Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Boris Johnson’s Plan To Reduce London’s Population…

…isn’t going so well:
Emergency services were called at least 13 times to accidents linked to the Mayor'shire bikes during the first two months of the scheme, the Standard can reveal.
Oh noes! We’re slowly being whittled down one by one…

Wait. What’s the usual rate of accidents?
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, 3,674 cyclists, or 10 per day, were killed or injured in London last year.

Panic over, then?

Oh, of course not. I was forgetting the vested interests:
National cycling organisation CTC said it supported the scheme but more could be done to improve safety.
Of course. More always could. But who’s going to pay for it?
Policy coordinator Chris Peck said that speed limits should be lowered, road design improved and Cycle Superhighways turned into more than just “blue paint on the side of a bus lane” .
Right. We are. Slower travel speeds, congestion, increased costs in getting goods to shops, increased taxes…
Ray Sadri, of think tank LondonSays, wants Boris bike users to get free helmets
‘Free’ helmets? I thought there was no such thing as a free lunch?
paid for by private firms. “Many of the Boris Bikers I spoke to resent the idea of having to fork out £30 on average for a decent helmet,” he said.
Ah. Of course.

That’s such an attractive outlook, Ray. ‘I don’t want to pay for safety equipment! Make someone else pay for it, you meanies!’
Cyclist David Ellis, who was knocked over by a trailer used to transport the Mayor's hire bikes between docking stations, today branded the vehicles“ludicrous” .
Well, when we’ve perfected the ‘Star Trek’ style transporter, we’ll have them beamed to their docking stations.

Until then, you’ll just have to look where you’re going, won’t you?
Mr Ellis, 37, said the trailers were “a danger to cyclists” because they are wider than the electric vehicle towing them.
We’ll stick ‘em all on a huge lorry then, and you can get a face full of diesel instead…
He called on the Mayor to improve safety among cycle hire scheme users byremoving them and encouraging users to wear helmets.
They already do. It’s not the Mayor’s fault that some people are idiots and ignore the recommendations, is it?


NickM said...

"resent the idea of having to fork out £30 on average for a decent helmet"

30 quid or a potentially catastrophic brain injury. Decisions, decisions...

Anyway the whole thing is bollocks. Let me explain why. Shortly after NeuArbeit came to power they unveiled a "ten year transport plan". This boasted inter alia a desire to double the number of journeys made by bike. Cool or what. Definitely "what". You could multiply the number of bike journeys by ten and there would be no appreciable drop in motor vehicle traffic. Cycling is such a minority mode of transport that essentially it don't matter in those terms.

Or to put it another way... On the high street where I live there is a bike shop. The people who patronise this shop are not "Boris Bikers". For a start they don't sell bikes as such but bits of them and we are talking 1500 quid for a frame. Essentially it's a sport not a viable means of getting from A to B. I mean if that's - I dunno - 2500 quid for the full thing then you could get quite a reasonable "pre-enjoyed" car for the same money.

Or of course you could bike into work with your impedimenta in a Jaguar behind you. Very few people have the opportunity to cycle to work because the world doesn't work like that. I bloody well wouldn't today. I'm working in my shed and there is a non-ferrous monkey batting the door and looking very annoyed about something or other. It just isn't practical except in terms of looking good and looking green. My point being that that target of doubling cycle journeys sounds cool in those terms but is meaningless and (if you are prepared to fiddle the stats which obviously no government would ever countenance) is very achievable yet means nothing.

Is riding a bike fun? Yes. That is the point. Is it any use for going to TESCO and back? No.

Anonymous said...

I've started riding to work in June, when there is no rain. Normally, I would take my motorcycle.

It is much more enjoyable than I thought it would be, and very good for fitness (not so much for weight loss as I eat more!).

However, the single most important reason I do this when practical (as I said, no rain!) is because my company provides showers, towels, underground parking (after I got the 1st bike stolen) and a locker to leave toiletries.

Otherwise, it is just not possible.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add that I do not wear a cyclist helmet, which in my opinion are only good for one thing, which is to make you look like a moron.

Also, although some drivers are idiots, it is nothing compared with pedestrians.

Nick2 said...

Agreed. I cycled to work for over 15 years - but only after my various employers started providing showers & lockers large enough for suits etc.

As far as carrying stuff on a bike, it is possible with foresight/preparation/panniers.

Finally, £30 sounds pretty cheap for a crash helmet. Maybe would be cyclists should also carry a small set of lights, since the lights on the hire bikes are as good as useless.

AntiCitizenOne said...

Yep, the most important thing for encouraging cycling is showers at the destination, and secure lock areas, not blue road areas.

I cycle to the shops too. Nothing like 30 KGs of shopping in a backpack to get you fit. Probably not for everyone though...

Clarissa said...

Outside of the commute on the train cycling is my primary means of transport and has been since I sold my car as I had determined it to be an unnecessary luxury.

Since then I have found that the only things I can't transport are very bulky items and more than a few bottles of wine so I use home delivery as necessary.

JuliaM said...

" It just isn't practical except in terms of looking good and looking green. "

Except, as anon & AC1 point out, where showers are provided. Even then, I wouldn't think you'd want to do it every day, in all weathers.

"Also, although some drivers are idiots, it is nothing compared with pedestrians."

Yup, I've often wished for the opportunity to drive in Singapore, where jaywalkers are treated as the hazard that they are, unlike here...

"Finally, £30 sounds pretty cheap for a crash helmet."

I'm guessing they aren't needing the crash survivability of motorcycle helmets, due to the slower speeds?

" I use home delivery as necessary."

I've noticed some stores are now offering 'choose it instore, have it delivered' in addition to their usual home delivery if you order online or by phone. I wonder if this is linked to the rising number of cycle commuters?

Furor Teutonicus said...

…paid for by private firms. “Many of the Boris Bikers I spoke to resent the idea of having to fork out £30 on average for a decent helmet,” he said.

So, fucking WALK if you don't like it you imbicilic twats.

Furor Teutonicus said...


Rob said...

Cyclists would be safer if they stopped at red lights, didn't weave in and out of traffic without looking, had lights, didn't undertake long vehicles at junctions, rode on the fucking road instead of pavements, didn't listen to music on headphones while cycling in one of the world's busiest cities...

Cyclists in London are overwhelmingly a bunch of selfish, sanctimonious and reckless c*nts with infinitely less concern for pedestrians than what they claim car drivers hold for them.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Rob. The twats are exactly the same in Berlin. They think the pavement belongs to them.

An "accidental" shoulder in the nose of any cycling past me normaly disabuses them of the opinion.