Monday, 24 September 2012

I blame the CTC

A hack on the Independent writes about utility cycling:

Dani King, who helped Team GB break the world record in the female team pursuit, spoke longingly about the cycling culture in The Netherlands. 

The country is a good case study for the ‘safety in numbers’ theory. It saw a 45% increase in cyclists from 1980 to 2005 and a 58% proportional decrease in fatal crashes in the same period. The more people who cycle, it seems, the better. 

Not a word about Dutch cycling infrastructure or Dutch transport policy. All we need in Britain is more people cycling and then we’d all be as safe as houses.

 I blame the CTC for inspiring superficial journalism like this.

Chris Juden is indignant about what he perceives as the misrepresentation of the CTC by some cycling bloggers and asks please stop writing this rubbish about CTC ignoring the Dutch Model. We would love to have what they’ve got. 

If that’s so then, leaving aside the CTC’s own website, which barely mentions the Netherlands while praising crap like the so-called ‘magic roundabout’ in York and York’s very own crap cycle lanes, I wish I could just once read just one statement by a CTC spokesman to that effect in a national newspaper, because I never have.

For example, look at how this story picked up on by the Independent journalist was first reported:

Track champions Victoria Pendleton, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Jason Kenny this week called for better cycling infrastructure on Britain's roads. Pendleton called for cars to be banned from parking or driving in cycle lanes, while King and Rowsell said the UK should follow the example of Holland where cyclists are given priority at junctions and roundabouts. 

Alongside this, the CTC spokesman preferred to talk about almost anything except Dutch cycling infrastructure, and another golden opportunity was thrown away in the usual inane and dismal blather: "If more of us got on our bikes, there would be safety in numbers, drivers would be forced to become more aware of us.  

Vole O’Speed argues that the CTC’s policy on cycling infrastructure is inchoate and informed by ignorance and misunderstanding.