combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Andy Tallis

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Andy Tallis » 13 Jan 2006, 1:05pm

A roads vary so much. I assume gar means the busy, primary A roads. Even those I'd prefer to a sustrans route but I can see the percieved danger. I think though that it is generally a case of them being less pleasant than more dangerous. Besides, if we allow people to destroy their health by smoking why not allow cyclists to chose to take a calculated risk.

TJ

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby TJ » 13 Jan 2006, 8:39pm

Good point Andy.
Banning smoking would surely save more lives than helmet compulsion.
More motorists die from head injuries than cyclists, yet there are no calls for mandatory helmet wearing in cars.
Could it be that it would lose politicians votes? Surely not.

Andy Tallis

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Andy Tallis » 13 Jan 2006, 9:09pm

One of my flatmates believes frimly helmets should be compulsory, at least for children. She says she understands how little protection they offer and but says she would never allow her kid (if she had one) to ride without a helmet till they were at least 18, yet she'd let them smoke at 16 because that's when they're legally allowed to. Then again, she goes on about how my habbit of slightly charring the sausages will give me cancer, and has tried to convince me that cycling 2 abreast is strictly illegal.

Andy Tallis

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Andy Tallis » 13 Jan 2006, 9:12pm

One of my flatmates believes frimly helmets should be compulsory, at least for children. She says she understands how little protection they offer and but says she would never allow her kid (if she had one) to ride without a helmet till they were at least 18, yet she'd let them smoke at 16 because that's when they're legally allowed to. Then again, she goes on about how my habbit of slightly charring the sausages will give me cancer, and has tried to convince me that cycling 2 abreast is strictly illegal.

I think the pro compulsion arguments lack any logic at all. Especially as helmets can hinder safety in several ways. The problem is that the pro compulsion people may shout louder, and if the real life sensible argument is not shouted at least as loud then they may win.

Andy :-) not (:-(

Pinky

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Pinky » 13 Jan 2006, 9:26pm

helen ( alias "wafflycat") talks good sens nearly all the time --- far more often than do I and I do support her brief appearance on this antiquated message board to try and raise some posive support from CTC.

At my advanced years i find "politcal correctness" just anoth term for not stating realities and speaking the truth.
It is sadly an inheritence from the USA and it litigeous society.

Nowadays if you trip up on the pavement you don't say "Sugar - what an idiot i am". Instread you look for a potential witness who will support your claim agaain the local council.
it is just the same when i visit my very excellent local NHS dental surgeon. Thes eday when he is drilling my teeth I have to remove my spectacles and put on a pair of goggles -- just 'cos I might make an insurance claim.
My support of Helen in her ever sensible posts is usually without reserve

( she would have to pay me for unresevered support -- LOL )

Pinky

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Pinky » 13 Jan 2006, 9:41pm

i really get fed up with this message board without spellchecking usw.

It is a total pain. But then CTC paid staff take no notice of comments on here - sorry helen you OP would be better received anywhere but here.

Too much PC -- I may have said something similar b4

wafflycat

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby wafflycat » 13 Jan 2006, 9:43pm

Pinky!

Thank you, I am touched! I try to be sensible when it comes to the anti-cycling drivel put out, but admit I can lose my rag on occasion & be less than diplomatic ;-)

I may not post a lot here, but I lurk in the undergrowth and read a lot.

Note to self: Must get out on bike more... club run in the morning.

The CTC does a lot of good. I praise the insurance & legal side long and loud to any cyclist I find who is not a member and try to get them to join the CTC for those things alone, even if they aren't interested in getting involved with their local CTC group.

But I do think CTC could be a bit more proactive as I put in my original post on this thread. And it's not just on the helmet issue, it's about retaining our right to be on the road and the lies the petrol-heads put out.

Cheers, helen s

wafflycat

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby wafflycat » 13 Jan 2006, 9:46pm

Pinky. Forgot to mention, I can't afford to pay for support. The cost of new wheels for the offspring's time trial bike has just cleaned me out....

Cheers, helen s

Pinky

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Pinky » 13 Jan 2006, 9:55pm

Helen

Some hope! lots of love

Trevor

Pinky

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Pinky » 13 Jan 2006, 10:01pm

Helen
BTW I am a lone cyclist and I just do my thing!
Part of the effort to keep me going ( in my 69th year) as long as my 98 yr old , very active dad. As you know I have missed my bike for the last month and am so happy to be back on 2 wheels again --but it is amazing how much Christmas has cost me in kgs!!!!!!!!!

exRTR

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby exRTR » 14 Jan 2006, 9:45am

There are some rabidly anti-cyclist media and fringe groups, but part of the problem is the endless flow of information from Sustrans implying that roads are not safe and no one wants to cycle on them. Major newspapers, and even CTC, circulate paid inserts from Sustrans which invariably show cyclists on "paths" and depict ordinary roads as horrible.

At a meeting with a Sustrans staff member I once asked about the divergence between Sustrans publications and reality and received the dismissive reply, "Oh, that's just the hype." It was clearly seen as a case of the end justifying the means.

When Sustrans supporters can't convince people of the need for their actual projects, which are often poorly thought out and likely to cause conflict and danger, they resort to saying emphatically that particular roads are too dangerous. I have had to refute those claims and it can be done, but even some cyclists become convinced that roads are too dangerous to use and are not interested in facts.

And where were CTC in all this? Very worried and silent. If you follow CTC policy and oppose bad Sustrans schemes they get very tetchy and try to dissuade you, but they won't quite say why. What lies behind that are telephone calls from Sustrans to CTC asking them to, in effect, turn a blind eye to whatever it is Sustrans want to do.

I once received a panicky telephone call from CTC HQ about an objection I had put in to a planning application for a cycle track.
Someone had contacted them to say there would be a public inquiry the next day as a result of the CTC objection. Now why hadn't the someone contacted me? Because what they had said to CTC was untrue. The item was to go to a planning committee the next day, not a public inquiry.

I pointed out to CTC that the reason for the objection was that the track was already known to the council to be too narrow, but that the planning committee would in all likelihood pass it anyway, or at worst defer it. They passed it, but in the end we can thank my efforts for the fact that what was built was as much as a metre wider. CTC, however, told me "we're very wary of using objections" and wanted to be notified of and even discuss individual objections, and effectively discouraged saying anything.


When I was involved in a County level issues and we queried some Sustrans proposals, we found the Salisbury cycle group had written to all the media in our area saying how badly traffic free paths were needed. They had not even contacted us before going outside their area to give their sensationalist message.

And when I spoke with the chair of the CTC's campaigns and policy committee about all this, she was most uninterested and told me "consistency of representation is the paramount concern". That sounds like a political party to me, and left me wondering just what CTC policy really is.

Things may have changed, but it's up to the CTC to show us they have.

Andy Tallis

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Andy Tallis » 14 Jan 2006, 3:52pm

exRTR. I just read put a reply on the Sustrans thread covering the problems I had with a Salisbury Cycling Group. Could it be the same one? While some of the senior members are experienced touring cyclists and they seem to view, as you suggest, roads in a somewhat pessimistic or even appocalyptic manner and cycle tracks through gloriously rose tinted spectacles. Perhaps this is also partly due to their sedate style of cycling.

They did stand up for the rigths of a cyclist chosing to ride on the road rather than the horrendously narrow, overgriwn and generally rubbish roadside path, complaining about the quality of the path. However, they now appear to me to say that a similar pavement on a less busy road is the only way to ride safely from Salisbury to Alderbury. I wonder if their complaint about the quality of the first track was largely to put a plug in for more cycletrack funding.

Those who wish to convert Britain to the Netherlands will get nowhere. It is impossible. Cycletracks are generally not needed. The only use I find for them as an experienced cyclist is to jump past traffic jams. Paths away from the road (e.g. Avon Valley track) can be very useful but I have abandoned them due to assaults and their porr construction. I remember this group being very pleased at opening the North end extension of the track. 3 weeks later grass began to sprout through.

exRTR

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby exRTR » 14 Jan 2006, 4:36pm

Andy, yes it was Salisbury COG, and Sustrans must have put them up to it.

Re pavements officially used for cycling, that is a no no as far as DfT and CTC are concerned, have a look at the flowchart: http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_localtrans/documents/graphic/dft_localtrans_028707-1.jpg

Re pavements used illegally for cycling and people encouraging that, I've put my comments in the other thread http://www.ctcforum.org.uk/MesReplist.aspx?bcid=4&id=13265

Also, this inexperienced vs experienced cyclist thing can get a bit silly, and is addressed by cycle training.

Karen Sutton

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Karen Sutton » 15 Jan 2006, 1:06pm

If cyclists were banned from A roads my husband couldn't ride to work. He has a 15 mile commute from the South side of Manchester to Oldham.

I couldn't do my shopping by bike as most of the shops are situated near to or close to the A6 in Stockport. None of the A6 near us has cycle lanes. We don't have a car at present but would haver to have one if gar's dream of cyclists being banned from A roads comes true.