Monday, 27 July 2009

Jonathan Porritt in shocking satire on CTC

The Cyclists Touring Club has a 'policy co-ordinator' named Chris Peck, who is keen to argue that cycling is much, much safer than anyone thinks. The more people who cycle, the better it gets. Thanks to Mr Peck, who is a veritable Aristotle of road safety, I now know that

An hour spent gardening is more likely to result in injury than the same time spent cycling.

That’s right, Chris. I could so easily trip over a daisy and break my leg. Every time I pull up weeds I might fall backwards and seriously hurt myself. In the garden I am also particularly at risk of being hit by a falling meteorite. Whereas when I cycle around the London Borough of Waltham Forest all those drivers who cut me up, overtake me with a quarter of an inch to spare, overtake and then turn left, or come round corners on my side of the road while chatting on mobile phones, obviously only exist in my fevered imagination.

In London, statistics prove irrefutably that

cycling in the city is 2.9 times safer than it was previously.

This is why it is totally absurd of Jonathan Porritt to claim, as a cyclist, to have had

Two near-fatal accidents in a week.

According to Mr Porritt

he was still shaken after a black-cab driver had almost killed him as he was cycling to Channel 4.

Six days later, the most influential green thinker of his generation – a man who as one-time director of Friends of the Earth has advised everyone from Prince Charles to Tony Blair – was hobbling around on crutches; this time, the result of falling off his bike after swerving to avoid a Mercedes' door opened in his path.

This just isn’t credible, is it? Every London cyclist knows that black cab drivers are among the most considerate and careful drivers on the city’s streets. The same goes for drivers of Mercedes (a firm which has always had celebrity endorsement).

Shame on you, Mr Porritt, for trying to insinuate that the streets of London are very risky places for cycling.