Cyclist "spared gaol."

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Re: Cyclist "spared gaol."

Postby reohn2 » 22 Mar 2018, 10:18am

horizon wrote:My feeling on this is that we are heading down a blind alley on the sentencing (much as I approve of the whole way it was handled from perpetrator, victim and judge).

This incident to me is about pavement cycling and that to me is about a cultural shift from road to pavement. I cycle a lot in Plymouth where pavement cycling is tolerated, the city centre roads are hell on earth for any but the bravest and a foreign and student population has been nurtured on cycling on the pavement - it's normal.

And pavement cycling is indeed the new normal: shared paths, segregated cycleways, zero movement towards making roads safer in most towns and cities, huge reluctance by the motoring class to allow roads to be safer, a political class talking up roads and cars. The result is people voting with their feet (on pedals) and heading for the pavements.

Bikes and pedestrians don't mix (4 mph on the flat isn't my idea of making the most of a bicycle) so bike users are forming a new under-class of semi-legal, semi-safe, semi-polite and ultimately dangerous citizens operating in the twilight and loved by no-one but themselves.

Yes, you can prosecute fairly when the inevitable accidents happen but happen they will in increasing numbers until the crackdown. And so it goes on: we have created a new semi-criminal class in society - through cycling and through our inability as a society to dislodge the motorist from his privileged position.

So yes, another criminal record, another broken hip.

I think you're absolutely spot on.
The frustration is as you say the inability or political will in dislodging the motorists from their privileged and unreasonable position,whilst at the same time demonising the use of an overwhelmingly benign form of transport .

EDITED for clarity
Last edited by reohn2 on 22 Mar 2018, 10:41am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cyclist "spared gaol."

Postby bigjim » 22 Mar 2018, 10:37am

Not happy with the judges comment "speeding down Market street". It is impossible to speed down Market street. Maybe a 2 in the morning but even then it is pretty busy. I can't even remember seeing a bike riding down market street. It is a busy pedestrianized area that is hard to even walk down, it gets that packed.
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Re: Cyclist "spared gaol."

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Mar 2018, 11:35am

As I start to type this offline, horizon and Mike Sales are the most recent posters and I agree with them.

There's a history to this, and as my school history teacher would have said, we need to look at long-term, proximate and trigger events.

Long-term, the growth in motor traffic was always going to threaten cycling and cyclists for many reasons. A proximate event was the introduction of the National Cycling Strategy, with all its accompanying spin. Had this been fully implemented, I'd never have referred to it as the Notional Cycling Strategy and I doubt we'd have been discussing crashes like this.

A trigger event was when Baron Blunkett decided to deal with pavement cyclists by empowering his very own PCSO's to enforce s 72 Highways Act 1835 with fixed penalty notices. Unfortunately, the response in some cycling quarters was to plead the case of riders who felt there was no alternative. Weazel words from Blunkett's junior minister Boateng were twisted and even now, a pavement cycling thread is likely to attract posts on the lines that government instructions to the police say they can't touch you for it.

I don't want to misrepresent Kevin Mayne, CTC Director as was, but on cycle campaigning more generally, IIRC he said he was constrained by the attitudes of many older CTC members. The support for the CTC's Highway Code petition (2008?) demonstrated the campaigning force available if it was called on and I cannot imagine the most dyed-in-the-wool mudguards-on-clubruns CTC member having difficulty with a campaign in support of the National Cycling Strategy with the theme "Cyclists don't want to ride on the pavement, they want safe roads." This would have had the huge benefits of both clearly supporting the law and then current government policy, and allying cyclists with pedestrians. It's worth remembering that Baron Blunkett did nothing memorable about the other mis-use of footways: motor vehicle parking.

There's something of a parallel between the excuses for pavement cycling and pavement parking. As I posted on a recent thread about the latter, the kerb is a line in the sand, grey areas are difficult to enforce.

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Re: Cyclist "spared gaol."

Postby dobbo800 » 22 Mar 2018, 1:09pm

horizon wrote:This is only the start.

Yes, it is.