BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

beckymorton
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BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby beckymorton » 22 Nov 2018, 10:04am

Hi,

I work for the BBC News website and we are putting together a feature off the back of the government’s announcements on cycling today - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46294511.

We’d be keen to speak to cyclists about what they think about the government’s proposals and what impact they would have on them.

We would also be keen to receive any dash-cam footage you are happy to share of dangerous driving you have witnessed while cycling (eg close passing) and also any photos (eg of cars parked in cycling lanes).

Some of the government proposals include -
- more powers for councils to tackle parking in cycling lanes
- motorists being offered cheaper insurance if they take a course to make them more aware of cyclists
- a new police unit to analyse footage of dangerous driving

And previously announced proposals include -
- Encouraging people to adopt the "Dutch reach" in the Highway Code
- Updated guidance on minimum passing distances in Highway Code to highlight dangers of close overtaking

If you are happy to share your views/video footage/photos please email me at becky.morton@bbc.co.uk

Many thanks,

Becky

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Graham
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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby Graham » 22 Nov 2018, 10:56am

I suspect that the imposition of "Implied Liability" or even "Strict liability" are the only measures that will make any significant difference to vulnerable road users.

At present, those in control of motor vehicles, absolutely dominate roadspace, bringing the fear of lethal force to those outside.

Many motorists don't even realise this as they sit in their comfortable, ever-more-capable, motor vehicles. Their immediate concerns are journey times and convenience ( and not being caught when making any infringements of the rules that they signed up to when they gained a licence ).

They have forgotten their duty-of-care to others.
They have forgotten that society has granted them the extraordinary privilege of trusting them with moving ton(s) of metal, at high speed, through public space safetly.

( Sorry if I've ranted this . . . . again. )
Shall I email this to Becky Morton ?

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661-Pete
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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby 661-Pete » 22 Nov 2018, 11:09am

See also here.

Regarding the 'Dutch Reach' - this was mooted also a few days ago in BBC SE-Today news - an item about a motorcyclist (n.b.) who was 'doored' in a busy street and forced to swerve into the path of an oncoming bus. He sustained serious injuries from which he has since only partially recovered. The Dutch Reach was suggested as a means of avoiding this sort of incident - but has been somewhat discredited by others. What's the verdict? Certainly it's no substitute for taking proper care when opening a door.
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

thirdcrank
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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Nov 2018, 11:47am

Graham wrote: ... Shall I email this to Becky Morton ?


If it makes you feel better. Otherwise, I think the answer is in her question.

It's a controversial topic and they are looking for stuff for a programme based on the govt's latest media release.

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gaz
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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby gaz » 22 Nov 2018, 12:24pm

Government sound bite with links to proposals.

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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby gaz » 22 Nov 2018, 12:37pm

beckymorton wrote:We’d be keen to speak to cyclists about what they think about the government’s proposals and what impact they would have on them.

https://www.cyclinguk.org/press-release ... oad-safety

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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby mjr » 22 Nov 2018, 2:15pm

beckymorton wrote:I work for the BBC News website and we are putting together a feature off the back of the government’s announcements on cycling today - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46294511.

Announcements and two quid will get you a cup of coffee. What we need is more action.

The full report (thanks gaz) claims 50 actions are being planned over the next 2 years, but many are of the form "continue [doing something already happening]", "complete" or "publish" - those aren't new measures. There's also far too much "Review", "Explore", "Promote", "Allow" and "Encourage" - passive measures. There's maybe 6 active measures in there, one of which is about "dangerous cycling"!

The government also can't quite bring itself to stop victim-blaming by things like looking into "visibility and audibility of cyclists" and promoting helmets (actions 41 and 42) when we know helmet promotion reduces cycling, as even Denmark rediscovered in 2008/9 - MCA was correct with his prediction there: Bicycle Account 2010 showed a fall in cycling from 37% to 35% of commutes, with the negatives of helmet promotion seeming to outweigh the positives of building more cycleways and cycle parking spaces.

beckymorton wrote:We would also be keen to receive any dash-cam footage you are happy to share of dangerous driving you have witnessed while cycling (eg close passing) and also any photos (eg of cars parked in cycling lanes).

I upload my photos of cars parked in cycle lanes to http://www.cyclestreets.net/photomap/ or the PLAT in the UK facebook group (full name not safe for work), where they're licensed for you to use with attribution. I've not uploaded camera footage of close passes - surely there's enough of that out there already?

beckymorton wrote:Some of the government proposals include -
- more powers for councils to tackle parking in cycling lanes
- motorists being offered cheaper insurance if they take a course to make them more aware of cyclists
- a new police unit to analyse footage of dangerous driving

Only the last of those is going to make any difference: I understand that there are so many driving offences being reported since police started accepting camera footage that it's a strain on resources. Even then, is the £100,000 in the report enough to really help?

More powers for councils to tackle parking in cycling lanes is all well and good, but those councils don't use the powers they already have to tackle parking on cycle tracks, so why would we expect many of them to start acting on cycle lanes? Councils need stronger incentives to encourage cycling - this is a measure that should at least be "encourage" but it's only "clarify" in their detailed action plan.

And I read on another site that the Association of British Insurers has announced they knew nothing of this insurance offer idea but the idea of some extra incentive for adults to take Bikeability seems a very good idea.

beckymorton wrote:And previously announced proposals include -
- Encouraging people to adopt the "Dutch reach" in the Highway Code
- Updated guidance on minimum passing distances in Highway Code to highlight dangers of close overtaking

The important thing about the Dutch reach isn't using the wrong hand but the slow opening of the door IMO - it probably won't hurt, though. Adding distances to the Code is great and long overdue. It currently says "at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car" but despite the illustrations in the Code, too many drivers seem happy to almost knock mirrors as they overtake cars now, so that's not clear enough.

In general, I agree with the Walking and Cycling Alliance - it's one good small step, but another missed opportunity for a great leap forwards.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby MikeF » 22 Nov 2018, 6:52pm

I wish cycling and walking were treated separately. They aren't the same.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby rmurphy195 » 23 Nov 2018, 8:53pm

MikeF wrote:I wish cycling and walking were treated separately. They aren't the same.


+1

I feel the same towards some of the passing cyclists when I'm walking, as I do towards some of the drivers when I'm cycling.
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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby drossall » 23 Nov 2018, 9:57pm

The insurance thing does seem like a non-starter. The comments from the ABI are consistent with the way that various organisations can give away cycle insurance with membership, which doesn't happen with motoring - both reflect the low liabilities from cycle accidents, and that rather contradicts the perception of bikes being a substantial danger on the road.

The general intent to do something is very welcome, however. The only issue is that it makes cycling sound quite dangerous. Of course, the problem with that is that we know that the thing that does work is the safety in numbers effect - when there are enough cyclists around to give motorists practice at dealing with them, the risk to each individual goes down. So, making cycling sound more dangerous than it is, and frightening people off, increases the risk for those who do ride. Actually, it also increases the risk for those who don't, given estimates from health professionals that the life-expectancy benefits of cycling outweigh its risks by 20:1.

There are some rather obvious things that the authorities could do. For example, cycle training has improved in recent years, including much better teaching about the use of road positioning (not being in the gutter all the time). Incomprehensibly, however, it doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone to explain the same things to learner drivers, so that they know what to expect cyclists to do.

There's also something around overtaking. It's beginning to become better known that cyclists should be given space when overtaking, with some police forces pulling motorists over for failing to do so. However, it produces a curious effect in which some drivers ride on the cyclist's shoulder, waiting for an opportunity. I think of this as the "kill" position - not enough time to react to a problem, so arguably worse than overtaking, because the cyclist will fall in front of the car instead of bouncing off it. Reminds me of a wild animal, hovering over its prey. Neither is good, but the kill position seems worse.

I do sympathise with London drivers, with cyclists filtering (not "undertaking", if you read the Highway Code) on both sides. There's something there about working together on that. Drivers should be "as far to the left as is consistent with safety" (like everyone else), which would lead cyclists to filter mostly on the right. Or, maybe drivers should be advised to keep right in wide lanes, when traffic is slow-moving or stopped, so that cyclists could be consistent about filtering on the left. Filtering is part of city traffic, but it could be more predictable, I think?

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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby thirdcrank » 24 Nov 2018, 4:05pm

I wish cycling and walking were treated separately. They aren't the same.


It's a matter of presentation. Unfortunately, talking about them in the same breath often leads to an assumption that you are plugging some sort of shared-use. OTOH, as vulnerable users, cyclists and walkers have a shared interest in reducing the threats from motor traffic.

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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby MikeF » 25 Nov 2018, 10:20am

rmurphy195 wrote:
MikeF wrote:I wish cycling and walking were treated separately. They aren't the same.


+1

I feel the same towards some of the passing cyclists when I'm walking, as I do towards some of the drivers when I'm cycling.
And that's one of the reasons shared paths aren't any good as usually they are too narrow. The cyclist may perceive he or she is not riding fast, but the pedestrian doesn't. A cyclist needs to maintain momentum as far as possible but a pedestrian doesn't.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby basingstoke123 » 26 Nov 2018, 12:45am

MikeF wrote:I wish cycling and walking were treated separately. They aren't the same.

As others have said: shared use facilities are disliked by cyclists and disliked by pedestrians. But these are the only two groups that shared use is supposed to serve. Which probably suggests that the real reason for shared use is not to benefit pedestrians or cyclists, but to get cyclists off the roads so as to benefit drivers.
It also causes other problems, as there is usually very little physical difference between a shared 'facility' (or "Cycle Route Along Pavement"), and a non-shared use facility.

Some cyclists cannot see any difference between a typical shared use facility and a typical pedestrian only facility, so continue to cycle along the road instead using the shared facility.

Some cyclists cannot see any difference between a typical shared use facility and a typical pedestrian only facility, so continue to cycle along the pavement instead of the road.

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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby MikeF » 29 Nov 2018, 2:43pm

basingstoke123 wrote:
MikeF wrote:I wish cycling and walking were treated separately. They aren't the same.

As others have said: shared use facilities are disliked by cyclists and disliked by pedestrians. But these are the only two groups that shared use is supposed to serve. Which probably suggests that the real reason for shared use is not to benefit pedestrians or cyclists, but to get cyclists off the roads so as to benefit drivers.
It also causes other problems, as there is usually very little physical difference between a shared 'facility' (or "Cycle Route Along Pavement"), and a non-shared use facility.

Some cyclists cannot see any difference between a typical shared use facility and a typical pedestrian only facility, so continue to cycle along the road instead using the shared facility.

Some cyclists cannot see any difference between a typical shared use facility and a typical pedestrian only facility, so continue to cycle along the pavement instead of the road.
The only commonality between pedestrians and cyclists is that both use human energy as a means of transport. Apart from that they are vastly different - but not according to the Government.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

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Re: BBC New website media request - What do you think of the government's new proposals for cycling?

Postby pjclinch » 29 Nov 2018, 3:06pm

MikeF wrote:
basingstoke123 wrote:
MikeF wrote:I wish cycling and walking were treated separately. They aren't the same.

As others have said: shared use facilities are disliked by cyclists and disliked by pedestrians. But these are the only two groups that shared use is supposed to serve. Which probably suggests that the real reason for shared use is not to benefit pedestrians or cyclists, but to get cyclists off the roads so as to benefit drivers.
It also causes other problems, as there is usually very little physical difference between a shared 'facility' (or "Cycle Route Along Pavement"), and a non-shared use facility.

Some cyclists cannot see any difference between a typical shared use facility and a typical pedestrian only facility, so continue to cycle along the road instead using the shared facility.

Some cyclists cannot see any difference between a typical shared use facility and a typical pedestrian only facility, so continue to cycle along the pavement instead of the road.
The only commonality between pedestrians and cyclists is that both use human energy as a means of transport. Apart from that they are vastly different - but not according to the Government.


The political reality is that they are both "active travel" and AT is having (relatively) large amounts of money thrown at it, but that means you can't do one and ignore the other. This is potentially a Good Thing, though for it to be good it needs something like the level of Clue being shown in Manchester. That is a very long way off being a Given :(

Pete.
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