Monday, 6 July 2009

ASL abuse

(Above) A right-turning bus driver enters the Advanced Stop Line at red. Selborne Road E17 at the junction with Willow Walk, Friday. This is the same junction, from a different perspective, where I blogged about this lorry driver.

In a comments thread in a local rag I came across this. Fairly typical of the Weltanschauung of a Top Gear fan.

I'm sure many fellow motorists would agree that quite a few cyclists don't wear a helmet, or any type of reflective clothing. I'm also routinely appaled [sic] by some cyclists road manners. These cyclists seem to think that they can ignore the rules of the road when it inconveniences them. I really do feel that many, many lives would be saved if cyclists were banned from the roads and made to cycle (at a reasonable speed) on the pavement or cycle lanes.

Funny how no one ever mentions the routine abuse of Advanced Stop Lines (one of the few paltry concessions to cycling in a car supremacist transport culture) by drivers across the land. But whereas the police have occasional crackdowns on cyclists who go through red lights or ride on pavements, I have simply never heard of any enforcement of ASLs by any police force apart from the City of London police.

My impression locally is that about one in four bus drivers deliberately goes into an empty ASL at red. An offence. Transport for London plainly isn't interested in the phenomenon, even though it might be thought to be one of those things which deter novice cyclists. Turning right from a two-lane carriageway often requires strong nerves and confident, assertive cycling.

Apparently the Metropolitan Police (which as we know is "working for a safer London") has a blanket policy of not enforcing ASLs anywhere in London. That's because to do so would hold up drivers. There was talk of the government transferring enforcement to local authorities, but where the safety of cyclists is concerned there's absolutely no hurry.

(Below) At the same time a red Biffa garbage lorry quite deliberately drove into the ASL on the far side of the junction. Biffa is a company with form. Its interests are embedded at the heart of power