It seems to me that there are several reasons for doing surveys, one is of course in the pursuit of science, unfortunately another seems to be to generate publicity by association. Now I have no idea which camp the annual Halifax Quality of Life Survey falls into. However Cambridge isn’t in the top 50. Whilst East Cambridgeshire has leapt from 22nd in the ranks to number 4.
Apparently scores are based up things such as jobs, housing, educations, health and crime and broadband and traffic. Which seems strange because I know a few people in the east who might be rather critical of their broadband provision. I think I know what must have been the decisive factor, or the swing factor as it might be known; cycling.
Lodes Way – every desirable place to live should have one!
The East of Cambridge has gained the Lodes Way, good for health, education and traffic flow to name but a few things (and just general wellbeing). Whereas Cambridge can’t even sort out its 20mph speed limit, in fact the 20mph signs leave the good folk of Cambridge baffled. The power of the motor vehicle is strong still in the City. I wonder if North Cambridge has leapt up the ranking because of the CGB cycleway? (And here is a rather nice post from the Cottenham Cyclist on the joys of the CGB at night – check out his Christmas t-shirt at the end of the post) At this point I ought to mention I don’t actually know or care where the boundaries are – IMHO they seem to be there more for the benefits of bureaucracy than people.
Pedestrian jumping out of the way
However perhaps Wisbech is looking for promotion into the premier league of places to live which a new cycle shelter at the Horsefair Shopping Centre now another 36 cyclists can park there in comfort. Although Copenhagenize recently post some pictures of some rather neat plastic Bike racks.
The Bristol Bath corridor – a nice place to live it has a cycleway?
A rather more sobering piece in the Guardian “Cyclist deaths rise during recessions, figures suggest” reminds us that despite falls in fatalities for car occupants and pedestrians, cyclist fatalities has increased from 2007 and 2010 by 10%. This can be “explained” pointing out that there are more cyclists and that actually cycling is safer in numbers. However as pointed out by Cycalogical in “a dangerous legacy” in London you law-abiding women seem to be disproportionately represented in the death toll.
Cycling has many benefits and leads to a longer life, however we have a right to be treated more safely by other road users and by the road design. It is not good enough to try to lay the blame at our door by demanding we wear helmets. We should be allowed to if we so choose, but the fundamentals of cycling are not and should not be so dangerous that they require such unproven protection. Yes we should be free to choose and I choose safer roads please. (Or should all pedestrians wear helmets?)
Helmets – a free choice (and sensible in India)!
And finally – a bus on fire on the A14 – a drastic way to keep the passengers warm. (Should bus passengers wear fire-proof jackets and why don’t they have seat belts?)