Another day, another anti-cycling rant in a local newspaper (Sunday Post)

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  • Another day, another anti-cycling rant in a local newspaper (Sunday Post)
  • kcr
    Member

    Not a local paper. Pretty much what you would expect from the Sunday Post, which is a bastion of all things traditional and reactionary.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Fairly local – in that I’ve only ever seen it in central Scotland.

    I think they’d struggle with Oor Wullie and The Broons in London 😀

    Premier Icon TPTcruiser
    Subscriber

    Legitimate news report rather than Editorial would be the editor’s response.
    Slanted against cyclists as per usual and low on facts with no balance to the comment by ABD (can I become a member, who do they represent?). Shocking number of deaths, but have there been any on the stretches they highlight?

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    So the article asks a question “why aren’t cyclists using the cyclepath?”

    And then doesn’t bother to answer it. Opens with the assumption that cyclists avoiding a cyclepath are “reckless”. Plenty of pontification over non-existent forms of taxation. A token nutter from the ABD and a random middle aged woman are invited to weigh in on the subject.

    “Investigative” journalism at its best

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    ABD (can I become a member, who do they represent?)

    I’ve had this discussion on twitter, with the chap who runs it.

    He says they represent all drivers, so everyone with a licence is a member. (He may be a loon.)

    Sunday Post = Daily McMail with the Broons and Oor Wullie

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Hugh Bladon, of motoring campaign group, the Alliance of British Drivers said: “Cyclists don’t know how to behave, that’s their trouble.

    “Some of them clearly believe the Highway Code is not for them, but it is. They then complain if they get knocked down by people in cars. It’s absurd.

    “Money should not be spent on facilities like this if they are not going to be used.

    “If they contributed through taxation then perhaps the money should be spent. But they don’t contribute anything to the maintenance of our roads.

    “We are not anti-cyclist, we just want them to obey the rules of the road like everyone else, and they are not doing that at the moment.”

    Doesn’t it make you want to scream?!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    So the article asks a question “why aren’t cyclists using the cyclepath?”
    And then doesn’t bother to answer it.

    I think it’s pretty clear from the article that the “reckless” cyclists are using the road purely to annoy motorists and leave them with “little choice but to swerve into the outside lane” (aka “overtake”).

    I mean what other reason could there possibly be?

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    I sympathise with the complaint though, it annoys me when cyclists don’t use suitable cycle paths when they are put it. Everyone’s idea of what is suitable varies but the principle remains.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    So many things wrong in such a short article. Suggests that using the road instead of a cycle path is a crime, mentions violating the Highway Code without actually saying how, talks about cyclist not paying “road tax” and even quotes the mad bloke from the ABD.

    http://www.sundaypost.com/news-views/uk/reckless-cyclists-snub-dedicated-cycle-routes-1.125884

    At least the comments strike a balance even if the editorial doesn’t!

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Perhaps they should have spoken to some cyclists to ask them the question, or would that be too balanced!

    camo16
    Member

    Meh.

    I’ll choose my own commute route, thanks. Roads are generally in better repair, quicker and more convenient than the off-road alternatives around here. Plus, they’re often more than 30 metres long.

    Can’t even be bothered getting righteous about this numptie journo.

    glupton1976
    Member

    To be honest – you’d need to be more than a bit stupid to ride on that section of road at that time in a group of less than 20.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    To be honest – you’d need to be more than a bit stupid to ride on that section of road at that time in a group of less than 20.

    Not sure about that, come in at rush hour and you will be riding quicker than the traffic!

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    Would be nice if they factored in regular sweeping/maintenance to the cost of building dedicated cycle paths. There’s a stretch near me I’d use even though it’s not all that convenient to get onto it but there’s always broken grass or brambles reaching out halfway across – less hassle just to keep on the road.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    Some journalists win Pulitzer prizes, garner worldwide respect, and push forward human culture.

    Others are this bloke.

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    I’ll choose my own commute route, thanks. Roads are generally in better repair, quicker and more convenient than the off-road alternatives around here. Plus, they’re often more than 30 metres long.

    I entirely agree, but is there anyone on here who knows the particular route in question in the Post article?

    If that’s genuinely representative of that particular path, I know where I’d ride!

    IanMunro
    Member

    it annoys me when cyclists don’t use suitable cycle paths when they are put it. Everyone’s idea of what is suitable varies but the principle remains.

    As you say what’s considered suitable varies.
    If cyclists aren’t using a cycle-path it’s because they think the road is more suitable to cycle on. They’re not avoiding the path for any ulterior motive such as annoying people.

    oldbloke
    Member

    I used to use that path commuting Edinburgh to Rosyth and Dunfermline and in c. 2001 it was great. But by the time I stopped working there end 2009, the greenery had started to grow in a bit, but it was still preferable to the road.

    camo16
    Member

    What’s more interesting than this article (and what isn’t?) is the underlying antagonism towards cyclists – which is something I’ve never really got…

    …but, then, during my last ‘talk’ with my Dad, he casually remarked that if the bicycle had only just been invented it would not be considered safe enough to be allowed on the road… 😯

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I entirely agree, but is there anyone on here who knows the particular route in question in the Post article?

    Yeah I used to ride it myself out to South Queensferry or Rosyth a few years ago now.

    I did use the path back then, but it wasn’t great and parts of it were so narrow that you struggle to get past a bike going the other way.

    Here’s the Google StreetView of the junction in the Post’s photo (I think).

    http://goo.gl/maps/d2Wpu

    brakes
    Member

    articles like that make me sad.

    my Dad, he casually remarked that if the bicycle had only just been invented it would not be considered safe enough to be allowed on the road

    if cars had just been invented, you wouldn’t be allowed to drive them in public

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    he casually remarked that if the bicycle had only just been invented it would not be considered safe enough to be allowed on the road…

    And he thinks the car would??
    (given that cars kills thousands a year and the bike.. erm.. doesn’t!)

    camo16
    Member

    His reasoning is that a bike essentially is a fast and unprotected mode of transport… a car would be allowed on the principle that inbuilt safety protects the user.

    Peyote
    Member

    it annoys me when cyclists don’t use suitable cycle paths when they are put it. Everyone’s idea of what is suitable varies but the principle remains.

    How can you be annoyed when you’re acknowledging that what you consider suitable, may not be for someone else? Not sure I understand that one, seems a bit ‘doublethink’

    during my last ‘talk’ with my Dad, he casually remarked that if the bicycle had only just been invented it would not be considered safe enough to be allowed on the road

    …and cars would? I think I know which is more likely to be given the okay from the HSE (or other appropriate H&S body) for use in public areas.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    I’d be pretty safe driving a JCB around a classroom

    camo16
    Member

    And he thinks the car would??
    (given that cars kills thousands a year and the bike.. erm.. doesn’t!)

    and

    …and cars would? I think I know which is more likely to be given the okay from the HSE (or other appropriate H&S body) for use in public areas

    Following his reasoning, the car is inherently safe, to the user and other road users… provided it’s driven correctly. The bike, on the other hand, is inherently unsafe because even the safest (most skilled and road aware) rider is vulnerable at all times.

    It’s not something I agree with, but an interesting POV.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    The bike, on the other hand, is inherently unsafe because even the safest (most skilled and road aware) rider is vulnerable at all times.

    But we’re not. We’re only vulnerable when people are driving cars near us. It’s non-logic.

    Peyote
    Member

    I’d be pretty safe driving a JCB around a classroom

    Course you would, you safely ensconced inside it away from the dangers of schoolchildren!

    Not sure how safe the kids would be though.

    Having said all that, JCBs and the ilk are pretty speciailised and potentially very dangerous pieces of kit. Their use is a bit more strictly controlled than a normal car.

    It’s not something I agree with, but an interesting POV.

    It’s interesting that someone can hold such an opion without recognising the inherent falalcies. Mind you, my parents do something very similar! It’s not an uncommon opinion…

    camo16
    Member

    But we’re not. We’re only vulnerable when people are driving cars near us. It’s non-logic.

    People drive cars near roadies all the time, no?

    Or am I riding in the wrong places?

    Boba Fatt
    Member

    I stayed in Fife for 5 years and used to drive that road most days. While I agree that a bike should be allowed on the road if the rider wishes, you’d have to be batshit mental to want to cycle that road.

    It’s not the standstill that people think, and heading towards fife it joins with the M9 spur.

    Take your life in your hand stuff

    Peyote
    Member

    People drive cars near roadies all the time, no?

    Yes, but I think the point is the “provided it’s driven correctly.” bit is not correct.

    I think I’d also take issue with the “inherently” safe bit. Cars do seem to be a lot safer than they used to be but I wouldn’t be willing to put the confidence in them that your father does!

    jekkyl
    Member

    Is the broons stories still essentially the same where one member mis-hears something about another member of the family and the hilarity that ensues or they go on holiday and all ‘go up the ben’ ? 🙂

    antigee
    Member

    think the link has disappeared or it might just be that i’m not scottish 8)

    ABD I think quoting this “organisation” invalidates any attempt at reasonably balanced journalism – an organisation that doesn’t publicly declare its membership but then claims to act on behalf of 33million people should be treated with the respect it deserves – as said above couldn’t read the article but hope the CTC or local cycling group was asked to comment

    ABD’s submission on cycling for the 1998 highway code revision

    6. Extra Rules for Cyclists
    The Code must emphasise that it is at least as much the responsibility of vulnerable road users like cyclists to safeguard their lives and wellbeing as it is the responsibility of drivers.
    6.1 Safety equipment and clothing
    Being seen — New Rule. Being seen in good time by drivers of motor vehicles is an essential pre-requisite to not being hit by them. So add the following new Rule:
    “Use lights whenever they would improve your visibility to other road users, for example on country roads where trees create heavy shade, on grey mornings, or if you have busy road junctions to negotiate.”

    6.2 Cycling
    Rules 192, 193, 196, 197, 198, 199, 209, 210. There is nothing wrong with these rules but why do many cyclists not observe them? It appears that many parents let their youngsters ride out without the slightest knowledge of the rules of the road — not even keeping to the left. Why is there no attempt to enforce these rules and educate the errant riders?

    Car drivers tend to be blamed for every injury on the road, yet it is the gross misbehaviour of numerous cyclists that puts them and others at risk.

    scuzz
    Member

    Link is still live, I wouldn’t bother though – they only want attention 🙂

    highlandman
    Member

    Just remember some of the other titles in the DC Thomson/Sunday Post stable…
    The Dandy & the Beano! The Dandy title closed down recently, so it looks like a journo has been redeployed from the comic to writing comic strips for the Post.

    tazzymtb
    Member

    the ABD have an amazing facebook page with 879 likes!! funnily enough they are whingeing about cyclists hijacking the comments section in the sunday post responses. They also have some MP patrons! wow heavy hitters, we should all be awestruck at their prestige and influence.

    BikePawl
    Member

    oldbloke – Member

    I used to use that path commuting Edinburgh to Rosyth and Dunfermline and in c. 2001 it was great. But by the time I stopped working there end 2009, the greenery had started to grow in a bit, but it was still preferable to the road.

    Posted 1 hour ago #Report-Post
    It’s not that green now, since Jimmy of this parish did a great job of cleaning it up.

    jonnysimons
    Member

    If cyclist were to ‘pay’ road tax (VED) we would be put into band A which is free.

    On average a human produce about 30 grams per hour of CO2, well below the 100g/km of CO2 (presuming you can cycle a km in under 3 hours). Yes this rate does increase during exercise but I think it is safe to presume that the driver of the car isn’t going to pay for the extra CO2 they produce when ranting at cyclists.

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