die belebende Bedenkung

The blue paint delusion

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Expressing his “personal view as a non-cyclist”, Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told BBC London last month that regardless of who caused a road accident, it was the cyclist who would fare worst. He would ‘never cycle in London’ due to traffic and safety concerns.

[‘Met police chief backtracks over cycling comments’, Órla Ryan, The Guardian, Friday 22 November 2013]

[…] Fourteen cyclists have been killed in London so far in 2013, six of them within a two-week period this month. All but one of the six were killed by lorries, coaches or buses, prompting renewed calls for restrictions on HGVs in the city.

The commissioner’s view seemed to shape the Met’s response to the fatalities, which saw police deployed on-street to ‘robustly enforce the law and educating road users about dangers’.

[Police launch major London road safety operation after spate of cyclist deaths, Peter Walker, Monday 25 November 2013]

[…] There was criticism from some cyclists after they were pulled over to be advised by police that they should be wearing high-visibility jackets or helmets, neither of which is compulsory. Police note that both are recommended in the Highway Code.

Whether police pulled over HGV drivers and asked whether they should be driving vehicles with massive blind spots in busy city traffic, is not recorded. Surely, there needs to be a complete change of approach to provision for goods vehicles, and cyclists, in London.

London Mayor Boris Johnson’s cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan ‘urged caution’ in interpreting a poll for the BBC of 1,070 Londoners on attitudes to cycling in the capital. He said the sample size of the Comres poll was “manifestly tiny”, and claimed that “all-consuming focus” on recent cycle deaths had “contributed to the fear that cyclists and potential cyclists feel”.

[BBC, 2 Dec 2013]

[…] “We know that fear about safety is a real and major deterrent to cycling and the mayor is doing more than any other politician in the country to address it,” [Mr Gilligan] said.

Money was being spent and new staff hired to “improve London’s roads for cyclists, something that was happening before this recent tragic spate of deaths”.


Written by beleben

December 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm

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