Vorpal wrote:pwa wrote:And deep down I wonder whether most people here could be convinced to give cycling a go even if they were given top class facilities. I used to work for a not-for-profit outfit that made shared use tracks on former rail beds and the tracks have proved popular for leisure use. With a wide range of age groups. But few use them to do anything practical. I wonder if outside the big congested cities, where getting about by car is a pain, people will ever turn to utility cycling in large numbers. I think they like being in a warm dry private space when they travel. Even if we remove the fear of being crushed, I suspect the desire to be warm, dry and comfortable is simply too strong for most people.
You are right. People won't cycle whilst driving is more convenient. The Netherlands and Denmark don't just make cycling easier; they also make driving motor vehicles less convenient.
The reason London has (relatively) lots of cyclists is not that riding a bike is so much easier, but that for many journeys, it is faster than driving, taking the bus, etc.
If driving to work takes 20 minutes and you have pay £300 per month to park it, and still walk 400 metres (5 minutes) to your job when you get there, or you can cycle in 25 minutes, park for free, and get a little exercise while doing it, which do you do? If the parking fee is doubled?ycling take 10 minutes, and driving takes 20?
At some point, the difference is a no brainer for most people.
Yes, there is a lot of sense in that. But you overlook one crucial problem. The congestion in London is not something that anyone wanted or voted for. It is an unfortunate reality that has forced some people to cycle as an alternative. But in other towns where congestion doesn't actually make a bike a no-brainer, government would have to adopt punitive measures against car users to get the effect you desire. Elected representatives would have to choose to do that. That means it would need the consent of the public. There is the problem.