Yesterday I tweeted about this-
Shockingly the 4 cyclists to die in a week, yes a week, and this one on one of London's shameful 'Cycle Superhighways' (more of that later). Then I wake up to this, chilling number 5 -
This is getting ridiculous. I can imagine what both sides are saying, motorists blaming cyclists and cyclists blaming motorists. And of course one side, or both, will carry some blame for these tragic tragic accidents. Yes some cyclists seem to ride like they've a death wish, but many drivers dive exceedingly badly too. Simply blaming each other is not the answer.
No, in my opinion the answer is our roads and on this occasion Im going to focus on London roads. In the run up to the Olympics these so called 'Cycle Superhighways' sprang up which are in reality nothing more than badly implemented painted bits of road. I thought they were cheap till someone on twitter corrected me on that point.
Why does a first class city like London have such third rate cycle infrastructure? Obviously you know that I drive a truck as you are on my site. I happen to drive a huge amount in London. Space for cyclists has often been made at expense of other road users. In parts of London I have to straddle two lanes because they have squeezed in a 'cycle lane'. Or at least what they call a cycle lane. We all need to start lobbying Transport for London (TfL) to sort the appalling road network out. Crossrail is great, but while billions are being spent underground multiple cyclists are being killed A WEEK though lack of proper infrastructure and bad design.
The Cycle Superhighways are a case in point. Look at them, they are a complete joke. In fact I believe TfL should find them embarrassing in all honesty. 'Thats a superhighway? That stretch of painted road? Really?'. I'd find them funny were they not so tragically flawed with the horrible inevitable consequences. Transport for London has blood on its hands, and I know that sounds bad but its true.
I cant begin to imagine how hard it would be to be involved in one of these accidents. For the family of the poor cyclist to the driver, often lorry driver, who is just doing his job and finds one split second has the capacity to ruin his life. I am super careful in towns and cities around bicycles especially in London but even then have regular near misses. And most of the time its because no one has any idea who should give way to who
Education is the key also. And I think we should be all educated together. In one classroom to get each others perspective. Cyclists often just need to be made aware of the limitations of the trucks they are riding around to change their habits. No one goes and gets on their bike aiming to be killed. I for one would happily go to a mixed class and talk about both sides of the debate and hear the other side.
But mostly, I think until Transport for London pulls itself together and stops endowing a first class city with a second rate road and cycle network cyclists will still be killed with tragic regularity, ruining many lives in the process. But hey, we'll be able to get from Heathrow to Essex soon on one train, so who cares about a few lives.....
Finally a video I made a couple of years ago from a lorry drivers perspective-
The original post can be found here http://www.lorry-driver.com/2013/11/enough-is-enough-cycling-carnage.html
I am at a loss to understand why more people in the haulage industry aren't also asking for more #space4cycling. Surely it is in everyone's interest?
I would not want the responsibility of driving a large vehicle around London where one small mistake by anyone, whether it be the cyclist, the lorry driver or any other road user, can result in someone's death.
This is what happens in countries where they have actually thought about solving the problem rather than lashing the road with blue paint.