The War on Britain's Roads

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
hexhome
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby hexhome » 6 Dec 2012, 12:08pm

I thought that I would leave a little time to consider before commenting on this program. There is going to be a lot posted so I will just use sound bites.

Pursuing an initial incident leads to conflict - no-one has time to consider their actions calmly, I hope that we all take this in.

The fact that the left turning cement mixer driver was aquitted is appalling but it pushed Cynthia Barlow onto achieve great things.

Fortunately my wife left the room after the first bout of appalling language otherwise she would ban our 14 year old from cycling, no attempt to give balanced statistics was made.

Reactions of non cyclists appear to be on our side going by some of the trucking and driving forums I read.

Geriatrix
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby Geriatrix » 6 Dec 2012, 12:10pm

reohn2 wrote:I wish I could tell the same positive story.
We,on the tandem,were passed very close on a wide and straight road(so it was deliberate) by a Mondeo,I remonstrated by making a move over gesture,he waited in side road further on.I stopped 10m from him and asked if he was going to do it again he said yes,this time I whacked the side of the door as he passed,he stopped.
I went around him and parked across his bow,on approaching the vehicle noticed he had two young children aged about 5 and 7 in the car with him,I said to him through an inch of open window "What doing you think you're doing",he ranted like a man posessed and kept repeating "YOU CAN'T TELL ME ANYTHING" over and over.At that point a police car happened along and I explained what had happened with Mrs R2 explaining also.
The police told me,now get this I could've been arrested if I'd damaged his car,I ask the police officer to put the cuffs on,he declined.
That is what we're up against.

I can empathise. I was lucky enough to have the support of policemen who could empathise because they could relate to my experience (To understand a man, you've got to walk a mile in his shoes - proverb). I suspect that my experience is the exception rather than the rule.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

ukdodger
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby ukdodger » 6 Dec 2012, 12:15pm

meic wrote:I am not sure that it was really too much about cycling or even roads. A lot of it just had me thinking it is a war in British cities.
Lack of law enforcement and a unchecked tendency to violence and bullying which you see much less of outside of cities or the UK even.

There do seem to be clear bones of contention about interpretation of the law which could resolve a lot of the conflicts before they arise.

For example where the Police Officer dealt with the red cab being slapped by the cyclist. Both parties left feeling that they were in the right and justified in their behaviour, the Police officer just wanted the problem to "go away" without resolution.

So long as road users have a different interpretation of what is correct and legal in passing each other on the road then the conflict will continue.
We consistently convince ourselves on this forum that passing with only 6" to spare is not "allowed" but as far as Police action is concerned it is considered 100% legitimate and a cyclist who strikes a car is the criminal. Much as we may think a 1m passing rule is inadequate, it would clarify the issue in road users minds, instead we have two groups living by different sets of road law interpretation side by side, causing conflict.
The same sort of problem exists for cyclists who overtake on the inside (not in other lanes).


Quite right about The Police response. Their priority always seems to be to end the situation without it escalating. Also notice how friendly the copper was with the cabby. The cab trade have a 'special' relationship with the Police.

kwackers
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby kwackers » 6 Dec 2012, 12:17pm

ukdodger wrote:The cab trade have a 'special' relationship with the Police.

Given their general standard of driving and disregard for pretty much anything and everyone they have to have otherwise they'd all be sat at home waiting out their bans...

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Velocio
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby Velocio » 6 Dec 2012, 12:19pm

I've had a milk shake thrown over me, a hamburger box thrown at me, and that hardy perennial being shouted loudly at by a yobbo in the passenger seat just to startle you. That's apart from being cut up and shouted at on a regular basis. I was a car driver and motocyclist for fifty years (given up both now) and a dedicated cyclist for the last fifteen. As a cyclist I've had more road abuse in those fifteen than I ever had in the years driving and motorcycling.


...I've had a full drinks can thrown at my back ...been spat at ...been shouted at many times ...by drivers or their passengers ...for no other reason than I'm a lone vulnerable cyclist out cycling...!!!

...I may be wrong ...but is this the first ever topic where the 'CTC Forum' has been mentioned on the weekly online CTC CycleClips magazine...?

"A love hate relationship with cycling
Despite the growing popularity in cycling, the image of cyclists is often portrayed negatively in the media. Next week, the BBC One is airing two contrasting documentaries: on Monday 3 December, InsideOut will examine the future of transport throughout the country and ask if our love affair with the car is in decline. Each regional programme in the strand will look at different aspects of the issue, and several will feature cycling. Meanwhile, on Wednesday ‘War on Britain’s Roads’ uses footage from cycle helmet cameras to show that ‘the battle between two wheels and four has never been so intense’. Early indications are that cycling isn't shown very favourably - let us know what you think of it on CTC's forum."

:)
...ever cycle ...ever CTC

robert_obrien
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby robert_obrien » 6 Dec 2012, 12:25pm

Cyclist guest on this morning's R4 Today prog along with 'anti' Etherington was Michael Hutchinson...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Hu ... n_(cyclist)
...who is an all-round good egg and persistently wins the Brompton World Championship.
Last edited by robert_obrien on 6 Dec 2012, 12:27pm, edited 1 time in total.

ukdodger
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby ukdodger » 6 Dec 2012, 12:27pm

kwackers wrote:
ukdodger wrote:The cab trade have a 'special' relationship with the Police.

Given their general standard of driving and disregard for pretty much anything and everyone they have to have otherwise they'd all be sat at home waiting out their bans...


Yes you dont see programmes about the war between cabbies and motorists. I drove a service vehicle in London for twenty years and hated them. We nicknamed them Jackals because of their dog eat dog attitude to driving in London.

Geriatrix
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby Geriatrix » 6 Dec 2012, 12:28pm

hexhome wrote:I thought that I would leave a little time to consider before commenting on this program. There is going to be a lot posted so I will just use sound bites.

Pursuing an initial incident leads to conflict - no-one has time to consider their actions calmly, I hope that we all take this in.

The fact that the left turning cement mixer driver was aquitted is appalling but it pushed Cynthia Barlow onto achieve great things.


I think that Cynthia Barlow's contribution was the most positive in the program by some stretch. Her account of her experience was moving and her subsequent action inspiring.

hexhome wrote:Reactions of non cyclists appear to be on our side going by some of the trucking and driving forums I read.


Of all the non-cyclists in the program, the trucker was the only one I warmed to (not counting Cynthia Barlow) and who articulated his own views the best. I didn't agree with all he said but there was at least some balance and he clearly had empathy for cyclists.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

Ayesha
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby Ayesha » 6 Dec 2012, 12:30pm

ukdodger wrote:
kwackers wrote:
ukdodger wrote:The cab trade have a 'special' relationship with the Police.

Given their general standard of driving and disregard for pretty much anything and everyone they have to have otherwise they'd all be sat at home waiting out their bans...


Yes you dont see programmes about the war between cabbies and motorists. I drove a service vehicle in London for twenty years and hated them. We nicknamed them Jackals because of their dog eat dog attitude to driving in London.


Neither do you see programmes about the war between length swimmers and width swimmers. I swam lengths at Virgin Active, and we nicknamed the width swimmers 'Shubunkins' 'cus they'd bump into a length swimmer and say "Oh, that was a length swimmer", then do it again two minutes later and say "Oh, that was a length swimmer."
Last edited by Ayesha on 6 Dec 2012, 12:35pm, edited 1 time in total.

ukdodger
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby ukdodger » 6 Dec 2012, 12:32pm

A riddle as always Ayesha.

axel_knutt
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby axel_knutt » 6 Dec 2012, 12:33pm

axel_knutt wrote:I think I'll go and look at what comments this program has got on a non cycling forum. Should be interesting.......

9,400 users currently on the MSE forum, and no interest at all.

It seems to me that the mindset underlying all this is: "Get off MY road, you've got no right to be here."

When I first saw Mondermans shared space scheme, I interpreted it in terms of risk compensation, and for years I thought of this as the only reason why it works, more recently it occurred to me that there is another powerful reason too. If you demarcate the road space what you are doing is creating tribes with separate territories to defend, so defend it is precisely what they will do and a turf war develops. Cyclists come off worst because they don't belong to the pedestrians tribe, and they don't belong to the motorists tribe either. They're not wanted by anyone, and have nowhere to go. Peace breaks out in shared space schemes because there's no territory to defend.

IMO the way to address the problem is to abolish cycle paths, and make shared space the default not just an eccentrc experiment, but in addition to that we need to abolish road tax. I've always thought it's a pointless regressive tax anyway, but it's also the most common excuse for drivers behaviour. Abolishing it has the added advantage that it may get quite alot of motorists on our side. If the VED is put on the price of petrol instead you have a system in which those who use most fuel pay most, it's environmentally friendly by creating an incentive to drive less, and equitable by being non regressive. For enforcement purposes, MOT and insurance discs can be displayed in the windscreen.
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robert_obrien
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby robert_obrien » 6 Dec 2012, 12:35pm

Cyclists are not being killed by cabs. They are predominantly going under lorries. And a disporportionate number of them are women. We had one lorry-driver from the now-cyclist-aware CEMEX and one woman, the Mum, representing her daughter who is dead. It would have been useful to get some other tipper-drivers and women to analyse why one is killing the other and try to fix that.

ukdodger
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby ukdodger » 6 Dec 2012, 12:38pm

axel_knutt wrote:
axel_knutt wrote:I think I'll go and look at what comments this program has got on a non cycling forum. Should be interesting.......

9,400 users currently on the MSE forum, and no interest at all.

It seems to me that the mindset underlying all this is: "Get off MY road, you've got no right to be here."

When I first saw Mondermans shared space scheme, I interpreted it in terms of risk compensation, and for years I thought of this as the only reason why it works, more recently it occurred to me that there is another powerful reason too. If you demarcate the road space what you are doing is creating tribes with separate territories to defend, so defend it is precisely what they will do and a turf war develops. Cyclists come off worst because they don't belong to the pedestrians tribe, and they don't belong to the motorists tribe either. They're not wanted by anyone, and have nowhere to go. Peace breaks out in shared space schemes because there's no territory to defend.

IMO the way to address the problem is to abolish cycle paths, and make shared space the default not just an eccentrc experiment, but in addition to that we need to abolish road tax. I've always thought it's a pointless regressive tax anyway, but it's also the most common excuse for drivers behaviour. Abolishing it has the added advantage that it may get quite alot of motorists on our side. If the VED is put on the price of petrol instead you have a system in which those who use most fuel pay most, it's environmentally friendly by creating an incentive to drive less, and equitable by being non regressive. For enforcement purposes, MOT and insurance discs can be displayed in the windscreen.


Cycle paths seem to work perfectly well abroad.

Big T
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby Big T » 6 Dec 2012, 12:42pm

661-Pete wrote:Another point - I would never, ever, wilfully touch another vehicle whilst cycling. Except as a last-ditch life-saving measure - e.g. to fend myself off from a collision! Courtesy counts for a lot in good road sense. And thumping a car roof with a gloved hand is a good precursor to fisticuffs....


I have done this, but only once. A car was going to overtake me and there was a ped island pinch point coming up. He clearly wasn't going to get past in time and would squeeze me against the kerb, so I tapped on his front wing with my knuckles and he backed off. No conflict and I waved thanks when he finally did overtake.

People get very touchy about anyone touching their car. I was out for a ride with my son and we were overtaken just before a parked car, there was another car coming the other way and the overtaking driver just stopped leaving me nowhere to go. My son slapped his car and we then had a discussion with the driver about what had happened. He should have hung back and waited til we were passed the parked car before overtaking, but he didn't see it like that. It was lack of anticipation of the road ahead on his part.
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reohn2
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Re: The War on Britain's Roads

Postby reohn2 » 6 Dec 2012, 12:57pm

meic wrote:I am not sure that it was really too much about cycling or even roads. A lot of it just had me thinking it is a war in British cities.
Lack of law enforcement and a unchecked tendency to violence and bullying which you see much less of outside of cities or the UK even.

There do seem to be clear bones of contention about interpretation of the law which could resolve a lot of the conflicts before they arise.

For example where the Police Officer dealt with the red cab being slapped by the cyclist. Both parties left feeling that they were in the right and justified in their behaviour, the Police officer just wanted the problem to "go away" without resolution.

So long as road users have a different interpretation of what is correct and legal in passing each other on the road then the conflict will continue.
We consistently convince ourselves on this forum that passing with only 6" to spare is not "allowed" but as far as Police action is concerned it is considered 100% legitimate and a cyclist who strikes a car is the criminal. Much as we may think a 1m passing rule is inadequate, it would clarify the issue in road users minds, instead we have two groups living by different sets of road law interpretation side by side, causing conflict.
The same sort of problem exists for cyclists who overtake on the inside (not in other lanes).

Which is pretty much what I've been saying on here for donkeys.
And that there is organised,by the authorities(politricians,police and judicial system,etc)predjuce against cycling and cyclists which if cycling were a race or religion wouldn't be tolerated as a matter of human rights,which may sound like an over reaction particularly to the likes of Shootist etc,but that is mine and many other people's experience.
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