Friday, 26 March 2010

Road rage against cyclists

Any attempt to develop mass cycling in Britain on anything other than the highly successful Dutch model of segregated infrastructure is going to fail, but it’s a lesson neither of Britain's two leading cycling organisations, the CTC and the LCC, shows any interest in learning, committed as they are to vehicular cycling and run by ideologues whose attitude is one of "if I can do it, anyone can."

But vehicular cycling (i.e. on road cycling with infrastructure shared with motor vehicles) is never going to be anything other than an activity engaged in by a tiny minority, because car-centric road design, the overwhelming physical presence of motor vehicles and the driving behaviour of many motorists all combine to make cycling an unpleasant experience.

Two examples of driver behaviour:

A CYCLIST was assaulted as he rode through Aston Fields in Bromsgrove on Monday (March 22). The incident happened just before 6.30pm on St Godwald’s Road when a van that was behind tried to overtake him. The van driver got frustrated at being unable to pass and sounded his horn.

Then, despite the cyclist moving as far over as he could so the van could pass, the driver took it upon himself to overtake and then brake hard in front of the bike.

An object was also thrown at the cyclist through the passenger window, striking him on the head.

And in this incident the police declined to take matters further against the driver (presumably not bothering to present a case to the Crown Prosecution Service) despite evidence of both a traffic offence and abusive and threatening behaviour.