Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Thought for the Day and the Watery Fens

Thursday, September 4th 2014:

Mixed Messages

As a cyclist I guess I am used to mixed messages. The experts tell me to take the primary position, the traffic tells me to get in the gutter. The Council wants me to cycle on the pavement shared-use path, the Council doesn’t want me to cycle on the pavement.

Today two things got my attention. the first was a headline in the DM (yes I know you get what you link to!) It read  “£100 fine if you park too near a school: New powers could target parents”. Now anybody who walks, cycles or drives near a school at the start r end of the school day will know just how awful it is. Cars will just stop in the road to let their little Herbets out, School buses steam along through the narrowest of gaps and miraculously all road markings lose their meaning. Yet we expect our kids to be safe and some of us expect our children to be able to walk or cycle to school.

Yet for some reason we get mixed messages from the Government and media. One minute the roads are dangerous, the next minute motorists are being milked.  There seems to be the “Law” and then the interpretation of the law and then the practice of enforcement. A classic example is the law on speed limits, there are guidelines about the application with some leeway.  We have parking rules – but then Pickles pops up and wants to make the enforcement much harder.  The bottom line is that unconstrained use of motor vehicles is dangerous,causes congestion and pollution.

I for one will welcome new innovations such as cars with laser braking, (if you can’t stop in time they vaporize the vehicle in front!"). I would like to see more use of driver monitoring, both to stop the transgressors, but also to make us all better drivers. Although they wouldn’t stop this disgraceful behaviour : “Pensioner left with broken jaw after motorist…”. Or this “White van man caught speeding”.

It seems that we are unwilling to bite the bullet when it comes to dealing with how we as a society treat motoring. Recently we were told that the motorway speed limit was to be raised to 80mph, now it isn’t. The RAC isn’t happy.

Mind you I do think that the move to  “£100 fine if you park too near a school: New powers could target parents” is as much about transferring the responsibility away from expensive Policing to cheaper PCSO policing.

The other thing that is much more heartening is the headline “New Cycle Superhighways unveiled for London”. It is about time.  Although there will be a lot of lobbying against I would imagine. The bottom line is that London suffers from congestion, is there space for inefficient transport – no.

I once heard a joke suggesting the Farmers are the Armed wing of the conservative party. Well it seems to me that the RAC are the Armoured Division of the Conservative party. They seem to be against the idea and want proof it is value for money.

Monday, May 26th 2014:

Watery Fens

Every picture tells a story and unintentionally every one of these pictures has water in it.

We are going on holiday to Scotland shortly (when this was written) so I sneaked out for more rides to build up my mileage before driving to Scotland.  There seemed to be a water problem in Lode as I headed out to Wicken Fen and back.

Lode – Leaking?

As well as water in Burwell Lode there was water coming down from the skies.

Rain in the Distance – Burwell Lode

Still Waters Run Deep – Burwell Lode

Lodes Way – attracts cyclists – dropping below the level of the Lode

Pacmen in Reach Lode

By the time I passed back through Lode the water problems seem to have grown, and it had started raining.

Lode Leak – even bigger?

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