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  • We have ‘car brain’ in the UK
  • matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    This is some research which confirms a lot about what we see out on the roads in my view. It’s worth reading his thread.

    finbar
    Free Member

    You could establish that by researching no further than this – alleged 😉 – cycling forum…

    fossy
    Full Member

    What about bike brain ?

    fazzini
    Full Member

    this – alleged 😉 – cycling forum…

    There is absolutely nothing alleged about this cycle-buying forum…
    Oh, you said “cycling” 😳

    Interesting read.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    While I’d not disagree with the overall study, comparing car fumes to cigarette smoke is pretty stupid. Most folk would agree that the former has some utility whereas the latter does not.

    Edukator
    Free Member

    Now check out the threads with people removing EGRs and mapping for performance, Scotroutes. That’s just like smoking: throwing away money for a tiny temporary kick whilst deliberately poisoning all around you more than necessary.

    One poster used to brag about smoking out cyclists if they dared to venture onto the same roads as him and God forbid, ride along side each other.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    I’ve always found the pro car anti bike attitudes on this forum surprising.  Any suggestion of taking a bit of space in our cities away from cars and give it to bikes and pedestrians is jumped on as is any suggestion of removing the subsidy from cars.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I’ve always found the pro car anti bike attitudes on this forum surprising. Any suggestion of taking a bit of space in our cities away from cars and give it to bikes and pedestrians is jumped on as is any suggestion of removing the subsidy from cars.

    Calm down dear. Those views are definitely from a minority. The forum is overwhelmingly in favour of cycling/public transport development and less car usage.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    @Edukator – edge cases though, hardly affecting the survey?


    @tjagain
    – there are significant structural issues around removing access to motor vehicles, some of which aren’t really apparent to folk who live and work in large cities. Any generic solution to increase motoring costs would have to take these into account and I don’t see any political party even starting to think about them. Low Emission Zones aren’t really much of a start regarding cost, though they are at least addressing some of the health issues.

    alpin
    Free Member

    Saw that study the other week in the G.

    The UK is incredibly car centric.

    In Germany I wouldn’t even think about taking the car for a journey of <10km. In the UK it seems people jump in their cars to drive <1 mile to the shop.

    My sister and her fella were bemused when I said I didn’t need picking up from the station and would walk the three miles home.

    Completely different mindset, although it’s not helped by the shite infrastructure and town planning.

    Nice four lane road through town where you can drive at 40 mph…. But where are the cycle paths? Or even footpaths?

    It’s crap.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    More cash – just a noisy minority then? 🙂

    Scotroutes – fully accepted hence I always argue change would have to be incremental and rural areas may need some special arrangements

    its just the general tone.  Even something as simple as presumed liability which is widely used all over europe with no issues

    Edukator
    Free Member

    I agree with what you’re saying Alpin, but the average Geramn car covers more KM per year than a UK car and indeed almost any other European country. And it depends where in Germany, junior in Berlin doesn’t feel the need for a car but friends near Heilbron have long commutes and use the car for everything except buying the morning brötchen. Germany is car commuter land.

    alpin
    Free Member

    Possibly…. But the country is much larger, hence greater distances. Same goes for France.

    I reckon more km are covered by bike or by foot per capita in the Vaterland than the UK.

    The UK is, imo, inherently unhealthy and a lot of that has to do with its reliance on cars.

    Edukator
    Free Member

    I reckon more km are covered by bike or by foot per capita in the Vaterland than the UK.

    Absolutely. Again it’s regional. When I lived in Munster it was bicycle lend, bikes everywhere pretty much like Holland. But Heilbronn, no more bikes than London and a hell of a lot more Audis. Bizarrely it’s the frozen north where I’ve ssen the most bikes and the sunny south the most petrolheads.

    What helps is the infrastructure. There’s no reason not to ride a bike in Munster but in Hamburg they’re still favouring cars along the right bank of the Elbe to the irritation of the local cyclists. At least teh local TV joins in with slagging off the petrolhead local authorities, can’t imagine that in Birmingham UK.

    piemonster
    Full Member

    In Germany I wouldn’t even think about taking the car for a journey of <10km. In the UK it seems people jump in their cars to drive <1 mile to the shop.

    My neighbour routinely and pretty much every other day, drives to the nearest shop, it’s 0.65km, to walk there is 0.32km.

    He’s fit and healthy, and regularly walks along the coast with his dog to the next village at 4.8km. Usually gets picked up by car, rather than taking the train back…

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    there are significant structural issues around removing access to motor vehicles, some of which aren’t really apparent to folk who live and work in large cities. Any generic solution to increase motoring costs would have to take these into account and I don’t see any political party even starting to think about them. Low Emission Zones aren’t really much of a start regarding cost, though they are at least addressing some of the health issues.

    You’re right that there is zero national picture or strategy – Blair’s Government looked into road pricing briefly, the RW press went mental and the idea has been hiding in the background ever since, the elephant in the room that no Government has ever had the balls to address again. BUt they’re going to need to do something because revenue from fuel duty and “road tax” will fall dramatically as the shift to EV and hybrid increases.

    CAZ are a very piecemeal and confusing addition to the plan – again Government kicked the can down the road and left it to local authorities to implement their own measures for combating air pollution so you’ve got some that apply to all private cars, some that only apply to vans and further confusing eligibility stuff around engine type – so lots of people get caught and fined and that breeds resentment.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    More cash – just a noisy minority then?

    Always, on this forum – whatever the debate and whichever side they are on

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Lolz

    alpin
    Free Member

    drives to the nearest shop, it’s 0.65km, to walk there is 0.32km.

    Whilst over in the UK I picked up my nephews from school. It’s a 10 minute walk there.

    Never again. Absolute carnage with all the cars. Some folks were driving despite us walking past their houses. Idiots.

    If there were a tax/tariff system in place that penalises you for using the car on journeys under a specific distance or at particular times I would be all for it.

    The UK’s car dependency, lack of other infrastructure and the general population’s attitude towards transport are just some reasons I can never see myself returning to the UK to live permanently.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Any suggestion of taking a bit of space in our cities away from cars and give it to bikes and pedestrians is jumped on

    There’s a difference between not wanting it, and pointing out where it might be difficult. You seem unaware of this difference.

    Cardiff council is trying to do the right thing but it has a very limited budget and is facing criticism on all sides whatever it tries to do. It’s currently building a huge new PT network rather than build major cycleways, which is probably the better choice at the moment given the realities in the ground. That I acknowledge that doesn’t mean I’m anti bike, of course.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I wasn’t intending to have a ‘them Vs us’, it was more interesting that UK attitudes to risk and vehicles was so pro-car… So many people just cannot see it.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Molgrips – the only reason why its “difficult” is because it takes space away from cars.  You cannot have good cycling infrastructure unless you do take some space from cars. thats the bit you don’t seem to understand 🙂

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I wasn’t intending to have a ‘them Vs us’, it was more interesting that UK attitudes to risk and vehicles was so pro-car… So many people just cannot see it.

    I’ve said it before on here and elsewhere (as have others).

    In no other area of life would anything about private motoring be acceptable.
    One “accreditation” session – that then covers you for life.
    No further training, almost zero consequences for “mistakes”, we’ll let you dispense highly flammable liquid unsupervised, untrained and unattended, no logbooks, no records…

    If there were 5 deaths a day on the railways, the entire system would be shut down, overhauled, there’d be MDs in jail, massive fines…
    5 deaths a day in aviation and no-one would ever get on a plane.
    5 deaths a day on the roads (UK average) and everyone is just like “yeah, whatever” – in fact it almost goes to the opposite extreme to blame pedestrians and cyclists for “being in the way”.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Molgrips – the only reason why its “difficult” is because it takes space away from cars. You cannot have good cycling infrastructure unless you do take some space from cars. thats the bit you don’t seem to understand

    I understand that very well. I would dearly love to see a redesigned city. I have actually planned out in some detail how I would achieve this in specific cases. My wife and I redesigned Newport Road, the major artery in the east of Cardiff, and daydreamed about how wonderful it would be*.

    The problem is that it’s not my city to change. The council is answerable to the people who live here, and persuading them to get out of their cars and onto bikes is going to be extremely difficult. This is the part that you don’t appreciate. You could have the best cycleway in the world on Newport Road but there’s no getting away from the fact that most people riding along it would be faced with a big hill at one end.

    I personally would love your vision for a city, but that’s not enough – you have to get everyone else to like it. You seem to think that if only you can just shout loud enough everyone will see the world the same way as you, but sadly that isn’t the case.

    * The ideal solution we came up with was dig and cover tunnel under the current road way, with underground car parks. Then the current roadway could then be pleasingly landscaped and you could add lots more shops and parkland. This would of course be terribly expensive. People will still want to drive into town from places that are too far away. I mean you can’t expect a family of four to cycle in from Newport on a Saturday for some shopping. This is why I think that public transport is the solution, rather than cycling. But you still have to find a way to actually stop people choosing their cars, and that’s going to be really difficult. What do you suggest?

    TL;DR I’m not anti-bike, most people on here aren’t anti-bike, but most people in the UK are and that is the issue.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Have you seen the youtube film ” how the dutch got their cycle lanes”?

    It explains very well how to do it and car drivers are the minority( in terms of number of journeys)  in most cities but get 90% of the travel spend and 90% of the road space

    If every other country in Europe can do this what is so special about the UK that we cannot?

    tjagain
    Full Member

    What do you suggest?

    Ive said this many times. Over time ramp up motoring costs ( actually remove the subsidy)  and put the money raised into alternatives.  Public transport and cycling

    town planning also takes a huge role.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    Over time ramp up motoring costs ( actually remove the subsidy)  and put the money raised into alternatives.  Public transport and cycling

    That’s the wrong order. You need to fix public transport before you raise motoring costs.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Have you seen the youtube film ” how the dutch got their cycle lanes”?

    Yes I have.

    The main thing I took from it was that it took many years for them to get their cycle lanes.

    We need to make a start, but it will be several years before we’d see results

    molgrips
    Full Member

    If every other country in Europe can do this what is so special about the UK that we cannot?

    It’s like saying if most people aren’t alcoholics, then why are you?

    In the Netherlands this happened IIRC in the 80s. At that point in the UK two-car families were rare, cars were relatively expensive. That would have been the time to do something about it, but we didn’t – we had Thatcher – so we cultivated the car-loving attitude. Un-cultivating that is going to be really hard.

    A key reason in my view is city planning, as I’ve said before. The average daily distance for cyclists in the Netherlands is 3.4km for men and 3km for women. From here, where I live, there is absolutely nothing worth cycling to within that distance. Because this giant shitty suburb was planned that way in the 80s. It was planned for people to use their cars to get around. To change that now you’d have to undo the bad decisions that have been made for the last 40 years.

    Better public transport is going to be a much better starting point. I think the two go hand in hand. If you are young, you don’t have a car; if you can get around easily and cheaply without a car you will delay buying one (as you see in London) and then you don’t automatically think of getting in the car as soon as you step outside. Then you will be able to start integrating bikes into the mix – in my view.

    One thing that varies a lot between countries is the relationship between people and their governments. What people expect their governments to do, and what they see them as can be very different. So beware of drawing to many parallels between other countries. We don’t need a Dutch solution to the problem because a Dutch solution is unlikely to work. We need a British solution that British people will support.

    Do you really think plopping a load of cycle lanes in Edinburgh and taking up roads will have the majority of people happily jumping on bikes without any backlash?

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Over time ramp up motoring costs

    Do you think you’d get enough votes to get that enacted, if you were a party leader? Really?

    Vote for me! I will ramp up your cost of living and make your life harder!

    Scotroutes is right.

    alpin
    Free Member

    Bread….

    Bread is another reason I couldn’t return the tip UK. Who thinks Hovis is acceptable?

    White bread. Had there ever been anything so sad? Even the tiger baguettes at tesco were crappy white bread.

    Seriously, get your scheiß together.

    oldnpastit
    Full Member

    Cambridge has a very ambitious plan to have subsidised bus travel, more cycle paths and charge motorists to drive into the city.

    I think it woukd be amazing but it is far from universally welcomed.

    vazaha
    Full Member

    I think this is apparent in the perceived move toward EV’s – why has this become so fixated on electric cars, and the (more complicated?) associated infrastructure, when other vehicles are available?

    Shouldn’t the drive toward electric vehicles be fronted by electric bicycles/tricycles/cargo bikes rather than assuming you just replicate what is already fubared and electrifying it?

    Other vehicles are obviously necessary and need careful consideration, but personal transport at the moment seems to be predicated on electrifying the status quo – why?

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Shouldn’t the drive toward electric vehicles be fronted by electric bicycles/tricycles/cargo bikes rather than assuming you just replicate what is already fubared and electrifying it?

    How long do you think people commute?

    vazaha
    Full Member

    Mostly not that long, but in many instances the kind of distances that would be very doable on an e-bike.

    Why, how long do you think people commute?

    vazaha
    Full Member

    My wife is an anecdotal example – commute of ~ 3 miles in , then that back.

    She bought a ‘proper’ bike and used it… a bit. Mostly took the car, found as many excuses to as she could. To provide some context i have always commuted by bike whatever the weather and i think she thought she should be doing more.

    She bought an e-bike, and now only uses the car if it’s forecast to honk it down.

    Why did you ask me that question?

    inkster
    Free Member

    I think the biggest problem is the way cyclists are targeted by the media. Over the years, I’ve noticed a massive up tick in aggressive driving after a Clarckson or some other RW troll gets traction with a preposterous article.

    Grant Schapps came out with his licences and speed limits for cyclists garbage on the front of the DM as a dead cat during the sham election, for a month or two after that I’ve never seen as much aggression and abuse.

    Unfortunately, as a Manchester resident I can attest that the limited infrastructure put in place over the last few years has only made cycling more unpleasant. More uncomfortable, slower and more dangerous overall,

    we’ve done the ‘why do the new cycle lanes feel like the washboard section at a bike park?” question on previous threads, (turns out they don’t steamroller the tarmac up here, they bash it flat(ish) with the back of a spade),

    vazaha
    Full Member

    That’s partly why one asks why the focus is on EVs being ECars?

    If the future looked ebike shaped, it would necessarily knock on to the kind of infrastructure that our ^perennially argumentative brethren have been hitherto banging on about.

    We really need to reframe the entire thoughtscape.

    andrewh
    Free Member

    If there were a tax/tariff system in place that penalises you for using the car on journeys under a specific distance or at particular times I would be all for it.

    I have suggested something before.
    A flat tax of, say, £10 (vary it accordi to car type/emissions?) which is paid on each day the car is used. Remove/reduce fuel duties to make cost neutral.
    The half mile commute trip which my colleagues make has now become very expensive, the long journey where the car really is the only option, less so

    mrmonkfinger
    Free Member

    We need a British solution that British people will support.

    I think I’m at the point where I’m a little less optimistic. Ultimately we have been hooked on cars for so long that the solution will I think involve being forced, rather than people supporting it. Cars will become very expensive, I mean way more expensive than now, at which point cycling (perhaps more realistically, ebikes or similar) will become the only option for many people. Cycling as a sport has of recent years had something of a renaissance, and look where we are still at, in terms of day to day use.

    As many posters have alluded to, its the attitudes out there. The general public’s attitude toward cycling is simply not favourable. Public transport infrastructure has been allowed to crumble away. Cars are still cheap. A generation or two are now completely unused to moving themselves around and are addicted to the ease of driving. Other schoolparents thought I was mental for making my own way back from town (3 miles away) rather than driving. And I’ll admit I usually drive to town.

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