Saturday, 5 July 2008

The news

Two days after Lucinda Ferrier was killed by a lorry in Stoke Newington a woman cyclist was seriously injured after being hit by a lorry in Royal College Street, Camden Town:

Clothes and bicycle parts could be seen strewn across the street behind police cordons. A paramedic team arrived by helicopter and took the cyclist to Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel by ambulance. A police spokesman said the woman was in a “serious” condition last night. Camden Cycling Campaign member, John Chamberlain said, “Obviously we don’t know what happened but these junctions are notorious for these types of accidents where cyclists are proceeding straight on and lorries are turning left,” he said. “It again illustrates the vulnerability of cyclists particularly to heavy goods vehicles.

Boris continues to relax the rules:

Licensed taxis and private hire cars will be allowed to stop on red routes, the Mayor of London has announced. From 10pm to 6am any passenger needing to withdraw money to pay for their journey can ask their driver to stop near a cash machine on red routes for up to five minutes.

No one ever says that CCTV is unfair to bank robbers or muggers. But when it’s used against drivers who flout parking regulations…

Paul Watters from the AA said using CCTV to enforce parking regulations was not a completely fair system. "CCTV isn't particularly fair, it's only fair if drivers are warned that the CCTV is being issued and that the local authority is doing something about the problem that causes so many tickets to be issued," he said. Westminster Council said all money made from parking fines was used to finance transport projects such as the Golden Jubilee Bridges and the Bishop's Bridge. Councillor Danny Chalkley said: "As a local authority we are legally not allowed to make a profit from our parking services.”

Prize-winning climate change cartoons:

The cartoons bring home what global warming will mean: not a Costa Brava on the south coast but desertification, widespread hunger and, ultimately, our own destruction.

Shock horror – the rising price of fuel is encouraging people to drive less and to change to smaller cars.

Car dependency v. public transport:

Spending on the road network has risen by more than 60 per cent since 2002 while money devoted to railways has increased by less than 10 per cent. The Highways Agency has 36 large-scale road schemes under way, but with demand for rail travel booming, the only significant new rail line being planned for England is Crossrail.

Rocketing food costs: it's all down to biofuels:

Since April, all petrol and diesel in Britain has had to include 2.5% from biofuels. The EU has been considering raising that target to 10% by 2020, but is faced with mounting evidence that that will only push food prices higher. Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% - far more than previously estimated - according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.

Motorists routinely drive in a way that threatens the lives of others:

Devon and Cornwall Police said they were shocked by the results of Operation Vortex in November and March when about 2,000 drivers were stopped. More than 800 were caught for speeding - 90% of them driving faster than 90mph (145km/h). Police dealt with 322 motorists for using mobile phones.

British roads with the highest flow of maniacal risk-taking drivers:

A scenic route through a picturesque beauty area was named today as Britain's most dangerous road.Topping the risk list for accidents is the A537 Macclesfield to Buxton road in the Peak District, according to the ITV programme Police Camera Action. The programme worked with the European road safety organisation EuroRAP to analyse main roads by compiling the number of serious injuries against the volume of traffic.

Knife crime gets top news billing. Road violence is marginalised:

A 69-year-old woman has died and her great-granddaughter seriously injured in a crash involving two cars. Emergency crews were called to the B4529 in Cholstrey, near Leominster, Herefordshire, shortly before 2245 BST on Wednesday.


Two people have been killed in a pile-up which has closed part of the M6 motorway in Lancashire. Emergency services were called to the northbound carriageway between junctions 32 at Broughton and 33 at Galgate in the early hours. Police say at least four vehicles were involved including a van, a lorry and two cars. Several people were cut from wreckage. Four were taken to hospital - two of them suffering multiple injuries.

Clarkson culture:

The toothless

BBC Trust yesterday upheld the complaint, saying the show had sent out completely the wrong message about drink-driving, particularly to youngsters. Its report said: 'The committee considered the scenes carefully and felt that drinking while driving did involve the misuse of alcohol.'

Clarkson and May were filmed trying to reach the Magnetic North Pole in a pickup truck, ahead of Richard Hammond, who was in a sled pulled by dogs. During the race, the two men were seen drinking gin and tonic in the cab of the truck.

Top Gear presenter James May said the BBC Trust could "sod off"

Two London petitions:

The LCC petition against allowing motorbikes to use bus lanes is here.

And in Waltham Forest there's a campaign to Save the Waltham Forest Theatre