Sunday 7 November 2010

To die in Nottingham

Not so long ago I wrote

The CBT doesn’t have a clue about cycling, as its utterly ludicrous claims about Nottingham reveal. Nottingham is a car-sodden cycling-hostile city and cycling has been stagnating there for many years

The inquest into the death of a young cyclist in Nottingham reports the coroner as saying

"What we shall never know without Anthony here to tell us is why he turned across that oncoming traffic in what other drivers described as an impossible manoeuvre. He was never going to safely get across that traffic."

And drivers are so good at knowing what is best for cyclists, aren’t they?

Although funnily enough cyclists sometimes have to resort to desperate measures to cross busy roads.

It is stated that

"He turned right to go up Lower Eldon Street in front of the traffic.

"He didn't look or anything – he just went. He had no chance of getting across safely."

That is blatantly contradicted by this statement:

Another witness statement said Mr Hatton had been seen giving a motorist a V-sign with his left hand and making other obscene gestures before attempting to cross into the path of oncoming traffic.

Only a cyclist could hope to understand the predicament of the deceased. On a street choked with cars he was vainly attempting to cross to the other side, with no driver giving way. He was giving a V-sign because drivers declined to slow down for him and let him across. I’ve been in that situation lots of times, though I tend to mutter under my breath rather than signal my displeasure with a hand signal.

A friend of mine once tried cycling from Walthamstow to Woodford Wells. On the way back she simply couldn’t get across two lanes of fast moving traffic to get on to Woodford New Road. She ended up cycling into South Woodford until she could find a safe way of crossing the road. After that experience she always drove to Woodford Wells.