Monday, 15 March 2010

Frustrations of cycling in London!!

OK, so this is a slightly negative post but I was annoyed on my cycle ride home today.

The Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police forces have both started setting up police traps for cyclists, so you'll be cycling along the road, perhaps a spot where lots of cyclists regularly jump the lights, and you'll spot a PC standing behind something at the junction waiting for a cyclist to break the rules. This happened to me today, I was cycling down the road (Fleet Street) and at the junction on the other side of the road there was a WPC waiting with her bicycle for a cyclist to misbehave. Whilst I was waiting there at the lights a cyclist coming the other direction waited at a red light then after the people crossed the road tentatively moved forward and continued before the lights went green. Now I know that this is illegal, however this cyclist was at least being curtious enough to allow the pedestrians across before he went off. He was then stopped by the police and handed a £30 on the spot fine.

This isn't an uncommon sight in London at the moment, very regularly I see police waiting at points on the road with these 'cycle traps' waiting to dish out their fines. Now I'd argue that this is a complete waste of time, how many people are killed each year by cyclists riding through red lights? Last year two, only two, cyclists died by jumping red lights, this month two, yes two cyclist have been killed in London after being crushed against railings by lorries (please nobody ever undertake a lorry!!!!) Now Transport for London have conducted research that suggest cyclists that jump the red lights are in fact safer than those who don't. LOOK HERE

So if not jumping the red lights causes more deaths than jumping the red lights isn't it about time that we allowed cyclists to jump red lights? Obviously we should leave a clause in here, for example: you must slow down at a red light and check that you are not causing a nuisance, stopping anyone crossing or endangering anyone but if that is satisfied then surely they should be allowed to pass - particularly if it makes the roads safer!!!!

Who knows, that chap I saw being fined today may well in the future not go ahead at red lights and get injured by a lorry. Needless, stupid, pointless. Three words I associate with much of the governance of this country!

Also if you want to find out what your local parliamentary candidates think about cycling go here.

This should have been a post about what a brilliant day Saturday was whizzing around on bicycles with Tomph. Ah well!

1 comment:

  1. Agreed- after being a van delivery driver around london I'd much rather have cyclists out in front of me where I can see them.

    What the police *really* should be fining cyclists for is the idiots who cycle at night with no lights on, I really don't think they realise how difficult it is for drivers to see them.