Monday, February 6, 2012

Bishopsgate Fatality

Various sources report the first London cyclist fatality of the year (the 10th in the UK) at Bishopsgate, a man in his 60s, who in a collision with a coach on Friday 3 Feb 2012. The coach driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Mike Penning "road safety" minister commented,

"The year-on-year rise in the number of cycle casualties may be due to the increase in cycling we have seen in recent years but we will continue to monitor these figures closely as we work to tackle this important issue."

For those of you who don't speak gobbledegook, a rough translation is "we are watching them die". Here's a thought: instead of monitoring the figures closely, you could actually do something. You can monitor the figures until you're cross-eyed, but it's not going to change conditions on the ground. Another collision in Bishopsgate is the continuation of a depressingly predictable pattern, and the historical figures tell a very simple and stark story. You don't need to be Stephen Hawking or Nostradamus to figure it out. And in what way does "the increase in cycling" in any way make the situation less serious? The fact is that Bishopsgate has always been a dangerous road for cyclists, in common with many others, and the reasons it is dangerous are very simple and well-known: you have cyclists "sharing" space with large, fast-moving motor vehicles. The "issue" (a mealy-mouthed euphamism if there ever was one) has been successfully tackled in mainland Europe. As Cyclists in the City pointed out, no-one died on a bike in Paris last year.

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