyclist's will be talking about on Thursday. Yep, the alleycat couriers racing across london. This was made in 2006 by an American filmmaker and been on YouTube for years. But let's not prejudge!!
EeeByGum - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat: Maybe it is worth registering a complaint with the BBC Complains department? I have only seen the trailers but it comes across as one of those programmes that takes some rather exciting footage from Youtube and builds a narrative around that rather than looking at the actual issue.
ti_pin_man - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

Great, sounds like just what we dont need, sounds like the program will pour fuel on an already burning fire. I'm very up for putting cyclist safety more into the public domain but only in a balanced way and not sensationalist, this looks like pure sensationalism dross.
EeeByGum - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to ti_pin_man: Good article here quoting the BBC's editorial guidelines which should be used in any complaint

http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/bbc-doc-portrays-dvd-stunt-cycling-footage-as-standard-behaviour/01...
Toby S - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

Did anyone watch it then? I was stuck in a meeting till 10pm last night so ended up missing it.
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat: I only saw the end of it, but from what I saw, it seemed pretty fair. Some Cyclists are tits, some drivers are tits, and some accidents happen that could have been avoided. If everyone was a bit more sensible and accomodating, the world would be a nicer place

Can people really object about that?
paulcarey - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Toby S& grumpybear:
It wasn't that bad. People had a chance to think about whether their behaviour was acceptable looking back at the footage and also look at other footage and judge whether it was acceptable.

There are idiots on 2 and 4 wheels..

ti_pin_man - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat: +1 it was a lot more balanced than the original press said it would be. I've cycled into central london for two years and have seen many of these kind of incidents on a regular basis and they are right, there is kn0bs in cars AND on bikes.

The only things that annoyed me on the program was the use of the bike courier 'stunt race' footage that is not how most cyclist ride. That was a bit sensationist and not representative of cycling.

Its time some serious cash was put into infrastructure and education programs for both cyclists and drivers alike in the capital. I think drivers should have to cycle a mile into the capital at rush hour as part of their test so they appreciate a cyclist view of the world, most cyclists are drivers so know how it is being a driver.

Monk - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

Well, I've read the hype all week and I had some spare time this evening so tuned in. I have to admit that I don't think it was bad at all, and I think that in general it was fairly sympathetic to the cyclists. The bit at the end just showed some cyclists being complete dicks, but that was the counterpoint to 20 minutes before that of drivers being dicks, and the actions were roundly condemned by the cyclists and drivers alike. Generally I thought the programme was fairly even-handed. Perhaps I am watching it as a cyclist, so understand what the cyclists are doing when they are in the middle of the road where a driver may not understand? I do think that more should be made of the fact that, although they generally opined that cyclists banging on a car is a bit aggressive, there is no way that a car should be passing you close enough so you can touch it.

Any non-cyclists care to comment?
android_lloyd - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat: I got the impression that the guy with 'business cards' seemed to be riding in the most awkard way possible. In the middle of a 2 lane carriageway when the only option is to turn left at the end.
nniff - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to ti_pin_man:

A couple of things struck me.

Firstly, the old courier race video extracts at the beginning was out of context and set a misrepresentative tone.

Secondly, considering the behaviour of the black cabbie, I thought he was given way too much air time.

Overall, not as bad as I was expecting (bar the title, which is simply wrong)

However, this morning on radio 4 someone pointed out that all of the participants, bar the mother of the woman who was killed, were men and suggetsed that it was a male problem. Regrettably, I've been pulled out on twice recently on roundabouts. Both women. Hit one, who didn't stop, and full on emergency stop for the other.

Then they had a woman who lives on the Olympic cycle route and apparently crossing the road at the weekends is impossible. I live next to Box Hill. Can't say I have a problem. There are certainly more cars than bikes and they go faster.
ti_pin_man - on 06 Dec 2012
the footage of the cyclists racing through the streets towards the end was out of context, it footage of a 'stunt' / 'courier race' - - not normal cycling and having it in the show was wrong, they didnt show car racers racing so why add in cycle racers? Just sensationalist.

The black cyclist did seem a bit out in the middle of lanes sometime when there was space closer to the curb, but the highway code does advise a metre out from the curb is the correct position and I would agree a metre is assertive but not agressive.

IMHO there's as many women kn0b drivers as there is men kn0b drivers ;) same is true with cyclists.
paulcarey - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

Just seen on the BBC that that another cyclist has died after a collision with a lorry on Commercial Road in East London.

It's very sad and happens far too often.
Rampikino - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

I felt that the black cyclist with the calling cards had good intentions but was very confrontational. He clearly went out of his way to confront drivers and did a lot of shouting, banging on windows, aggressive gestures etc.

He did break down when he talked about his accident and it does seem that he has issues. But his way of dealing with it was unhelpful.

As one guy pointed out - he has just been cut up by some asshole driver, then bangs on the window and shouts at him. How does he expect that to end?
JohnnyW - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

As a cyclist who has recently been involved in a rage incident (in which I took the law into my own hands, and paid the price the Law dictated :o(, I thought it was reasonably balanced.

What is obvious is that education is the requirement, for both motorists and cyclists, as well as some consequences for both if they break the law.

I feel that I run the gauntlet daily, and I don't cycle in a big city, so it made me shudder at times.
ti_pin_man - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Rampikino: I agree it was a little confrontational and maybe we didnt see the full story from him. If you're cut up by another driver, you might beep your horn or swear and gesticulate, as a human we always want to tell the other they've done something wrong and banging on the car is often the only way, sometimes drivers havent even seen you and they need to know they nearly killed you... the policeman suggesting a whistle to a cyclist was a joke. Made me smile. if cyclists used a whistle every near miss, there would be protests about noise pollution! ;o)
ti_pin_man - on 06 Dec 2012
999thAndy on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

I watched it and thought it finished off reasonably balanced. 3 points I thought stood out were

1. There is no way of reasoning with either a bloke who jumps out of a car swearing and waving his fists about, or with a bloke who bangs on a car shouting 'tw@' or similar at the driver.

2. All the shouters were blokes, who are naturally kings of the road in whichever mode of transport thry choose. There was only one woman on the programme and she had by a massive margin the most positive impact on road safety - we could do with some more men like that

3. There was no discussion about WHY drivers don't see bikes - there was lots of footage of near misses and crashes in which cars and lorries sail onto roundabouts and cyclist ends up on his arse / over the bonnet, but no-one explained why they were missed. I'm sure drivers do not set out to mow down bikes, so they must be harder to spot

Tony the Blade on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to paulcarey:
> (In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat)
>
> Just seen on the BBC that that another cyclist has died after a collision with a lorry on Commercial Road in East London.
>
> It's very sad and happens far too often.

http://lcc.org.uk/articles/another-londoner-dies-in-cyclist-lorry-crash

Agreed, very sad.

Read the comment below for a slightly different idea.
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In reply to 999thAndy:
> (In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat)
> 3. There was no discussion about WHY drivers don't see bikes - there was lots of footage of near misses and crashes in which cars and lorries sail onto roundabouts and cyclist ends up on his arse / over the bonnet, but no-one explained why they were missed. I'm sure drivers do not set out to mow down bikes, so they must be harder to spot

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/raf-pilot-teach-cyclists/

Interesting read.
JSA - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Tony the Blade:

While it is sad that another cyclist has died I do think that cyclists need educating when there are lorries around otherwise either more will continue to be killed. As for the comment someone made about fitting lorries with more mirrors as well as sensors and cameras, no progress would be made by the driver if he's constantly looking in more* mirrors as well as a camera monitor.

Cyclists need to be more aware!

* at present most lorries have about 6 mirrors any more would be ridiculous.
http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/c0.0.290.290/p403x403/20225_10151236163782508_1822885902_...
EeeByGum - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JSA: I am no expert in this but I believe there are alarms that can now be fitted that alert the driver if a cyclist is in his blind spot. Agreed with no more mirrors, but there are technological solutions to such problems. I believe most new Eddie Stobbart trucks are fitted with this technology although I can't see the hauliers scrapping at the bottom of the pile retrofitting such devices so your point about education still stands.
ti_pin_man - on 06 Dec 2012
As more and more people start cycling we need to educate them to ride safely and with awareness agreed, BUT the education MUST take place with drivers too and if technology can help then it should be fitted. Every driver should have to ride a mile each way in rush hour, that would educate them! ;o)
JSA - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

I posts this on here some time ago. Good video but I still think that the majority of cyclists I've seen while driving in London think the onus is on the lorry driver to see them rather than hanging back a bit and making sure they don't get squashed.
JSA - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to ti_pin_man:
> As more and more people start cycling we need to educate them to ride safely and with awareness agreed, BUT the education MUST take place with drivers too and if technology can help then it should be fitted. Every driver should have to ride a mile each way in rush hour, that would educate them! ;o)


And every cyclist should be made to ride in a lorry for a mile each way in rush hour. It's a hard enough job as it is without cyclists trying to get ahead at the lights by trying to squeeze down a 2 foot gap between the lorry and the footpath.
toad - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JSA: I may have said this before, but the rise of the likes of metro/express/ local stores in city centres is leading to a big increase in HGVs where they never used to be - big centralised distribution depots are also leading to companies thinking it's ok to send articulated vehicles down roads barely suitable for day to light traffic. It's easy to blame the HGV drivers, but the blame really lies in those further up the food chain (pardon the pun) who are using inappropriate vehicles at inappropriate times of day to resupply inappropriately located stores.
timjones - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to JSA) I may have said this before, but the rise of the likes of metro/express/ local stores in city centres is leading to a big increase in HGVs where they never used to be - big centralised distribution depots are also leading to companies thinking it's ok to send articulated vehicles down roads barely suitable for day to light traffic. It's easy to blame the HGV drivers, but the blame really lies in those further up the food chain (pardon the pun) who are using inappropriate vehicles at inappropriate times of day to resupply inappropriately located stores.

Beggar me! Shops in city centres, whatever will they think of next ;(
In reply to JSA:
> (In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat)
>
> I posts this on here some time ago. Good video but I still think that the majority of cyclists I've seen while driving in London think the onus is on the lorry driver to see them rather than hanging back a bit and making sure they don't get squashed.

Yep, remembered it but not who posted - many thanks and sorry I didn't attribute it to you in the first instance.
toad - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to timjones: Delivery patterns have changed. Shops keep much less stock and are resupplied more frequently. There is an explosion of high stock turnover grocers. Shops have always been in city centres, but the nature of shops and the way they are being supplied has changed out of all recognition in less than 30 years. The road infrastructure has barely altered.

Thinking about it, we have road tolling, workplace parking levies, congestion charges. What about a delivery surcharge based on HGV deliveries to stores identified as difficult?
Wonko The Sane - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to toad:
>
>
> Thinking about it, we have road tolling, workplace parking levies, congestion charges. What about a delivery surcharge based on HGV deliveries to stores identified as difficult?

Sure. But do bear in mind it's an additional cost to the shop you probably shop in.
Wonder where that cost will go?
toad - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonko The Sane: It was thinking aloud, but that is the same argument applied to every cost increase in any capacity - fuel, taxation, vehicle access charges - it's just one factor that might act as a "push" factor to move vehicle movements to safer locations
Wonko The Sane - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to Wonko The Sane) It was thinking aloud, but that is the same argument applied to every cost increase in any capacity - fuel, taxation, vehicle access charges - it's just one factor that might act as a "push" factor to move vehicle movements to safer locations

So the argument now is that everyone has to change their shopping habits to suit cyclists?
lost1977 - on 06 Dec 2012

> (In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat) No guesses to what the non cyclist's will be talking about on Thursday. Yep, the alleycat couriers racing across london.

that's one thing i really miss about not being a messenger any more (not truly eligible to take part now)
ti_pin_man - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JSA: I'd be up for this, I pulled a lady cyclist backwards by the scruff of her jacket as she was about to undertake a bus on a corner last year, it turned, could have been nasty.

BUT bear in mind most cyclists are indeed drivers too, whereas most drivers arent cyclists.

Next somebody will say we dont pay road tax! ;o)
tlm - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to ti_pin_man:

> IMHO there's as many women kn0b drivers as there is men kn0b drivers ;) same is true with cyclists.

I don't think there are as many women cyclists as there are men cyclists in the first place.

"Men are nearly three times more likely to cycle than women. The gap is largest amongst the age group 11-21"

http://cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog/2636/cycling/stats-uk/


toad - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonko The Sane: not that I'm painting myself into a corner here, but there could be a lot of benefits in reducing HGV movements in densly populated areas - road safety, pedestrian safety, air quality etc. Removing the risk completely is a lot better methodology than trying to make it safer
tlm - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

I'd love to make a video about my cycling. It's all full of old people with dogs in tartan jackets waving hello to me, lollipop people not stopping the traffic until I've had a chance to go past, cars giving way to me, even though I don't have the right of way, and an assortment of friendly faces that urge me on in my slow efforts up and down the hills. It's how I imagine that cycling would be in Noddy's world! :-) or for the telly tubbies! :-)
Wonko The Sane - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to Wonko The Sane) not that I'm painting myself into a corner here, but there could be a lot of benefits in reducing HGV movements in densly populated areas - road safety, pedestrian safety, air quality etc. Removing the risk completely is a lot better methodology than trying to make it safer

I for one prefer the convenience.
I think a lot of people would feel the same. The shops are there because they're profitable. They're profitable because people use them.
Just my take, but if councils started turfing shops to the outskirts...... not sure people would like it.

Supermarkets do generally have a few trucks for limited access store, but they are much more expensive to operate.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Ciro - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JSA:
> (In reply to Tony the Blade)
>
> While it is sad that another cyclist has died I do think that cyclists need educating when there are lorries around otherwise either more will continue to be killed. As for the comment someone made about fitting lorries with more mirrors as well as sensors and cameras, no progress would be made by the driver if he's constantly looking in more* mirrors as well as a camera monitor.
>
> Cyclists need to be more aware!
>
> * at present most lorries have about 6 mirrors any more would be ridiculous.
> http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/c0.0.290.290/p403x403/20225_10151236163782508_1822885902_...

Agreed, but I do think one of the main issues here is a reluctance to get out into the traffic for fear of upsetting drivers.

Cyclists are made to believe that they're supposed to be in the gutter and out of the way of other road users, so it's natural that they'll pass the static lorry at the traffic lights on the left instead of the right.

The road layouts don't help either. One incident that will forever stick in my mind from my early days of commuting in london - I came down the cycle lane on the left hand side and moved across into the advanced stop box at the lights, in front of a dirt lorry. When the lights changed, I pulled away over the junction, and the lorry pulled away at roughly the same speed as me. Once I began to approach terminal velocity, I realised from the way he was accelerating right up my ar$e he didn't know I was there. I squeezed in as tight as I could, and luckily when he clipped me I was able to throw myself onto the barrier between the road and the pavement, and somehow make it stick, got away with just bruised ribs.

After that day, I vowed to ignore the presence of cycle lanes at all times in the city and stay out in the middle of the road.
nniff - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Ciro:

Ouch. Nasty. Did he stop or just keep on going?

It never ceases to amaze me how aggy people get if you're taking up that bit of extra space so that they can't squeeze past, without recognising that the very reason you're taking up the space is specifically so that they can't squeeze past. Then they do, and 20 seconds later you're past them again.

tim000 - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Ciro:
>
> The road layouts don't help either. One incident that will forever stick in my mind from my early days of commuting in london - I came down the cycle lane on the left hand side and moved across into the advanced stop box at the lights, in front of a dirt lorry. When the lights changed, I pulled away over the junction, and the lorry pulled away at roughly the same speed as me. Once I began to approach terminal velocity, I realised from the way he was accelerating right up my ar$e he didn't know I was there. I squeezed in as tight as I could, and luckily when he clipped me I was able to throw myself onto the barrier between the road and the pavement, and somehow make it stick, got away with just bruised ribs.
>
> After that day, I vowed to ignore the presence of cycle lanes at all times in the city and stay out in the middle of the road.


im a keen cyclist and a cycling instructor and i would never filter to the front at traffic lights . i just stop beind the last car in the que, but move out a bit to hold the traffic behind until through the lights . but only if i was keeping up with the flow of traffic.advanced stops at traffic lights are a bad idea.
timjones - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to nniff:
> (In reply to Ciro)
>
> Ouch. Nasty. Did he stop or just keep on going?
>
> It never ceases to amaze me how aggy people get if you're taking up that bit of extra space so that they can't squeeze past, without recognising that the very reason you're taking up the space is specifically so that they can't squeeze past. Then they do, and 20 seconds later you're past them again.

Why pass them again? Life would be simpler and safer in traffic if we all moved with the flow rather than jostling for a few extra places up the queue.

Wonko The Sane - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to tim000: I do hear quite often that the advance stopping zone is dangerous. And it can be in front of lorries etc.
So maybe a solution is that over time, traffic lights are moved back 5m or so from the junction, and the advance stopping zone is put ahead of the first set of lights. This was, the bike would be far enough in front of the lorry to be seen.

Or simply, to avoid the problems the above could cause, just bigger advance stopping zones.
timjones - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to timjones) Delivery patterns have changed. Shops keep much less stock and are resupplied more frequently. There is an explosion of high stock turnover grocers. Shops have always been in city centres, but the nature of shops and the way they are being supplied has changed out of all recognition in less than 30 years. The road infrastructure has barely altered.
>
> Thinking about it, we have road tolling, workplace parking levies, congestion charges. What about a delivery surcharge based on HGV deliveries to stores identified as difficult?

30 years ago we would have had trucks supplying a whole host of small independent stores. The real change probably lies in the extra commuter traffic, both cars and bikes. I'm not sure it's right or fair to levy Yet more
charges on deliveries because of this.

Ciro - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to nniff:

Didn't stop, don't think he knew anything about it.
Ciro - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to tim000:
> (In reply to Ciro)
> [...]
>
>
> im a keen cyclist and a cycling instructor and i would never filter to the front at traffic lights . i just stop beind the last car in the que, but move out a bit to hold the traffic behind until through the lights . but only if i was keeping up with the flow of traffic.advanced stops at traffic lights are a bad idea.

I assume you're not in London then... if I did that, I'd probably be faster running to work than riding!
tim000 - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Ciro:
> (In reply to tim000)
> [...]
>
> I assume you're not in London then... if I did that, I'd probably be faster running to work than riding!

thankfully no . but some bust towns if i cant avoid them. one thing we talk about to the kids is route planning.
altirando - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat: Interesting to hear some of the headcam scenes were very old. As someone who used to knock off 10k a year on a bike, I did think some of those cyclists were assuming everyone else was going to get out of the way for them. Even in a car now I have got used to assuming other drivers will behave stupidly. The cyclist on the trail was of course completely out of order - almost behaving like a driver to cyclists. Coming up behind walkers at two or three times their pace, it is the cyclist's responsiblity to avoid collisions. On our local old rail trail, on a bike, I usually slow down and call out something like 'on your right' so people know on which side I will be overtaking. But the basic message is that bikes and cars/lorries don't mix. There needs to be positive separation, not just those very narrow lined-off strips down the side of the road. And even these are ignored with impunity. I go down through Kidderminster occasionally, and these clearly marked cyclists' lanes are mostly filled by cars half parked on the pavement. No police action of course. I have been thinking of treating myself to a nice sparkly carbon fibre road bike but I think I would feel far to vulnerable to enjoy the rides.
Ciro - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to tim000:

My morning commute starts in west london and ends round the corner from the bank of england, there's no planning your way round traffic jams on that run.

It doesn't lack excitement though, that's for sure. :D
mark s - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat: why couldnt the car drivers understand that if someone knocks on your car you are far too close.

i had a car see me and still pull out the other week,i had to go down his side to avoid him,i gave his car a firm whack on the boot
Ciro - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to altirando:
> But the basic message is that bikes and cars/lorries don't mix. There needs to be positive separation, not just those very narrow lined-off strips down the side of the road.

I don't think that's the case at all - the rules to allow us all to mix safely are in place (if we all followed the highway code there wouldn't be a problem), they just need to be followed/enforced.

Enty - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

Can you imagine some of the non cycling London motorists driving in Brussels? They'd be well pissed off.
Just put "fietsers door het rood" into google.

E
nniff - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Ciro:
> (In reply to tim000)
> [...]
>
> I assume you're not in London then... if I did that, I'd probably be faster running to work than riding!

Exactly. I drive to where the traffic stops, take my bike out of the boot and jump on that. Rose Hill/Morden to Covent Garden takes about 45 minutes. The pass/repass starts at Morden and settles down to mostly me passing at South Wimbledon, with the odd to and fro up to Clapham, Vauxhall etc. I've not counted, but I must pass around 1,000 cars in the morning and am probably passed by 300 or so. If I waited in line I'd die of asphyxiation.

Door to door it takes an hour to Hammersmith or 1:15 to Covent Garden. The train takes at least 1:30 door to door. Driving - 2-2:30 unless it's stupid early.

On the way back, it's probably about even.
Liam M - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to timjones:
> (In reply to nniff)
> [...]
>
> Why pass them again? Life would be simpler and safer in traffic if we all moved with the flow rather than jostling for a few extra places up the queue.

Do you think that should apply the other way around too in urban traffic? Given that the bikes are re-passing the cars, it cannot be stated that the cars necessarily have an higher average speed, so therefore they shouldn't overtake bikes on the sections where their instantaneous speed could be greater, but patiently wait behind?
Enty - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to timjones:
> (In reply to nniff)
> [...]
>
> Why pass them again? Life would be simpler and safer in traffic if we all moved with the flow rather than jostling for a few extra places up the queue.

Hi Tim, does that apply to all motor vehicles too?

E
balmybaldwin - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to JSA:
> (In reply to Tony the Blade)
>
> While it is sad that another cyclist has died I do think that cyclists need educating when there are lorries around otherwise either more will continue to be killed. As for the comment someone made about fitting lorries with more mirrors as well as sensors and cameras, no progress would be made by the driver if he's constantly looking in more* mirrors as well as a camera monitor.
>
> Cyclists need to be more aware!
>


Whilst I agree with most of your sentiments, cyclists should be very wary of lorries and buses, especially when passing them on the inside at traffic lights, if you saw the incident that was discussed last night where the woman's daughter was killed, this wasn't the usual cyclist up the inside at traffic lights, lorry turns left situation, this happened a good 300yards further up the road from the junction, the lorry came along side her, and just turned left and squashed her.

Short of jumping off the road the minute you hear a vehicle near you (let's face it cars do this as well as lorries, and they definitely don't have the same blind spots) I'm not sure what you can really do to mitigate against a driver like this that was obviously not paying attention to what was going on round him other than education.


abh - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Ciro:

Just to clarify. The lorry was stopped at a traffic lights and you cycled on the inside of the stationary lorry, then pulled in front of the lorry in the ASL - did you ensure that the lorry had seen you? i.e were you some distance in front of the lorry, or were you sitting on its bumper because the lorry had parked in the ASL...Lorry cabs cab be quite high. If the lorry driver had not seen you, how was he supposed to keep at your speed. if he had seen you, that is another story....

regards
subalpine - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat: that smug geek with the cam was enough to put anyone off cycling- probably an atheist../
balmybaldwin - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

I too have seen some stupendously stupid manoevers by cyclists, but as a driver I see more an more people who are doing things as well as driving, the obvious example is being on the phone or texting, but equally eating, chatting with other occupants of the car, but these are the most blatant offenders, it's the drivers (and cyclists) that just have no idea what's going on around them, and just plod along oblivious to the effect their driving, riding or even parking has on others round them (you see this a lot around emergency vehicles - 10 people go to pains to get out of the way and there's always one that seems to get in the way). I wonder if some of this is related to how much safety and noise insulation in cars has increased over the last 15 or so years and people are now more complacent.

There is an argument that says if you replaced the airbag in a vehicle with a big spike sticking out the steering wheel there would be a lot less accidents as the dangers are obvious and people would concentrate more.

As a cyclist I understand the need to be out of the gutter, and even further out at times, and I can see why this annoys a driver that is feeling held up (I used to get frustrated at caravans for the same reason) but the point is that nowadays, everyone feels their time is so precious that someone stopping the minute a light turns yellow can be enough to enrage the drier behind who was hoping to nip through just before it turned red, I'm not sure what can be done about this with roads as busy as they are, more demands on everyone for their time, and more and more distractions for everyone.

Liam M - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin: Indeed as far I can tell the most aggressive piece of driving I've had directed at me was because I stopped at some lights!

I pulled up to the line with the lights on red and stopped. A driver pulled up behind me and blasted his horn and made some strange gesture. When the lights went green he screeched up beside me, shouted out the window he was going to knock me off the bike and a few seconds later tried to turn into me and brake infront of me (which I just about managed to avoid) before he sped off.

Fortunately most drivers aren't homicidal nut jobs like him, and most incidents are just due to poor observation and distractions than malice.
balmybaldwin - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Liam M:
> (In reply to balmybaldwin) Indeed as far I can tell the most aggressive piece of driving I've had directed at me was because I stopped at some lights!
>
I actually meant when in a car, but that does not sound nice (especially given a lot of lights don't give a cyclist enough time to clear a junction between the change. - Reminds me of the roadworks going up to the REst and be Thankful - managed to get about a third of the way through the roadworks before the lights changed and I had lorries baring down on me from the other direction.

balmybaldwin - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

Here are several things that annoy me about other cyclists behaviour that I think contributes to some of the problems on the road:
- Jumping red lights - there really is only a case for this in the same circumstances that you would do it in a car - i.e. a clear and obvious danger to you if you didn't - this gives everyone on a bike a bad name
- Wearing headphones on the road - this numbs you senses - I know you can still hear things, but nowhere near as well - This also applies to runners and pedestrians if you must do it, at least only put one headphone in
- Hoping on and off curbs - you shouldn't be on the pavement it's for pedestrians, and how is a driver supposed to know that you are about to appear in their lane? (and I hate shared use paths pointless for cyclists and dangerous for pedestrians)
- Riding without enough lights on - they aren't expensive, and they should be used a lot better by a lot of cyclists (particularly your ride from the station types and kids) If it's dull during the day and you are driving you put your lights on, I rarely see other cyclists with lights on during the day.
- Being abusive to car drivers - it just doesn't help. If you feel you must talk to drivers about their behaviour do it in a calm and measured tone. Some of the behaviour in last nights program was terrible. When a woman clipped my back wheel on a roundabout, yes I was angry, but it took me 10s to just take a breath before I spoke to her. She was as shaken up as me. We parted amicably, and think she will look for cyclists a lot more now.


A quick question though, why do you think the same antagonism doesn't exist between motorcyclists and cars when motorcyclists are weaving between rows of traffic etc. Is this just because they have a speed advantage that is obvious whereas for a lot of drivers they can't equate a cyclist to being faster than a car through crowded streets?
Jim Hamilton - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> (In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat)
>
> Here are several things that annoy me about other cyclists behaviour that I think contributes to some of the problems on the road:
> - Jumping red lights - there really is only a case for this in the same circumstances that you would do it in a car - i.e. a clear and obvious danger to you if you didn't - this gives everyone on a bike a bad name

why does this annoy you ?
Enty - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> (In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat)
>
> Here are several things that annoy me about other cyclists behaviour that I think contributes to some of the problems on the road:
> - Jumping red lights - there really is only a case for this in the same circumstances that you would do it in a car - i.e. a clear and obvious danger to you if you didn't - this gives everyone on a bike a bad name
>

I disagree with you on this. So do the authorities in a few European countries.

E
Ciro - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to abh:
> (In reply to Ciro)
>
> Just to clarify. The lorry was stopped at a traffic lights and you cycled on the inside of the stationary lorry, then pulled in front of the lorry in the ASL - did you ensure that the lorry had seen you? i.e were you some distance in front of the lorry, or were you sitting on its bumper because the lorry had parked in the ASL...Lorry cabs cab be quite high. If the lorry driver had not seen you, how was he supposed to keep at your speed. if he had seen you, that is another story....
>
> regards

Pretty sure the lorry driver hadn't seen me at all - I was in front to the left, worst spot for him to see me from.

Hence why I'm saying the road layout doesn't help... had it been set up to encourage me to pass on the right I'd have been much more likely to have been seen.

Since then I always pass on the right, and stay to the right so I'm more likely to be seen, and preferably look up and make eye contact with the driver either through his side window as I'm passing or once I've taken up my position in front.
Ciro - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to balmybaldwin)
> [...]
>
> I disagree with you on this. So do the authorities in a few European countries.
>
> E

I recently informed a fellow cyclist that if he ran another red light I'd "f*cking clothes-line him of the bike", and almost ended up coming to blows when he took umbrage at this.

There was a small child crossing the road on a green man when he went through a red light at about 20mph, past a bus that he could not see through... he slammed on the anchors, locked his back wheel, and fishtailed round her, and he didn't think he'd done anything wrong.
balmybaldwin - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Jim Hamilton: and Enty

It annoys me because it is against the law, yes I get why its a good idea to allow left turn on red etc, but it isnt allowed, and all it does really is put pedestrians in danger who dont expect a bike to go through when the green man is showing. It would be a different matter if it was legal, but until it is cyclists like all other road users should obey the law of the road
Enty - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Ciro:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
>
>
> There was a small child crossing the road on a green man when he went through a red light at about 20mph,

Who in their right mind would go through a red at 20mph?

E
Enty - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Ciro:

Actually there's no point me arguing this one. I totally agree with you. I don't think you couldn't trust the majority of them to do the right thing if we allowed them to go through certain red lights.

E
Rat know-all - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Ciro:
I had a "Scunthorpe" do this to me the other day in the dark.
I just caught sight of him as he approached the rear of the car that had stopped for me. I stopped in the middle of the crossing as I figured he may well undertake the car but he overtook instead and just missed me. To add insult to this he shouted at me for having stopped unnecessarily and dangerously.
Monk - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> (In reply to Jim Hamilton) and Enty
>
> It annoys me because it is against the law, yes I get why its a good idea to allow left turn on red etc, but it isnt allowed, and all it does really is put pedestrians in danger who dont expect a bike to go through when the green man is showing. It would be a different matter if it was legal, but until it is cyclists like all other road users should obey the law of the road

I would love to see some of the laws they have in Europe whereby it is legal for a cyclist to go through a red light at certain junctions. I don't generally jump red lights, although the exception is one set of lights I used to go past late at night sometimes - they were set to turn green when a car approaches, and my bike was too small to trigger them. I could either wait until a car came, or go through them cautiously. In Oxford when I had a commute that frequently saw me held up at lights I used to jump off, become a pedestrian over the junction and jump on again. It was a bit of a hassle, but as far as I can tell perfectly legal and got me to work faster.
Ramblin dave - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Jim Hamilton:
> (In reply to balmybaldwin)
> [...]
>
> why does this annoy you ?

Actually, I think that one annoys me too. Not in a "they should station armed police at every junction to catch these miscreants" way, but in a low-level "grrr" way. If I was going to rationalize it, I'd say that it's because cycling in traffic is a lot safer if everyone behaves in a straightforward and predictable way, and a cyclist jumping a red light undermines that and means that (say) the HGV driver behind me has one extra thing to think about apart from remembering that I'm there... obviously this is very marginal but I think that everyone would be happier and more relaxed if people just waited 90 seconds for the light to change.


Although it doesn't annoy me anywhere near as much as the "if cyclists want some respect they should start obeying the rules of the road" thing. Because yeah, I'm sure that before you try to squeeze past a cyclist on a narrow road you check first of all that they've jumped a red light or ridden on a pavement that day. You can't really imagine a situation where cars kept getting cut up by lorries and when they complained the lorry drivers said "yeah, well if car drivers want us to show them respect they should stop speeding and talking on mobile phones."
Martin W on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Monk:

> I don't generally jump red lights, although the exception is one set of lights I used to go past late at night sometimes - they were set to turn green when a car approaches, and my bike was too small to trigger them.

There's a set of lights on a narrow bridge on back road on the outskirts of Edinburgh that's like that. Even my 450lb dry weight motorbike isn't big enough to trigger them. That's just daft. (Way back in my uni days a pal used to keep his car - which he only used once in a blue moon - in the local NCP car park. To get it out he'd round up half a dozen shopping trolleys and wheel them up to the entrance barrier. That would be enough to trigger the machine into handing him a ticket, which he could then use to get out, only having to pay for a few minutes' parking!)

> In Oxford when I had a commute that frequently saw me held up at lights I used to jump off, become a pedestrian over the junction and jump on again.

Yup, I do this sometimes. A lot of red light jumping by cyclists seems to take place during the pedestrian phase and my reasoning is: if you want to do that, become a pedestrian. As a cyclist you can do that. Drivers can't! (Since I now have a cyclocross bike, I suppose I should really carry it across rather than push it! Might try that sometime...)
winhill - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

MAMILs, snigger.
ti_pin_man - on 07 Dec 2012
Jumping red lights is a very hard argument to present to drivers and for good reason, on many occasions drivers seem numpty cyclist's nearly knock pedestrians over or endanger themselves and cars. There are some cases/instances when its perfectly safe to do so but not legally here in the UK.

BUT ... I think it gets peoples back up on another level, they hate being overtaken and see somebody 'cheating' the law and being faster and are annoyed they cant do the same. I subjectively see more and more car drivers run red lights frequently, many when they are 'hot amber' and changing to red, actually putting their foot down to nip through when thety really should stop.

I think they are also annoyed when cyclsits pass them in traffic fopr the same reason, 'its not fair'. The truth is average speeds in london are 11mph for cars where as most reasonably fit cyclists can average 15mph even in traffic.

Timmd on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to ti_pin_man:My mum as a car driver has noticed more people going through hot amber lights and nipping through red lights just after they've changed.

I don't think that cyclists shouldn't jump reds for the reasons you've put, wbout why it gets peoples' back up.
MG - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to ti_pin_man:

> I think they are also annoyed when cyclsits pass them in traffic fopr the same reason, 'its not fair'. The truth is average speeds in london are 11mph for cars where as most reasonably fit cyclists can average 15mph even in traffic.

Perhaps true for some drivers. For me it is more to do with road safety and an element of selfishness. Having people jumping the lights means there will be bicycles coming from all sorts of unexpected and unpredictable angles. If I as a driver hit and hurt one there is a good chance I will suffer unfairly (e.g. greater insurance premiums, sense of guilt even if I am blameless, possible conviction etc). Roads are dangerous at the best of times but much more so if people don't follow the rules. Spending a few seconds at traffic lights can't be that much of a problem for a cyclist can it?
Toby S - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to ti_pin_man)
>
> [...]
>
> Spending a few seconds at traffic lights can't be that much of a problem for a cyclist can it?

Not for me it's not. I have to go a few sets of lights on my work and will not jump the red. The only one that's problematic is the one round the corner from my house that doesn't seem to change if it's at red and I'm the only one waiting to cross. It's usually 7am and very little traffic about so I'll chance it if the roads empty. Visibility is very good at that junction so I'm not going in blind.
a lakeland climber on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Toby S:

Two sets of traffic lights and six pedestrian crossings on my commute. I don't jump the red lights on any of them. Usually the light being red just means I can filter forward. A worst case commute would see the two traffic lights on red and possibly two of the pedXs which probably add all of a minute to my journey. Big deal.

ALC
ti_pin_man - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to MG: cyclists are the same breed as car drivers, human. ;o)

... Just as selfish and often just as 'keen' to get where they are going as quick as they can, commuting cyclists arent doing it just for fun. Like drivers, just trying to get from a to b. IMHO running red lights is so very rarely justifiable and I'm not suggesting it should be legal, just that drivers sit fuming in their tin boxes that somebody else nips through lights. Its another reason it annoys frustrated drivers, is all.

Maybe these MAMILS just got sick of loosing the race (~all in their heads) and decided to cycle, its better for the health, quicker than driving and good for the environment.

p.s. I have my tongue in cheek and am playing devils advocate some what but some of this rings true.
ti_pin_man - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber: My old commute went through 64 sets of lights and numerous crossings! lucky you are! ;o)
Rock Badger on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
a cyclist acts like a di*k,,,,crashes into a person or car,,,not too much damage
a driver acts like a d*ck,,,,,crashes into cyclist or pedestrian,,,,,,dead

im a driver and a cyclist, both groups can act like total idiots, when im driving an get pissed of with cyclists its cause they are putting themselves in stupid dangerous places, if i knock them over an its their fault and seriously hurt them or kill them ill have guilt all my life,,,,,

commuting through town is great,,,, spending your days off road cycling round bendy country roads 2 abreast,, (hazard to all),,,,get a mountain bike go off road, more fun, no trucks, dont have put up with cars,,,,,easy
subalpine - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply: 'I'd happily run him over'
dailyfail.co.uk/news/Id-happily-run-Cyclist-took-controversial-BBC-documentary-inundated-hate-messages-death-threats.html
hedgepig - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to count: Hazard to all?
I ride on country roads in Kent in the absence of any mountains to bike down. Local drivers of cars have many quicker and straighter routes to get them within a mile of their destination as there are a network of A and B roads and lots and lots of little lanes between. The hazard is 4x4 drivers barrelling down these lanes too fast to stop if anything, including another oncoming 4x4, comes around the corner. Some of these lanes have several hundred cyclists going through every weekend day between 7 and 10am. So any car on that road in the early morning knows to expect bikes. Who exactly I am I a hazard to in a bike club peloton? (Apart from myself, and I'm a climber therefore with a warped sense of personal danger).
I also ride to central London to work through 18 junctions, observing traffic priorities and lights, with my lamps on, with a hi viz vest and 1m from the kerb. Can't we be allowed the lanes on a day off?

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