Thursday, 28 June 2012

Outrageous: 36% increase in serious bike rider casualties, massive leap in pedestrian deaths. Growth in casualties rising faster than number of bike trips. Casualties among car drivers dropped in the 1960s when traffic grew and politicians took action. When will Boris Johnson act to reduce the cyclist casualty rate?

This is not a bike lane. Brand new cycle super highway in London.
Pointless, frankly. 
I've known about these figures for months but I couldn't talk about them because they hadn't been published officially. And now they have. And they're more shocking than I realised.

Last year, 16 people were killed cycling in London. An increase of 60% on 2010. A further 555 were seriously injured, up 21% on last year. What's more, the serious injuries are up 36% on the long term trend 2005-9. What's a 'serious injury'? Well, it's someone like Mary Bowers, the journalist at The Times who is still in a coma, months after being hit by someone driving an HGV.

And only last night, the Mayor of London, was telling an audience at a debate broadcast on radio that cycling was getting safer. Yet, even Transport for London admits that the cycling casualty numbers are 'statistically significant'.The TfL announcement points out that the number of people cycling on London's trunk roads has increased 173% since 2001, so a 36% increase in serious casualties is represented as an improvement. As one commentator points out below, the likely increase in cycle trips in 2011 vs 2010 is probably around 5-6% (the official figures haven't been released yet) against a slightly smaller increase the previous year. Whichever way you look at it, the rate of serious injuries to people riding bikes seems to be growing faster than the growth rate in trips made by bike.

What's more, London's roads are getting worse for everyone. Unless you're in a car. There were 2% FEWER casualties among car occupants in London last year versus the previous year. Look at the figures for pedestrians, though, and the change is shocking. 77 pedestrians were killed on London's roads last year, up 33% on 2010. That's outrageous.

I've no doubt that Boris Johnson will pitch up in the media this week or next and say that the rate of growth in cycling means these statistics are less horrific than you might otherwise believe. But let me point out this: In 1965, the government limited speeds on motorways and introduced tough drink-driving laws. Motor traffic increased 4% the next year but accidents decreased 9% in the same period. Bike traffic in London has increased. By approximately 4-6% per annum. And yet the casualty rates have not decreased. They've increased too - seemingly far faster than the growth in the number of bike trips. I think a large part of that is because the roads aren't fit for purpose. It's simply not good enough for Boris Johnson to say there are more bike rider casualties because there are more people using bikes. It wasn't acceptable for motor car drivers in the 1960s, nor should it be for bike riders in the 2010s. For more analysis of the numbers, have a read of DrawingRings blog.

That said, one thing we should absolutely condemn is the fact that pedestrians injured by people on bikes has increased 13% to 178. This is reprehensible and the cycling community should take note. However, cyclist collisions with pedestrians are still minute compared with goods vehicles up 9% to 446 and other motor vehicles which account for over 5,000 casualties.

This is the Mayor who has:
  • Only recently, said that the majority of people injured while cycling are law-breakers and have only themselves to blame. Even the Daily Mail wrote an article decrying his comments as patently unbelievable. Last month he repeated his assertion that you simply need to 'have your wits about you' to not be killed or crushed on London's roads.
Frankly, Mr Johnson, a meek and mild 'evolution' is not enough.

I do not want to become a statistic to the fact that you have ignored every warning, you have ignored best practice from cities like New York and Chicago and Montreal.

Spot the brand new cycle super highway. It's UNDERNEATH the Lexus
I'm going to acknowledge here and now that many people who use bicycles are not making friends with other Londoners. Riding through red lights is antisocial in the extreme and, frankly, it p-sses people off. But that's not a reason to say, oh well, cyclists are to blame. I love cycling on my road bike in lycra. When I do that, I'm a 'cyclist'. But the rest of the time, I just want to get to work or out and about, in my normal everyday clothes. I'm just someone getting about on a bike. I'm not anti-Boris. I'm not pro Labour or Green or LibDem. I voted for the man in 2008. But he's let me and many many others down massively with his irresponsible lack of attention to detail on his cycling policy. He's encouraged more and more Londoners to cycle and he's not bothered to really understand why he's failing to make it any safer to do so.

This isn't about being a 'cyclist'. It's about being a responsible user of the roads and expecting the Mayor to be responsible and make the roads safe enough for people to use bicycles.

You need to rip up your policy book, Mr Johnson. And you need to start again.

I think it's time we call for another flash ride. Tomorrow (Friday) perhaps? 6pm. South side of Blackfriars Bridge. What do people think? 


  1. I wonder if the increase in pedestrians hit by cyclists is in any way related to the removal of pedestrian crossings and light re-phasing. When crossings are removed, people don't stop needing to cross the road, as you can see at Blackfriars. By prioritising the speed and flow of motorised traffic, Boris is needlessly increasing conflict between the people who use the roads. As a pedestrian and a cyclist, TfL/Boris's agenda strikes me as dangerous and irresponsible.

  2. At Talk London last night Boris Johnson said, more than once: "Cycling in London is *not* getting more dangerous".

  3. You voted for the man in 2008? And now you are moaning? Cause and effect chuck

  4. I am a London cyclist and a statistican, so I am torn. I agree with calling for increasing cycling safety, but doing so with poorly carried out statistics is not the way to do it.

    Percentage increase of fatalities is not a good measure of cycle safety, because there are more cyclists on the road this year than there were last year. Consider, for example, a city has 1000 cyclists and 40 cyclist fatalities in 2010. If this year the city, now with 2000 cyclists, suffers 60 cyclist fatalities, that would be an increase of 50% in cyclist fatalities but the average cyclist's risk of death by cycling goes down from 4% (40/1000) to 3% (60/2000). While you could say there's been a 50% increase of cyclist deaths, you could equally say it 25% safer being a cyclist as it was in 2010 (and this latter description is more fair).

    Now consider London. According to a TFL Travel In London Report, there are 15% more cycling trips this year than in 2010 ( 256,000 cycle trips in London each day, and most of this increase is in central London). True, this does not fully account for the 60% rise in cyclists fatalities, but we also need to consider some random variation. The report that you link to in fact claims that this "60% increase in fatalities" is "not statistically significant at 95% confidence interval" [scientific gold standard for significance] as it only represents 6 deaths (and 2010 was the second lowest on record, see page 3).

    Boris has not done a fantastic job, but I doubt that cycling in London is so much more dangerous than it was last year. That's, of course, not to say that it couldn't/shouldn't be safer!

    1. Julia, I'm sure Danny is well aware of the background increase in cycling.

      What is your source for the figure that there are 15% more cycling trips this year than in 2010? The most recent Travel in London Report (number 4) dates from 2011. I can find no mention of 256,000 cycle trips in London, per day. The closest I can come is that, relative to a base line of 100 (year 2000) the number of trips across the central London cordon had risen to 256 in 2010. This is not, however, '256,000 cycle trips in London each day'.

      The increase across this cordon, on 2009, was 14% - but this is probably highly unrepresentative of the pattern of cycling across London *as a whole*.

      The best data is on p.63 of the report, which shows us that cycle *stages* increased by only 6% in 2010, on 2009 (much the same is true of the increase in *trips* - about 4-5%).

      The next data won't be released until January next year, but I see no reason to suppose that the rate of increase in cycling has changed from the pattern of the last 4-5 years.

      Where is your '15%' increase figure from?

    2. hi julia,

      you and me both...i love statistics and agree with your reasoning...

      here is the report you quoted the 15% from, it was an easy lookup and i'm from the states...go figure!

      Summary of cycle trends in London (page 223)

      also, its worth mentioning...the hope would be that cycling trends will increase as time goes on, based on the overall efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and improve outlined in these documents...

      ok, look forward the the games and the tour...

      go bradley wiggins!!

    3. That 15% figure only applies to the TLRN - the roads controlled by Transport for London - not the Boroughs. It is not an accurate picture of the increase in cycling across London as a whole, which is more likely to be around the 5-6% increase seen consistently over the last 4 to 5 years.

  5. Julia - where do you find that 15% number in the document? There's certainly that increase measured on the TLRN, though this may be due to commuter traffic that used to be on other routes moving to Superhighways. My impression was that general cycle traffic across London have been increasing at about 6% per year overall (much faster centrally, hardly at all in the suburbs.)

  6. "I think it's time we call for another flash ride. Tomorrow (Friday) perhaps? 6pm. South side of Blackfriars Bridge. What do people think?"
    I think it would clash with Critical Mass...

  7. Politicians are not interested in " Facts " , only the sound of their voice , relayed in the Media ! BJ is re elected through the ignorance of voters OR the lack of choice ? Who Knows ?

    UNTIL THE 20MPH Urban Speed Limit is IMPOSED , there will be no change in the Cycling Infrastructure ! When this 20MPH speed limit is ENFORCED then Voters will get off their BUTT and force the Polis to address the " Lack of Infrastructure "!

    Needs more than Cyclists to get the CHANGE of ATTITUDE required to effect the desired Cycling Safety that exists in other Metropolis throughout the Modern World !

    Motorists will join the campaign for change , if only to get the speed limit lifted . What the motorist needs to understand is that More Cyclists means less TRaffic Jams !

  8. I don't really care what the exact numbers are and who's got the right stats. As long as people are getting killed or injured, there will be things we can do to improve it.
    There are lot's of examples from other cities experimenting successfully with different types of more or less protected bike lanes and other technological aids that make it safer for people to ride their bikes through the city.
    Would we not want a city where we could let our kids actually ride their bikes without being worried of what will happen. Other cities can - why can't London?

    Copenhagen is a great example! This video is old and they have done a lot more since then, but it tells the story of how the city can become a safer place for cyclists.

  9. I'd give it a bit longer for a flashride - maybe next Friday or the one after? Perhaps have it as a specific memorial/justice ride, encourage people to wear white (as per ghost bikes) and to wear a placard with a name/picture/one line about someone who was killed or hurt. (If they can't attend, they can make a placard anyway and share it online). Could be a recent London victim or someone you know - we all know someone ('My uncle, disabled by a speeding police car while on his bike as a child' / 'My friend's brother, a student who was killed walking over a pedestrian crossing'...). I think this should be held separate from Critical Mass so not on a last Friday of the month. But soon.

  10. I think a flashride is a great idea but (a) as RSK says it would clash with Critical Mass this evening and (b) it needs more time to organise. I know, I know, a "flash"ride is supposed to be spontaneous, but to get across the point in a way that doesn't needlessly inflame motorists opinions it needs to be well-managed.

    I certainly agree that the ride should be City focussed because once again the City has the unenviable position of highest proportion of cyclist casualties of any borough, and in a year when it has seen a reduction in pedestrian casualties it has permitted cyclist casualties to increase by 17%.

    BTW, I don't think it is helpful for people to tweet to the world at large that " car owners are the most chldish, overprivileged, whiny self-obsessed people", bearing in mind that over 80% of cyclists also own a car, indeed a higher proportion of cyclists are car owners than non-cyclists!

  11. All the morons who voted for Lying Boris are getting what they deserve!

  12. I'd really like to see a map highlighting where the 2646 people where seriously injured (in London) so as to be able to avoid the most dangerous places and to see what progress is made to make the areas safer.

    1. You could maybe start with the one on the See Me Save Me website:

      Frankly, if you avoid the bits where there have been KSIs then it looks like there really isn't much of London left.

  13. "This is reprehensible and the cycling community should take note."

    Why should the cycling community take note? I would have thought that you of all people should not attribute the irresponsibility of a few individuals that happen to be on bikes to the entire bike community. When a driver kills do you point the blame at all motorists?

    Besides, what are the stats for who is to blame for pedestrian v cyclist collisions? And as Liz points out, pedestrian crossings are disappearing across London, that is going to be a huge factor in the increase of collisions involving pedestrians.

    Apart from that, another good post.

    1. From response to an info request to PC Christine Curtis, City of London Police, following an unsubstantiated assertion at a Barbican area Police/Community liaison meeting a year or two ago:

      ""Road Traffic Casualty Statistics are normally quoted for the last three years as they change over that period for a variety of circumstances.

      For the period 1st September 2007 to August 2010 we had 333 reports of Pedestrians being injured in collisions on the highway. Of those, 3 were Fatally injured (2 in Pudding Lane where the vehicle rolled back down the hill, and 1 in Bishopsgate by Middlesex Street), 52 were Seriously injured, and 278 Slightly injured.

      8 were injured by the actions of a Licensed Taxi driver.
      9 due to the actions of a motorcyclist
      15 due to the actions of a Cyclist (4 Failing to Conform to ATS and 4 Failing to conform to another sign)
      19 were injured by the actions of a car driver,
      27 by PSV drivers, (16 struck by PSV's mirror),
      35 by HGV drivers (15 struck by HGV's nearside mirror) , and
      219 Pedestrians were considered to have caused the collision. Of those, 31 stepped into the path of a vehicle having consumed intoxicating liquor, 5 failed to heed a traffic sign, 1 had taken drugs and stepped into the path of a vehicle. On 4 occasions the cause was not identified, and on the remaining 178 occasions the pedestrian had stepped into the path or side of a vehicle without looking.

      During the same period of time there were 319 reports of Cyclists being involved in collisions. Of those, 1 was Fatally injured (at Queen Street Place), 43 were Seriously injured and 275 were Slightly injured.

      7 by Motorcyclists
      19 by PSV drivers,and
      20 by Pedestrians stepping into the path or side of the Cyclist without having looked,
      50 by Goods/HGV drivers,
      52 by Licensed Taxi Drivers. 8 where the driver made a U turn , and 13 were the passenger door was opened and struck the Cyclist.
      81 where the Cyclists were considered responsible for the collision. 6 having consumed Intoxicating Liquor, 6 having failed to comply with ATS, 6 having failed to comply with a traffic sign, and the remainder relating to a loss of control or movement that brought them into conflict with a motor vehicle.
      89 were injured by the actions of a car driver.

      224 Mototrcyclist were injured during the same period of time. 21 were Seriously injured and 203 Slightly injured.

      4 were injured by the actions of a PSV driver,
      4 were not ascertained,
      6 by the actions of a Cyclist,
      26 by Licensed Taxi Drivers, 8 making a U turn, and 4 by the passenger opening a door.
      28 by Pedestrians stepping into the road without looking,
      37 by Goods/HGV drivers,
      58 due to the actions of the Motorcyclist, and
      61 by Car drivers.

    2. Continued:

      There are some conclusions ot be drawn from this:

      - more cyclists suffer casualties as a result of pedestrian actions than vice versa, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of all cases
      - nearly two thirds of all pedestrian casualties are judged by City Police to be due the actions of the pedestrian him/herself. In a further conversation I drew out the observation (not scientific) that the "not looking" cases were often due to inattention caused by phoning or texting while you walk, and that certainly panders ot my own prejudices on the point
      - the similar finding for cyclists showed that a far smaller proportion of cyclists wre considered to have been the cause of their own casualties than was the case for pedestrians. I expect the reasons are the same - cycling inattentively is probably less prevalent, notwithstanding the cycling ipods.

      Of course we need to be careful not to rush to judgement about the pedestrians here. Certainly I don't think, on the whole, City Police does. The motorists who run into such inattentive pedestrians should, in the context of such a pedsestrian-intensive environnment,EXPECT people to step out in front of them with their mobes glued to their ears, because they would probably do teh same themselves.

  14. Got to say I am against cyclist segregation. We are traffic, and as such, should be bound by the rules of the road, and afforded as much space and consideration as other road users. Although people keep quoting the dutch and danish models of cycling segregation, (see the LCC's Go Dutch campaign) they seem to forget that london is a much larger city, with subsequently much longer commuting journeys, and a road infrastructure that for the most part seems to actively work against segregation. It seems like madness or wilfull blindness to believe that segregation is the only way for cyclists and other traffic to peacefully co-exist on our roads.

    Also without wanting to get into the ins and outs of cycling safety, it seems that the joys of cycling, the freedom it permits, and its ability to make london a much smaller place, are constantly being submerged behind the constant drip drip that cycling is horrendously unsafe, which is the headline for every statistic/article which focuses on the number of fatalities/injuries that cyclists suffer, and we as cyclists need to be protected more, and split from traffic as that is the only way that we ultimately will be safe. A case of we can't look after ourselves around these large vehicles and so rather than focus our attention on changing the attitudes of drivers and making them more aware of us (cyclists) we try to change the environment which we both inhabit. Which to my mind seems like a short term reaction to a long term problem.

    1. Cycling isn't obviously unsafe per se. However cycling in London is deeply unpleasant at times and mingling with fast moving traffic is unfortunately creating a risk of serious injury - obviously while everything goes as planned no one gets hurt, but simply imagine loosing balance and falling onto a road while among moving vehicles. Chances are you won't escape unhurt.
      Yes we are traffic sure. So are pedestrians. The need for segregation stems from simply different way cycles, pedestrians and cars use the space provided. Mostly its about eliminating conflict arising from different movement pattern of cycles and cars. The size of London makes it even more important to have a direct and well segregated routes and not having to squeeze your way through car clogged roads and stopping every 20 secs for a traffic light. I think your being against segregation arises from your lack of understanding what a proper dedicated cycle track looks like (you don't get those anywhere in London).
      It's also madness to hope that cycling will grow beyond minuscule levels without creating routes that anyone (not only the fit and brave) can use.
      To sum it up we can pretend that cycling between lorries is nice and safe and that we don't really need any of that segregation crap. That would be utter madness though.

    2. Cornelius, with great respect, this is patent nonsense. The facts are pro-infrastructure. There's a whole country which has bike paths and very high cycling rates, and therefore it proves you wrong. Have you not read "A View from the Cycle Path"?

      Can you answer these four questions?

      1. People in which country make more journeys by bike, the Netherlands or the UK?

      2. Which country has the most cycling infrastructure, the Netherlands or the UK?

      3. Which country — the Netherlands or the UK — has a 95% cycle-to-school rate, and which country has a 1% cycle-to-school rate?

      4. In which country — the Netherlands or the UK — is it considered normal for nine year-olds to travel independently by bike?

      If you can answer these questions correctly, then you must know that Dutch-style infrastructure is right.

    3. Those that are against segregated cycling in cities, have got to stop being so blinkered. Cycling in cities is not all about commuting alone. It's also about getting people out of cars and visiting our cities from far and wide using part public transport and cycles for sight seeing. It's about getting kids on their bikes to go to school. Mums taking their kids to nursery on a bike and so on.

      Denying that segregated cycling is necessary is a very selfish way of looking at cycling safety.

      I live in Dorset, but what do myself and family do when we want to visit London, or any other large town? We take the car. There is no way in a million I would cycle through our cities as they are at the moment. But with a "real" segregated cycling infrastructure I would be on the train with a fold up and touring London by bike.

      Our cities are totally designed for the motorist and pedestrians and cyclists take pot luck at arriving at their destination alive and well.

      How wonderful it would be to have Grannies and Grandchildren being able to visit museums and tour the wonderful sights we have there, by bike. How much cleaner and nicer would it be to have overseas visitors hire bikes instead of hiring a car or jumping in taxis.

      The Super Highway is a joke. Absolutely lethal in most places and designed by either those that have never had their backsides on a bike or by those with only commuter mentality. Even with the Super Highways the car has been put first.

      Most of the bike lanes are only advisory, which means they are advising motorists that a bike might be sharing the road with them as well rather than telling cyclists it's advisory to use them.

      Would you take your 8 year old cycling through London? I know I wouldn't.

      I am now in my 60s and of course can remember when a car was a rare sight. One couldn't cross the road at factory turning out time for hundreds of cycles on their way home.

      With segregated cycling, within a few short years there would be a good 30% of the population cycling to work through the cities, which means 30% less cars on the road.

      Not only all cyclists should be demanding segregated cycling but all motorists should be there fighting with us. Getting 30% of motorists off the road would also make motoring more pleasant and speedier.

      Those that are lobbying for better cycling should be getting the motorist on our side too. Everyone seems to forget that motorists have far more clout regarding our roads than pedestrians and cyclists. They have a massive voice and I'm sure they would love to get us off the roads.

  15. From what I can see in my neck of the woods, most cyclists use the pavement these days and seem to think it is their right to do so. Certainly no-one is stopping them, and it'd be interesting to see any stats related to this. The pedestrian is at the bottom of this food chain as far as I can work out.

    1. Not sure what stats there are on cyclists riding on "footways" (pavements alongside roads) but CTC has stats on fatalities cause by cyclists on footways. I don't recall the timeframe, but in that timeframe there were 70 pedestrians killed on footways by vehicles, of which 2 were bicycles. So it would seem that motor vehicles driving on footways is amuch more serious issue than cyclists.

      And that doesn't cover the literally millions of cases of motor vehicles which park on footways, especially in narrow city streets, and by so doing cause obstructions to pedestrians, especially the mobility-impaired and parents with pushchairs. One issue which I seem to recall the unlamented Brian Coleman was planning to tackle vigorously in Brent (?)

    2. You're right, the pedestrian is currently at the bottom of the food chain, and this is wrong. But it would be short-sighted to pin the blame those awful people on bikes; pavement cycling is a symptom of the problem.

      It's the conditions on the roads which are so bad that riding on the footway is preferable. Pedestrians would benefit massively from Dutch-style cycle provision.

      It's terrifying riding a bike on the road, it's illegal to ride a bike on the footway, where should people cycle? Along the kerb? (The answer, of course, is proper cycle infrastructure.)

    3. Yes, it's terrifying to ride a bike on the road. I don't think it's much more terrifying now than when I started cycling in London around 25 years ago particularly. I am reluctant to believe that the increasing number of cyclists I see on the pavement, running red lights or cycling across pedestrian crossings (all this in areas where there are cycle lanes) are too paralysed with fear to bother obeying the law. Sheesh, I'm sounding like a Daily Mail reader...

    4. Naah, don't worry, you're still sane - you haven't mentioned "road tax" even once!

      I think the increase in pavement cycling is possibly due to an increase in "normal" people cycling in London and finding the roads to be horrible, and not being devoted Franklinists they think it easier and safer to ride on the path.

      I don't actually have a problem with considerate riding on the path when the footway is wide enough and it's not too busy. "Considerate" is a very important word here - pedestrians must come first. On the rare occasions that I've ridden on the pavement, I've even received words of thanks from pedestrians for giving them priority!

  16. Advocates of segregated cycle routes need to answer the lessons of Milton Keynes

    Segregated cycle routes are twee little toy roads. They can be a useful gate-way to cycling, or an enjoyable Sunday afternoon meander away from the stress of traffic, but if cycling is to become mass transport in London we need and deserve a place on the real roads. I believe the most beneficial changes would be reducing motorist speed, addressing hgv risks and training both motorists and cyclists to share the space better. The segregation mindset is too mechanistic - look at shared streets for thinking that treats road users as intelligent, social human beings.


    1. For a thorough evisceration of the Franklinista "VC" comments on the MK scheme, which is presumably what you are referring to above, see this: latest two posts.

      The most famous, or perhaps it is infamous, example of shared space is Exhibition Road in Kensington - motor vehicles "share" this space in much the same way as the lion shares in the parable.

      Training is not the solution. It may improve things but there will always be people who either fail to absorb the training or wilfully ignore it. Do you really believe that Joao Lopes or Denis Putz would have been any less dangerous with more training?

      And you clearly don't know much about segregation. Even in the Netherlands, only about 20,000km out of over 140,000k, of roads have segregated cycle paths. The rest don't need them because they are streets - local traffic, not passing through, lighter in volume and traffic-calmed.

      In fact the only sensible comment you have made is about speeds. They do indeed need to be cut, for the sake not only of cyclists but also of pedestrians, children and residents. Most residential areas in France, hardly a cycling nirvana, have a 30kpm limit and while France has a poorer overall record for road safety, it has a rather better record for pedestrian and cyclist safety than the UK.

    2. OK, i've been reading dft's articles. I've learned a bit but there's still a lot to argue with.

      The cycling techniques i learned from cyclecraft made a large and positive difference to how i get around and how much fun it is.

      I live in london and have ridden round dorset and cambridge a fair bit, and back and forth to portsmouth, and i've encountered vanishingly few cycling facilities that i like better than a plain road with generous width carriageways and a 30 limit. I am more comfortable around cars than i am around pedestrians. Yes, i do fall into the demographic that mr dft seems to dispise, but what fitness i have is more effect than cause of my means of transport. (fuck you and your class hatred/guilt, mr dft.)

      I went to Milton Keynes some years ago and was initially impressed with the red-route system, but had some nagging doubts which Franklin's paper crystalised when i found it some time later.

      I don't know much about dutch cycle facilities. I've followed some of dft's links and they look worlds beyond anything i've seen here, to the point i'd tolerate them (especially as the roads there look so narrow and unfriendly).

      To blame one man for the lack of cycle facilites that meet your standards is absurd. It is clear that cycle facilities do get built in this country, dispite Franklin, and they are slowly improving but still generally pretty awful. Surely that has more to do with the other interests in road space and transport budgets.

      I'm not selfish enough to be against all infrastruture (i can see there are many who'll never share the road), but i am against crap cycle facilites that make things worse. Lower speed limits, filtered permeability (and supporting route signage), education all round, strict liability, all good. But so long as it keeps coming out so flawed and compromised the noddy town toy road network doesn't deserve to spread. By all means build cycle paths, but quality before quantity.

      dft seems more concerned with dragging down someone who has had a positive affect on cycling than contributing anything positive himself. If Franklin had never been, would we magically have dutch cycle paths everywhere, or would we just have far fewer cyclists to campaign for anything at all? There do seem to be some good arguments against some of Franklin's ideas, but please make them reasonably. Ditch the sour grapes and spite.



      I ride along exhibition road quite often. It is a lot nicer than it was, but it suffers from its compromises. The design gained vague hints as to where the carridge way is and many motorists take this as their cue to treat it as a normal road. If they'd left that out, and broken up the obvious route through for cars it would probably frustrate those drivers who want a normal road but that's the point - it's supposed to be a place first and only secondarily a route.

      When i ride through there i ignore the carriage way, slow right down, chill out, and enjoy working my way through the space adapting to what other people are actually doing.

      On normal roads i don't hog primary position like it's some kind of right - i take it when i need it and try not to hold others up when i can let them pass. Sharing the road is a cooperative social exercise.

    3. You have missed the point of my posts about Franklin.

      I'm not against Franklin's advice to vehicular cyclists, which is good advice in a bike-hostile country such as the UK. It's the best option in a bad situation.

      I am against Franklin's unreasonable opposition to a Dutch solution to our roads. For years he has spread misinformation and myths about cycle paths, using bad statistics and selective editing. His Milton Keynes report is full of holes, along with most of his other work, yet it keeps being quoted as proof that Dutch-style infrastructure is a bad thing, despite there being an entire country which says otherwise.

      Franklin has had a negative effect on cycling in the UK, not a positive one, due to his high-profile opposition to cycle paths. (I'm sure the hardcore hares would be out there anyway, Cyclecraft or not.) Nobody has come up with a good defence of this yet, and nobody is able to answer my four questions which prove his views to be incorrect.

      I'm of the opinion that Franklin deserves to be ridiculed for his paper-thin arguments against infrastructure. His anti-cycleway opinions have been given too much respect for far too long.

      I can't believe you "don't know much about dutch cycle facilities" and yet you're commenting about it - please, please, please read David Hembrow's blog (A View from the Cycle Path) and you'll soon see why John Franklin's anti-infrastructure rhetoric has harmed cycling in the UK.

  17. "I'm of the opinion that Franklin deserves to be ridiculed for his paper-thin arguments against infrastructure. His anti-cycleway opinions have been given too much respect for far too long."

    +1 i've now come to the conclusion that Franklin et al delude themselves in same way addicts do in an abusive relationship…

  18. I've been cycling in London for just over a year now. Got into it after using a Boris Bike as part of my commute. There are definitely parts of my journey where I have to 'keep my wits about me'. Here many are often right to be fearful of getting on a bike.
    I visit the Netherlands every year and this year the whole family got on some bikes there and have a very pleasant time of it. Something that quite simply is not possible in London.

  19. Blame one man for the lack of cycle facilities meet your standards is absurd. Obviously that does not get building cycle facilities in this country, dispite Franklin, and they are improving slowly but still generally pretty awful. Certainly that has to do with other interests in space and budgets of road transport

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