Friday, April 20, 2007

"Bloody cyclists!" - a rebuttal of some anti-cyclist propaganda

"Bloody cyclists!" - a rebuttal of some anti-cyclist propaganda

This is a note prompted by recent anti-cyclist propaganda in the press. Although the cause of the ranting was, in this case, the presumably intentional misreporting of the EU's proposed Fifth Motor Insurance Directive, this is not the first time that journalists have chosen to pick on cyclists. Increasingly drivers seem to believe that the road belongs to them and anybody who strays onto it is asking for trouble. But it doesn't belong to them, it belongs to all of us, and the cause of road fatalities is not vulnerable road users straying into the motorised lions' den, it's careless, thoughtless, aggressive drivers.

The "usual suspects" of these rants are: cyclists don't pay road tax, cyclists don't have insurance, cyclists don't have to pass a test, cyclists jump red lights and ride on the pavement and cyclists should be on the cycle paths.

2 comments:

An Inconvenient Truth said...

Can I make a small suggestion. If we hold a Symposium next year, why not concentrate on the real cost to us all of the car - the environmental, health service etc costs that we all pay for, because of the car, not to mention the costs of "their" roads.

Isn't it strange how the one thing that the Tories (or New Labour, for that matter) never considered for privatisation were our motorways? Unlike France, where motorways have always been paid for privately, and where meanwhile the best train network in Europe is being developed, I suspect the UK subsidises car travel to an enormous amount. It would be helpful to pull together all thefigures, and make a scientific calculation for Darlington.

miketually said...

i've read somewhere that fuel duty would need to be raised to the point where petrol cost £15 a litre in order to cover the true cost of the car to society.

That takes into account the cost of congestion to businesses, health, etc.