Wednesday 30 June 2010

Waltham Forest council opens new rest stop for cyclists

The dedicated cycle lights which provide a safe crossing of the A1006 in Walthamstow have been switched off for several weeks. Many cyclists report extreme fatigue as they wait to find a gap in the high volume of motor traffic, or suffer from stress and anxiety as they take their lives in their hands and pedal across in the face of oncoming speed maniacs. Thankfully, London’s most progressive and cycling-friendly borough has now installed this new rest facility which allows cyclists to relax and unwind, should they succeed in making the crossing alive. (Maude Road E17, yesterday)

How the road lobby shapes ‘road safety’

Caught on CCTV. The moment a hit and run 4X4 driver collided with a child outside her primary school.

‘Road safety’ is a fraudulent, blood-drenched ideology which was invented by the road lobby and is dedicated to evading the true causes of road carnage (driver recklessness, massive contempt for road traffic law by those operating dangerous machinery, and cars expressly designed to break the speed limit twice over).

'Road safety' is an ideology designed to minimise the role played by drivers and dangerous machinery in road carnage, instead preferring to put the blame on the victims (the cyclist was not wearing a helmet or high visibility clothing, the pedestrian on the zebra crossing was wearing a dark coat). 'Road safety' has no interest in cars designed to go no faster than the maximum national speed limit and has no interest in speed limiters, speed cameras or increased enforcement of road traffic law. Instead 'road safety' prefers to blame 'dangerous roads' and divert attention to irrelevant technical issues (if speeding drivers ‘lose control’ and crash into trees and kill themselves, we must cut down the trees). The 'dangerous roads'/technical fix solution is all about protecting motorists personally from the consequences of their reckless risk-taking behaviour. The only interest that 'road safety' has in pedestrians and cyclists is in commanding them to adjust their behaviour to the blood-soaked car-centric status quo.

Today’s British media is saturated with this road propaganda masquerading as objective analysis:

A section of the A40 between Carmarthen and Llandovery is the most improved in terms of safety in the UK, according to a charity.

That’s how today's BBC News uncritically recycles a press release, without bothering to inform viewers or listeners who this so-called ‘charity’ represents.

There were 27 fatal or serious incidents on the stretch in the three years leading up to 2005. But these fell to seven in the three subsequent years.

The Road Safety Foundation said the figures were due to resurfacing work, improved drainage and safer junctions.

It said inexpensive engineering measures could save many lives.

In fact the Road Safety Foundation is nothing more than the big bad wolf wearing a bonnet, i.e. the AA - an organisation which was first established to help drivers evade speed checks and whose influence on government is written in the blood of the tens of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians who have died thanks to its toxic influence on shaping government policy.

The European road lobby operates under a plethora of bogus ‘road safety’ organisations which have no members whatsoever and are nothing more than well-funded propaganda outlets, devoted to sending out press releases which are regurgitated without critical comment by journalists across the media. These press releases are all devoted to calling for more money to be spent on roads. According to Google, this new press release has been used by 85 news outlets in the UK today, ranging from BBC National News to local newspapers.

This new ‘report’ consists of nothing more than putting a spin on road casualty figures and blaming road carnage on fictitious road design faults rather than reckless drivers. It's a press release not remotely interested in cyclists or pedestrians, who are road user groups of no interest to either the road lobby or the BBC. It’s ultimately all about making roads safer for the likes of Anthony Andrew.

And if you want a good critique of ‘road safety’ in Britain, you can’t do better than this.

Lawless motorcyclists

The 'No motorcyclists/cars' signs have been systematically painted out on both sides of the road closure on the cycle route on Essex Road E17. Bollards prevent access by cars so the only road users who benefit from this vandalism are motorcyclists. This ties in with this story:

A war between motorcyclists and council parking managers escalated today amid “spying” claims and thousands of pounds of criminal damage caused to road signs.

Police have assigned a detective to use Westminster City Council's vast network of CCTV cameras to track down the bikers spray-painting parking signs to avoid paying a £1-a-day charge.

A disgruntled biker writes about speeding bikers:

I was spitting feathers and was all but decided to phone the police in the hopes they could do something to save the life of the innocent pedestrian or cyclist about to be killed (I have to admit I had lost any interest in the lives of these reckless bikers). But then joy of joys, I turned the corner and there was a police van with speed camera pointed at the road.

He needs to see a psychiatrist

Dr. Ian Gillespie, a Victoria psychiatrist who is the newly elected president of the B.C. Medical Association, said that in spite of declining brain injuries, he's still concerned that, considering how cyclist-friendly Vancouver is becoming, police aren't enforcing helmet laws and the City of Vancouver isn't raising public awareness actively enough.

"For every dollar spent on a helmet, $30 is saved in health care costs," he said.

For every dodgy pseudo-scientific statistic like this, there’s a gullible journalist willing to uncritically report it. For every doctor who blathers on about cycle helmets, there’s a reserved parking spot for the doctor’s car. Does Dr Gillespie wear a helmet when he drives? If not, why not?

Tuesday 29 June 2010

The LCC, the CTC and the ‘safety in numbers’ myth

‘Vehicular cycling’ is a catastrophe for safe cycling and for mass cycling but this is what the two main cycling organisations in Britain remain doggedly committed to, run as they are by fundamentalists.

The Cyclists’ Touring Club and the London Cycling Campaign are failed organisations, in denial about their failure to bring about mass cycling over the past thirty years. The basic reality is that cycling in this country is unsafe (and widely perceived to be unsafe by the majority of the population who won’t and don’t cycle). Not surprisingly, cycling has not expanded.

Vehicular cycling (i.e. cycling on roads shared with motor vehicles) remains an activity engaged in by a tiny minority, which is not growing. The level of cycling in the UK was under 2% of journeys in 1996 (just the same as now). Like medieval alchemists, the LCC and the CTC dream that one day the dross will be magically transformed into gold and they eagerly collaborate with the state (which rewards them with funding) in promoting the delusion that things are getting better and a glorious future is just around the corner.

Last week the government released these figures:

The number of pedal cyclists killed fell by 10 per cent from 115 in 2008 to 104 in 2009. The number of seriously injured rose by 6 per cent to 2,606. The total casualties among pedal cyclists rose by 5 per cent to 17,064.

The CTC rushed to explain that this was actually good news not bad:

Chris Peck, CTC policy officer, said: "While this rise in cycle casualties may seem a bad thing, there is no greater risk than previously, because levels of cycling have also gone up.

The LCC dutifully chimed in:

A London Cycling Campaign spokesman said, “Changes in casualties definitely need to be related to cycling volumes. Cycling organisations have long argued that we need to be looking at casualty rates (taking into account mileage) rather than simply collision numbers.

“Data from the Netherlands and elsewhere, cited by CTC, suggests that there is a ‘safety in numbers’ effect with cycling and that as cycling grows the collision rates fall – the Netherlands and Denmark, where cycling levels are high, have much lower casualty rates than the UK.”

There are various objections to this. Firstly, the CTC and LCC don’t seem to possess a rudimentary understanding of the meaning and analysis of statistics. Compared with driving, cycling now has a risk 12.7 times as large per km travelled, when it was just 9.3 times as risky in 1981. Secondly, exposure to risk and road danger for cyclists cannot meaningfully be deduced simply from road casualty figures. Thirdly, the reason why the Netherlands and Denmark have much higher cycling rates than Britain, and much safer cycling, is because of the infrastructure. And even within those two countries, cycling rates and safety are very variable, and entirely determined by infrastructure.

There is no point in citing the Netherlands and Denmark as examples of safe cycling unless you are prepared to demand the kind of infrastructure which cyclists in those two countries enjoy. This is precisely what the CTC and the LCC are not prepared to do. Neither organisation displays much interest in the extraordinary success of places like Groningen and Assen. Instead both organisations remain fundamentally committed to the small-scale amelioration of the conditions of vehicular cycling. This is a campaigning strategy doomed to failure and one which will continue to suppress mass cycling.

Finally, let me prove my point with some photographs. I have no idea what the casualty figures for cycling are on this road are (a major route for commuter cycling) but I regard it as unsafe, dangerous and unpleasant. You might be able to 'prove' this route was safe by showing that there had been no fatalities, serious injuries or slight injuries at all, but you won't get people using routes like this by quoting statistics at them. The conditions are unalterable here, no matter how few or how many cyclists pass along this route each day. And mass cycling is never going to happen in London as long as cyclists are supposed to use infrastructure like this.

The first photo above shows part of

Orient Way along the Lea Valley. This has very wide and smooth segregated cycletracks and it won the LCC Best Cycle Route Award in 2001.

My photo shows where the cycle path on this prize-winning route ends and joins the start of the on-road cycle lane on the A106, heading north into Leyton. The A106 is a signed route on the London Cycle Network, with lots of lovely blue signs to remind cyclists they are on a top quality cycle route.

Drivers are given no warning that cyclists will be entering the road at this point, and cyclists are given no physical protection from oncoming traffic on this major route out of inner London. I was interested to see that the single yellow line no waiting restriction alongside the cycle lane has now been erased. Another small sign of how Waltham Forest is regressing as a place for cycling. Photographs taken on Bike Week day six. Having put my camera away and pedalled on, I caught up with the HGV shown in the first pic.

You think modal share in Waltham Forest is ever going to rise above one per cent with cycling infrastructure like this? In your dreams.

More anti-social behaviour by member of notorious London gang

Willow Walk E17, 4.20 pm, yesterday.

US Embassy cheats Londoners out of £3,821,880

It’s the special relationship!

The single biggest offender – albeit on less serious allegations – is the US, which has run up £3,821,880 in unpaid fines incurred in a seven-year diplomatic stand-off over the congestion charge.

There are 25,000 embassy staff and their dependants in the UK covered by diplomatic immunity: over the past five years there were 78 exemptions from serious charges.

One member from each of the Brazilian, German, US and Russian embassies were caught drink-driving but released without charge this year.

[Nice to know that the Guardian doesn't think drunken driving is a 'serious' offence. Ed.]

Russia also owes Transport for London £3,204,990.

Germany owes £2.64m

And this is sort of interesting, wouldn’t you say?

Afghanistan owes £34,780

Monday 28 June 2010

The Waltham Forest Green(wash) Fair 2010

Take advantage of the free cycle parking in Lloyd Park and cycle to the Green Fair, gushed the Council’s website.

Free parking for a bicycle! An irresistible offer. There was even a map showing the location of the grand Bike Park.

Naturally when I got there it didn’t exist. None of the people representing the council had even heard about this facility. So it was the usual case of using the railings by the children’s play area.

As for the Green Fair. It was the usual stuff except that this year there were no free lightbulbs, which frankly is pretty much the only reason for going unless you have small children you need to amuse. I came away with a lovely cloth bag reading DRIVE LESS and a lot of comic literature which I shall digest in due course.

As happens every year, the mayor was driven into the middle of the park, in order to lend his charisma to the message that we all need to use our limousines less and walk and cycle more.

Elsewhere in the park, away from the marquee urging us all to use less electricity, I found these two lights blazing away in the sunshine by the bowling green at the back of the William Morris Gallery.

And on Winns Terrace, next to the park, I found this.

For cognitive dissonance you can't do better than this, from pages seven and six of the current issue of the council's free newspaper.

What Katy Carr did next

As the seventh child of a seventh child I possess the rare gift of being able to see into the future. So there was never any doubt where I’d be at 3 pm yesterday. On the grass in Lloyd Park, watching Katy Carr and the Aviators.

I must confess I’d never heard of Ms Carr until a couple of days ago when I came across an enticing YouTube clip on the Archipelago of Truth.

Katy is a bit weird and dresses in 1941 chic. Her very professional website will tell you everything you need to know. Artistically she’s on the weird woman spectrum (think PJ Harvey, Bjork, Tori Amos, Kate Bush) which is very much my cup of tea. But apart from doing cabaret-type songs and strange, stirring ballads she also does retro classics on an electric ukulele. Yesterday in Lloyd Park she did the lot. The first set at 3 pm with The Aviators was Katy with vocal support and a full-blooded backing, doing her hits. Terrific stuff and I have since ordered her first and third albums on the interweb (if they live up to my fervent expectations I shall be splashing out on the other one).

Sadly as the band went into their electrifying last song ‘Berliner Ring’ the power to the stage failed and the inflatable awning, evidently kept up by a generator, began to collapse. Like the rest of us, Katy suddenly discovered that life in Waltham Forest is a deeply deflating experience. Like a musician on the Titanic, Katy tried to keep the show going and bravely switched to her ukulele, attempting a new song as the plastic sagged ever closer, moving to embrace her like a monstrous flesh-eating plant.

What Katy did next. She came back at 5.15 pm and did a solo set with her ukulele, including Lili Marlene, a George Formby classic, a song in Polish (tell us what it’s about next time, Katy) and We’re Going To Hang Out Our Washing on the Siegfried Line. By this time I think the heat was getting to her. It’s also probably a bit dispiriting to be an amazing artist who should be performing before an adoring crowd of thousands at Glastonbury or the Cambridge Folk Festival and instead you find yourself in a park in Walthamstow on the hottest day of the year, with an England match on, and an audience made up of a couple of mothers with small children, a cyclist and a giant grasshopper.

Here’s ‘Berliner Ring’, which is a very fine song and a cool video, though only a pale shadow of how Katy sings it live.

The problem of litter in Waltham Forest

If you can identify who it is who dumps rubbish like this on local streets please let the council know. (Hoe Street. It's been there for weeks.)

Sunday 27 June 2010

£250,000 to be wasted on cycling infrastructure that won’t work

A section of cycle lane on 'cycling friendly' High Road Leytonstone.

In the London Borough of Waltham Forest

A total of £250,000 from the Olympic Delivery Authority will be spent creating new cycle lanes and improving existing ones in an attempt to get more people out of their cars and on to their bikes.

But ‘cycle lanes’ are not the answer. The borough has a large network of cycle lanes which have signally failed to encourage local people to take up cycling.

Almost all local journeys are made by a transport mode other than cycling (i.e. by walking, by driving, or by bus, tube or rail). Cycling has not grown in any significant way in Waltham Forest and modal share is stuck at one per cent. Cycling is flatlining, not expanding in any significant way. It’s worth remembering that a decade ago the target for cycling in Waltham Forest was modal share of 10 per cent by 2012.

This continuing failure can be attributed to the poor conditions for cycling on local roads, something underlined by the Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign’s poll of local cyclists, which showed a clear preference for off-road cycling.

Vehicular cycling has failed in Waltham Forest, but it seems this money will be frittered away on schemes which are doomed before they are even started. An on-road cycle lane on Whipps Cross Road will attract no one except the tiny minority of existing cyclists who are prepared to put up with road danger, inconvenience and high volumes of motor traffic.

There’s also something very dodgy about this story. Several of the schemes mentioned have already been paid for out of other budgets and are in no sense new schemes. So by the sound of it there is some creative accounting going on, and money will be diverted from cycling to the council’s number one priority, on-street car parking and smoothing motor vehicle flow.

It is also bizarre to to talk of the sum of a quarter of a million pounds in the same breath as saying it will buy

A total of 33 new bike stands across the borough

Are they going to be gold-plated and encrusted with jewels?

Councillor Clyde Loakes, who I see these days describes himself as a 'bike enthusiast' (which may well be something different from ‘a cyclist’) says:

"We aim to raise people's confidence on bicycles and provide the infrastructure they need to get around quickly and safely.”

But that is precisely what the London Borough of Waltham Forest fails to do, as illustrated on this blog on a daily basis.

(Below) Two left turning vehicles, one in the Advanced Stop Line for cyclists, at Harrow Green.

Edinburgh police attack Critical Mass

First, some context. Scotland is a country where a motorist who ran down and killed a child cyclist was treated with every sympathy and allowed to drive away from the scene. And where the police who arrived on the scene where a cycling champion was run down by a van driver made no attempt to see if the driver had been using a mobile phone at the time of the collision. That’s how prejudiced and rotten Scottish traffic policing is.

In Edinburgh the police are aggressively hostile to mass cycling. Nudity is not permitted on the Naked Bike Ride on the grounds that the public must be protected from This Kind Of Thing:

While mass naked bike rides are set to be held across the world on Saturday, in Edinburgh the participants have been told they must preserve their modesty.

It comes after run-ins in previous years with Lothian and Borders Police, including in 2004
when officers threatened to arrest anyone who stripped off for "outraging public decency".

On Friday’s Edinburgh Critical Mass:

A police car swung in front of the cyclists on the wrong side of the road, forced the mass to stop and picked out the sound system rider for no apparent reason. As no offence was being committed, the riders found it hard to see why their details should be given over. After some arguing, and an increasingly frustrated cop who realised that he had no grounds for demanding the riders details, backup quickly arrived, with three more cop cars and three vans.

The arrested rider was eventually released later last night with four charges - cycling without due care and attention, obstruction of the highway with a bicycle and trailer, failure to provide details when required and resisting arrest.

The full story here.

But though the Scottish police are aggressively car supremacist in their anti-cycling policing, it’s all a matter of degree. London’s police are not really any better:

Andreas the London Cyclist writes

It seems a little unfair that community support officers are able to hand out fixed penalty notices to cyclists but not to drivers.

But that’s not a coincidence. This kind of discrimination is structured. Take a look at the community feedback questionnaires which the PCSOs go round giving people. There’s a helpful list of problems for you to tick, with ‘Antisocial behaviour by youths’ at the top and ‘Cycling on the pavement’ not far behind. Excluded from the list are any crimes or anti-social behaviour by motorists. There is no box for ‘speeding drivers’ or ‘drivers parking on the pavement’ or ‘people driving while using mobile phones’.

While resources are being increased for punishing hundreds of cyclists who have committed victimless crimes, the Met continues to reduce its road traffic policing, with fewer and fewer speeding drivers and red-light-jumping motorists punished. This is a policing policy written in the blood of pedestrians and cyclists, who are most vulnerable to violent, reckless and aggressive road users:

Calculated per police force, the highest number of [road] deaths last year was in the Metropolitan Police area, with 182 people killed.

The most lawless and violent members of British society (i.e. drivers) know they have little to fear from the British police, who have never regarded driver crime as ‘real’ crime. Most driver crime goes undetected and unpunished. Road traffic policing has never been regarded as a very important part of policing (unlike, say, ‘vehicle crime’ – Britain’s senior police officers are obsessed by theft of or from vehicles, which as we know from the black cab rapist case is treated by some police commanders as a higher priority than rape).

While senior police officers have traditionally resisted the use of camera technology to catch motoring crime, they show no such restraint when it comes to spying on ordinary members of the public who have committed no crimes but who dare to participate in peaceful protest.

The quintessential uselessness and authoritarian instincts of British policing are revealed yet again by this case, in which

In July 2005, they were stopped by police under the Terrorism Act after driving into the east London to help a family member move house. They later discovered police had placed a marker against their car registration on the database, triggering an alert – "of interest to public order unit, Sussex police" – each time they drove beneath an automatic number plate reading camera.

In recent days I’ve seen PCSOs wandering around Walthamstow putting up these notices (below), which are not only a complete waste of money and a statement of the bleedin’ obvious, but also a symptom of policing which is obsessed with the relatively trivial problem of 'car crime' while indifferent to motoring crime.

The police are no friends of cycling.

Car sick London’s filthy air

Poor air quality is one of the biggest public health issues facing the UK, with the problem most severe in central London due to high levels of traffic. Particle pollution is responsible for more than 4,300 premature deaths a year in London at an annual cost of up to £2bn. This figure came from the mayor's London air quality strategy, but the Commons environmental audit committee also predicted that, across the UK, poor air quality was responsible for up 50,000 premature deaths.

But because air pollution is largely invisible, both Whitehall and the mayor have been able to dither and delay.

Since the European commission started legal proceedings against the UK some 18 months ago the number of new practical measures to tackle air pollution has been pitiful.
In the meantime many children in London have faced stunted development of their lungs, and 690,000 Londoners continue to suffer from asthma.

Child pedestrian run down and killed in South London

A 14-year-old girl has been killed after being hit by a car in New Addington.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after the incident on Saturday at 7.30pm.

Police are appealing for witnesses after
the fatal collision in Headley Drive, New Addington.


A 69-year-old woman has died in hospital after she was hit by a car in Bradford, police have said.

The woman was hit by a Vauxhall Astra in Manningham Lane at about 1730 BST on Friday.
She was taken by ambulance to Bradford Royal Infirmary where she later died.
The Astra driver, a 23-year-old man, was not injured.

Praise for ‘abudhabiChris’

Personally I hate all this ‘we cyclists need to obey the rules so that drivers will give us respect’ crap. So I was pleased to see an instant retort to this:

Jon Burrage

I dont think we, as cyclists, can trivialize going through red lights etc. If we want to be taken seriously and have drivers look out for us and give us respect then the first thing we need to do is make sure we adhere to the rules as well. No matter how much some drivers infuriate me when Im cycling I will see 10-15 cyclists go through red lights on my ride to work...I can see why drivers think its one set of rules for them and one for us, we should all adhere to the rules of the road.


But why shouldn't it be one set of rules for them and one for cyclists.

The only reason we need red lights every 200 yards, and pinch points and traffic bumps and all the other stuff that makes the roads such a maze is because of motor vehicles.

Motor vehicles are the cause of most of the problems on roads - congestion, deaths, injuries - and they are also the reason why so much money needs to be spent building, maintaining and repairing roads. There are very good economic reasons of course but motor vehicles are the main drivers (no pun intended) for regulation and control on roads - it's as simple as that.

80% of the rules that cyclists are asked to obey are designed to solve a problem they are not part of.

Saturday 26 June 2010

‘I have given up riding my bike in Waltham Forest’

I have given up riding my bike in Waltham Forest because of poorly maintained cycle lanes. Riding into over hanging vegetation and cut off branches in poorly lit conditions is both painful and dangerous. Riding on routes that are blocked by parked cars, cycle lanes that end leaving you arguing for road space with a bus or a lorry is hardly conducive to being safe on a bike. The money spent by Waltham Forest on Cycle networks to date is a joke. It is typical of Clyde Loakes to blow his trumpet on how great his administration has been in spending money on projects, but he never ever considers the costs of maintaining, or implementing maintenance plans of what has been put in place.

Writes ‘Tony in Chingford’ in one of many interesting comments (thanks ‘Tom Thumb’) to this story. More on this news report tomorrow when I’ve checked a few things out… In the meantime here are a couple of pics I took on Bike Week day six (i.e. Thursday) on the prize-winning Orient Way cycle path (‘Best cycle path in London, 2001’), in the section that links to Temple Mills. The first photo above shows the two-direction cycle path to the right of the continuous white line, and the photo below shows the same path just round the corner.

An axe murderer writes…

Thanks awfully for your helpful advice.

Have just disposed of another body!



The Town Square, Walthamstow. Yesterday.

That Keltbray/cyclist collision

There’s a detailed report here. The absence of fixed railings at the site does appear to have prevented a possible fatality.

The report doesn’t answer the fundamental question in collisions of this sort, which is where the cyclist was in the time just before the impact. If she was waiting at the junction and the lorry driver pulled up alongside her, then he was grossly negligent in moving forwards and turning at the same time as her. If the lorry was waiting at the junction and the cyclist undertook, then she is at fault. The solution to collisions of this sort is, of course, to separate cyclists from motor traffic rather than expect them to share space.

another lawless Tesco driver

Parked on the corner of Howard Road E17 and Seaford Road, on ‘no waiting at any time’ double yellow lines. CF06 HYC. 12.25 pm, 21 June.

Mercedes: the car of choice for genocidal dictators and Vice-Trustees of the London Cycling Campaign

Adolf Hitler

who one day would own a fleet of Mercedes' cars, had his heart set on the 11/40 model which at the time cost 18,000 Reichsmarks. He had set his heart on one in grey with spoked wheels and white-wall tyres.

"But the hardest thing for me at the moment lies in the fact that the biggest payment for my work is not expected until the middle of December," he wrote

"So I am compelled to ask for a loan or an advance.

David Love

I have been a Trustee of the London Cycling Campaign for several years and am currently its Vice Chair.

My stable comprises a Time VXS, several Roberts thoroughbreds, a Brompton
and a Mercedes Benz.


DA04 TPF The Asian woman driver of this 4X4 (with at least one child on board) drove along Aubrey Road E17 steering with her left hand while talking on a handheld mobile phone, continued on down Milton Road, then along Byron Road. 12.26 am, 21 June. I snapped her as she stopped on double yellow lines on Hawthorne Road E17.


W314 OGH man wearing glasses (ethnicity ambiguous but not white), driving along Hoe Street with one hand on the wheel, the other clamping a mobile phone to his ear. 10.55 am, 26 June.


W213 PLB Veiled Asian woman using her mobile phone while driving along High Road Leyton, approaching the Bakers Arms, 11.37 am, 25 June.


GF08 UAL Male Asian driver steering with one hand while talking on a mobile phone, turned right out of Bakers Avenue E17 on to Hoe Street, 11.35 am, 25 June.


YC56 WKV black VW with twin turbo exhausts, driven by a twenty-something dark skinned male, approached the red lights on Wanstead High Street at the junction with Woodford Road (A11), paused, then quite deliberately jumped the red light. Then drove like a lunatic along Snaresbrook Road and turned left on to the A104, undertaking other drivers then swerving into the right lane. The worst driver I’ve seen in a long time. First spotted at 5.57 pm, 19 June.

Friday 25 June 2010

New ‘Link’ Cycle Super Stand unveiled in Waltham Forest

Sponsored by ‘Link’ this innovative ‘cycle superstand’ is designed to encourage more people to cycle.

How it works, in three simple easy-to-understand stages.

(1) Drive to Wood Street, Walthamstow, and park your car in one of the many free parking bays built alongside the one-metre-wide cycle lane.

(2) Use ‘Link’ machine to withdraw your life savings.

(3) Emigrate to the Netherlands and enjoy a lifetime of safe, attractive and convenient cycling in a country which prefers to install good cycling infrastructure rather than promote cycling through the likes of Victoria Pendleton blathering on about getting everyday people to consider making everyday journeys on a bike rather than just picking up the car keys.”

scenes from ‘Walk’em Forest’

Yes, it’s that time of the year when Waltham Forest Council urges everyone to leave the car at home and do some walking instead. The latest issue of the Council’s massively expensive propaganda newspaper drops through the Freewheeler letterbox - sadly there’s no mention of the Council getting a mention in the ‘Rotten Boroughs’ section of the new Private Eye. Most of page 6 of Waltham Forest News is devoted to the health benefits of wandering around our walking-friendly borough, which is charmingly dubbed ‘Walk’em Forest’.

How very droll. And now here are some up to the moment pics of walking-friendly Waltham Forest. Why not take a stroll down this public footpath on Heathcote Grove E4, which offers a pleasant and useful short cut to Chingford Avenue. As you can see, the council is passionate about meeting its statutory obligation to keep public footpaths open at all times.

Or why not take a stroll on one of the borough’s ‘shared use’ pathways. Pedestrians must keep strictly to the right of the white line to avoid collisions with maniac cyclists racing towards them downhill on the pink cycle lane. Marshall Road E10.

Please remember, however, that the primary function of pavements is to provide parking for those less fortunate than ourselves, who require four rubber wheels and an internal combustion engine to get around. So do take care as you pass these legally parked vehicles on Sturge Avenue E17 and Stanley Road E4.

To complete your energizing walk, why not finish at Wood Street E17, with its charming footways and delightful shops?

‘Share the road’

As any Mercedes-Benz-driving Vice-Trustee of the London Cycling Campaign will tell you, it’s vital that cyclists and motor traffic learn to ‘share the road’ together.

And what cyclist wouldn’t want to share the road with this delightful foreign vehicle, pictured here in ‘Bike Week’ on terrifying Blackhorse Road E17 (A1006). Don’t forget to shout ‘three feet please’ when a lorry like this overtakes you.

Bike Week: your questions answered

I am a crazed axe-murderer with a headless torso to dispose of. Can you advise me of a good place to leave it where it will attract no attention?

In our experience a cycle stand in the London Borough of Waltham Forest is the perfect place to dump anything without anyone taking any notice at all. (Ye Town Square)

Thursday 24 June 2010

A classic ‘Safe Route for Cycling’

This exemplary piece of cycling infrastructure is featured in Waltham Forest Council’s Cycle Routes in Waltham Forest leaflet, which includes a map and displays photographs of the very best of Waltham Forest’s cycle lanes. It invites readers to ‘Plan Your Own Safe Route to School and Work’. It shows the kind of brilliant design which has made Waltham Forest a living legend.

Sadly there were a couple of problems with this original design. There were no physical barriers preventing drivers from parking on the one-metre wide cycle lane, which they did on a daily basis. There was also the ever-present danger of ‘dooring’. So the cycle lane was moved to the driver’s side of the parking bays, as shown here in this photograph (below) which I took yesterday, on Bike Week day five. As you can see, the improvement for safe cycling is truly remarkable.

Disgusting nude cycling: exclusive pictures!

From the Comments box on Sky news online last week.


I was in London on Saturday and happened to see the Naked Bike Ride. Call me a prude but I thought it was an absolute disgrace and a blatent excuse for a few hundred exhibisionists to show off their mainly out of shape unsightly bodies for the day. There were families out with small children, why should they have been exposed to this? And, why is this not classed as indecent exposure?

Judging by people I spoke to on Saturday I wasnt the only one that felt disgusted with having to see that on Saturday. Its all well and good saying that there was nothing sexual with what they are doing. But why should we have to be subjected to that? And yes I do talk about "the children", because I happen to believe that there are certain things that young children should not have to see whilst out with family in central London.

How true! How dare these road tax dodging pavement assassins expose their bloated and unwholesome bodies in front of ordinary decent people? Just look at the disgust and revulsion on the faces of ordinary Londoners and tourists, many of them families with young children.

And look at this poor unfortunate little girl in the pink cycling helmet (below). She has a depraved mother who shamelessly flaunts her unsightly body all over London on a Saturday afternoon and exposes her impressionable child to the hideous spectacle of nude cyclists. But, far worse, this child is being brought up to think that travelling around on a bicycle is somehow normal. How are children ever going to learn to develop car dependency with parents like these? Fortunately a man in a stylish hat and shorts has run into the middle of Fleet Street to get close-up evidence which he will surely be forwarding to the child protection department of social services. God bless you, sir!