Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thanks for nothing BBC

Healthy debate is good, even robust debate – but vitriolic debate never.  As you might expect, well certainly judging from the concern about the the BBC program The War on Britain’s Roads some of the debate that has been stirred up is anything but healthy.

Here is the CTC’s take on focusing on positive outcomes.

Now I know that the Daily Mail has a somewhat interesting outlook on things – with fairly bold headlines. However they are reporting real messages in their piece: “‘I’d happily run him over’: Cyclist who took part in controversial BBC documentary inundated with hate messages and death threats”. (MPs did fear that the film might stoke the animosity.)

Carefree Cycling – Roman Road Cambridge to Balsham

This is at the same time that The Times reports “Cyclist becomes third killed in a week” with the number of cyclists killed on the country’s roads now standing at 114 so far this year (7th December 2012).

I missed this Post from the Grumpy cyclist when it first came out – “The Criminal Classes” – it shows just how publications don’t let facts get in the way of a “good” story. Although if you click on the link to the story it appears to have disappeared.

It is a good job that The Times is being more level-headed in its reporting using facts rather than hyperbole. All credit both for their stand  on making Cities fit for Cycling and the way they have maintained the initiative. Whilst there might be disagreements on the best approaches they have kept the discussion public. They have also not hidden the cycling related material behind their paywall either.

I mentioned previously that the Daily Mail will sometimes have a quirky take on things – well they have reported that “Bungling workers create contender for world’s shortest cycle lane with 8ft path barely longer than a path”. Well whilst that may be an amusing headline the 2path” does have a purpose and the workers were not bungling.

The bunglers are the people who fail to allocate sufficient importance and budget to the provision of safe and attractive cycle routes and facilities.

There was a bit on the radio this morning about the Police using awareness course for other forms of motoring transgression – one was tail-gating (Drivers test new training course instead of points). This is something I am for – getting more people on course might also help to start more discussions on how to drive safely.  Certainly someone I know attended a speed awareness course and was positive about it and talked about what they learnt whereas most people I know don’t admit to getting a ticket. We want safer roads not more criminals.

A14 – tail-gating?

As with anything there are limits and so someone driving at 136mph should expect punishment as well as training. This case seems a little odd – “High Court judge accused of jumping red light tries to have case thrown out because it is ‘unfair and oppressive’”. It seems that training would have been a reasonable and more appropriate way forward – I don’t have a lot of time for legal-loopholers myself.

With that in mind I do wonder whether the best approach to the two recent Cambridge Bus accidents is one of a disciplinary hearing. Punishing problems tends to push them underground. Whereas highlighting issues and what caused them is more likely to lead to corrective action – IMHO. Too often we blame people when the system is at fault.

Buses on the CGB

I reckon that there needs to be more awareness of vulnerable road users – a subject for a training course perhaps.

Finally on a positive note – designs for a new Cambridge Railway Station cycle park have been unveiled. About time too.

Cycle parking Cambridge Railway Station


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