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Friday, 10 August 2012

Wiggins is bad for road safety.

In the light of Bradley Wiggins, Steve Hoy's and others wonderful cycling successes, there has been much comment about the call for an increase in cycling use on our roads and to encourage more people of all ages to take part and do so. ************* Of course cycling is healthy from an excercise point of view, it saves money and is a good sport. However what politicians should not do is to promote and exploit cycling and cyclists merely to solve massive economic issues at the expense of major essential infrastructure on which economics is based whether rail, air, shipping or road transport. Politicians would never condone cycling along railway lines or airport runways, so what makes it Ok to encourage people of all ages to mingle, obstruct and compete with heavy, fast moving essential machinery which is what cycling is. It is no coincidence that since politicians have been doing that, and since cycling has increased, 2011 saw the biggest rise in cycling tragedies and casualties which had it not been for those, 2011 would have continued the downward trend that has been occuring since about 2008. Has anyone made the connection? Do politicians feel guilty? No. Like the cyclists, they will blame drivers. ********* This is 2012 not 1912. There are now about 38 million vehicles and drivers on our roads and the economy depends on all of them. The basics of our life like food and water depend on all drivers. Commerce depends on all drivers. Communities and public transport and the NHS could not exist without the private driver. Have you noticed the staff car parks at our hospitals? The massive retail parks and shopping centres with their car parks? How does the bus & train driver get to his bus & train in the small hours without a car or motorbike? What about doctors and nurses and poice officers? Or indeed the water supply workers too. The fact is that the economy would collapse and many would die very rapidly without motor transport so it must not be curtailed or impeded for any excuse or reason. Yet the way things are going, road transport will be slowed to a point where it will be illegal to drive faster than a cyclist. Don't politicians understand that to over slow road transport costs about £3 billion per year per 1 MPH? Currently about £30 billion a year? How many lives could be saved with that sort of money? ********* Although cyclists accuse drivers of all road ills, that fact remains that without them most of us would die and they are keeping far more alive than are killed from all reasons, not just drivers, on our roads. Even their bikes were delivered by road transport, often white van man too! ************* The cyclists are very vocal against drivers yet they too would not survive without them. What they cannot deny is that, to place yourself on the tracks and in competition with very heavy, fast moving essential machinery is bound to end in tears and under any other circumstances would be crazy. ********* The following letter in response to the typically silly comments of two cyclists sums up what this is all about: **************** I am very disappointed that, in response to a serious road safety matter, you have published John Taylor’s sarcastic and fraudulent response. Avoiding my point, about cyclists in the carriageway, he focuses on pedestrians instead. The reason I did not mention this ‘large group’ is simply that, unlike cyclists, they do not impede motor transport, are instructed to cross the road smartly having checked both ways and on rural roads advised to walk facing oncoming traffic and wisely step to one side if verges are not available. Cyclists on the other hand compete with road traffic, often impede it and slow it and are particularly vulnerable just after a bend when the driver is suddenly faced with them. The serious point I make, and one Mr Taylor avoids is, is it safe to encourage, in this day and age, humans to mingle with heavy fast moving essential machinery and would we tolerate that under any other circumstances? If it were a fair ground ride it would be banned. This brings me to Mr Geoff Jone’s point about fossil fuels, road death etc. The fact is that, with or without his bike, none of us could survive now without all forms of motorised transport. The economy would collapse over- night and we would all start to die very rapidly from lack of basic essentials, including food and water. Public transport would stop and so would the NHS. Yet road death from all causes, not just by driver, is lower than from accidents in the home and five times lower than from NHS failure. Motor transport keeps us all alive. If Mr Jones and all the rest of us cyclists gave up, it would hardly be noticed. So contrary to common perception, motor transport provides a quality of life and essentials and in doing so, keeps far more alive than it kills. Since politicians, for political reasons, have been busy promoting cycling to pretend that is a viable alternative to cars, cycle road death has risen in 2011. Hasn’t anyone made the connection? Do the politicians feel at all guilty? It matters not who is to blame when a young child is turned into a cabbage or when knocking on the Pearly Gates St Peter says ‘Come in my son it wasn’t your fault’. The issue is simple. Placing one’s body on the track of heavy moving machinery cannot be a bright idea can it? Keith Peat. Now published.


  1. It is in your interests for as many people as possible to mode-shift to bikes. This needs to happen via proper, protected & prioritised cycle *tracks* (not white-line lanes) to enable anyone from 8-80 to cycle.

    People on bikes take up less road space than people in cars. Therefore more people (those who are able to) cycling = more room on roads for your car.

    Not sure what's so hard to grasp about this concept...?

  2. The reason I have done this blogg is so that as many people as possible can see some of the inane sentiments and 3rd rate thinking of the cyclists.

    Nothing hard to grasp about 6th form thinking Tim. Er so you think cyclists can do the 300 billion driver miles yearly that this country depends on from its motor transport? You can't grasp that anything but a tiny minority of its 60 million residents wish to cycle, are capable of cycling and will ever cycle and most of those who do don't do it for long and until the end of their days either.

    I have just joined a queue of cars all waiting for some eledrly cyclist and then one by one moving over to pass him. That, millions of times a day, is costing this country a fortune but what blind faith? To be depending on so many diverse characters and their machines not to hit him! It's utter lunacy and it is time some-one started saying so.

    We need to rethink this whole issue!

    1. I really think you should see a physician. The way your brain seems to selectively invert the concepts of right and wrong and the tendency you have to misdirect basic empathy could be symptoms of a deeper underlying physiological problem. I'm only half joking too, might be worth giving some serious thought to.

  3. And here is why I am publishing these comments. The personal and completely inappropriate personal bile of those claiming a moral high ground. Right & wrong isn't the issue. It is that humans mingling voluntarily amongst lots of essential moving heavy plant is not the most sensible thing they can be doing and politicians shouldn't be exploiting cyclists to their danger for purely political reasons. It is the safety of cyclists that is of concern here. Try and be adult Dr C.

  4. Genuine question -do you think children should cycle to school, or do you think parents should waste their valuable economic time ferrying them there and back in cars?

    1. Simple answer. No. Not any more. Daftest thing I saw last week was a dad, kitted out in lycra on an A trunk road with a very young kid on a bike with dad cycling with him and steadying him by the saddle! Exercising his right not only to place himself in the path of heavy machines on the move, but his kiddy too! We have got to re-visit the whole proposition. We cannot be stuck in 1912.

      The car has enabled parents to live further away from schools and for both to have jobs too. Back in the 50s I used to cycle miles to school and back from about 13, before that it was by public transport, the complexities I cannot recall now. When I started work I had to do about 15 miles each way, up hill and down dale in all weathers. It was dangerous then. My parents either didn't care about all this or had to accept it along with their lifestyle choice. However I had a motorbike from 17. Today it isn't just traffic that mums worry about but also paedophiles and kiddy snatchers too. Unfortunately the motor has allowed them to travel from district to district and simply lift kids; unlike my day. Oh yes the motor has much to answer for, but life is certainly easier and sweeter than days gone by; evidenced by life expectancy. That is the contradiction to the claims about cars being unhealthy. Most obesity is entirely down to the crap people, particularly women are shoving down their & their kid's throats nowadays.

    2. Keith, women generally live longer than men.

    3. Well one reason is that there is no such word as 'failure' in a woman's vocabulary. Men regard it a failure to not provide & protect their women & children and will generally do anything not to fail. A woman doesn't. If she chooses well she will have no such worries and be provided for. If that fails there is always the State. Then other men pick up the tag. Added to which most women know how to keep most men on the hop all their married lives. Called 'nagging' but more accurately 'not being quite good enough' or 'unsatisfied' most men try harder and harder. In Dickens' world all a man had to be was kind & a good, kind provider, like Bob Cratchet, to be loved respected and revered. In those days he didn't even need to be a good lover either! There are many horrid things men will do not to fail for their families that a woman will not. One steaming hot day, stuck at roadworks I watched men in that heat laying a new road surface. A brazier nearby and all covered in black sticky tarmac they were spreading over a hot road. Not a woman in sight. So basically compared to a man's life a woman's is a doddle. 'A woman's work is never done' is a myth like 'speed kills'. Most who indulge in the expensive recreation of horse riding are women who's men folk would have supplied the money for it. It is part of my evil humour when I see women on their horses, or even a horse box, to say: 'Here we go. A woman's work is never done. Who's the bloke who's paying for all this and what is he doing now?'

      I am also pro bloke. That does not mean I am anti women any more than being pro driver makes me anti cyclist. I just say it as it is. Offend or please.

  5. Where to start? Firstly the human race seemed to get along pretty well for the last few thousand years prior to motorised transport just fine so I'm not sure why you think the whole system will fall apart. Yes it might take some time to adapt but I'm sure we'd all get along fine.

    Encouraging cycling doesn't mean banning driving. It just means trying to get those vast majority of short (<5 miles) journeys to be completed by an alternative means. You seem so obsessed with the expediting motor traffic that you seem to fail to realize that a car isn't always the best way to get around. Yes it's great for covering large distances quickly but I will wager a large sum of money that I'll beat you around London during the rush hour on my bike, a point which I think even Top Gear had to concede on during one of their challenges when Richard beat a boat, public transport and a car from one side of town to the other ;-)

    The unfortunate truth is in this country we don't have the infrastructure in place to separate cyclists from the dangerous, fast moving and heavy motorised traffic. This is a major barrier to cycling uptake and is a fact that those of us who do cycle are very aware of. As such we have to take various steps to try and ensure our own safety (surely safe passage should be a basic right on a PUBLIC highway?) which may at times result in delaying some of the precious motorists, the same motorists who usually speed past the slow cyclists and don't think twice about sitting stationary in a traffic jam. At which point the cyclist comes past again never to be seen again whilst Mr Driver is sitting there annoyed with the cyclist who held him up....

    There are also numerous other problems that result from an over-reliance on the car ranging from health problems, road accidents, obesity, pollution, increased road wear and loses to the economy due to delays caused by traffic jams etc (how do you explain the jams on motorways, they can't be held up by cyclists?)

  6. Mark S. Well at least you are polite and sincere.

    No the massive population explosion did not occur until the early 1900s and has kept rising frighteningly to today’s 7 billion people. For many thousands of years it was pretty static. This is largely due to medicine but also speed. From the horse, which went at break neck speed, and indeed in those days of horses and carriages road death was worse than it is now, The Iron Horse, to faster production, shipping, faster trains and roads, it is also no coincidence that life expectancy has risen and not gone down. Take road transport away and you will die; how healthy is that?

    Yes in London, I commuted 26 miles a day by bike for several years or, failing that, motorbike and public transport. Most Londoners do not drive to work and most Londoners do not cycle to work either. The majority are combined, drivers, motorcyclists and public transport so cyclists are still a minority in London.

    Now no-one is suggesting that we do take all road transport away but the debate is that the pushbike is a viable alternative and to mitigate the clear dangers, they want to curtail, hamper and slow a major necessary infrastructure. The Uk driver does 300 billion miles a year. Pushbikes cannot do that service.

    The car is the only way to get around now for the vast majority of people and cycling will only ever be done by a minority and those that do it, won't do it for their full lifetime either. At 72, I am glad to say I too still cycle. but I know I am placing my faith in all sorts of people doing the right thing with heavy powerful machines. It sounds pretty daft!

    Your claim that safe passage is a right for all road users is quite frankly a dream that sounds good. Do re-read the blogg since I have covered this very well. The fact is that drivers are generally not very good, and many would fail a basic intellectual or psychology test but society allows it because if we did not have them, far more would die from the economic collapse and lack of the essentials you need to survive. Your bike wasn’t delivered by bike was it? Probably by much derided white van man.

    Your rhetoric about cars that ‘speed’ past slower cyclists reveals all. How do you know they are ‘speeding’? Dangerous you say? But after their 300 billion miles a year there is less death from all causes on the road than from accidents at home! What you are experiencing is the natural uncertainty and worry of putting your body among heavy, fast moving essential plant that wouldn’t be tolerated on Elf’n safety grounds for any other activity. When it goes wrong, don’t blame the drivers for the scenario which you and society has chosen to accept. A scenario where mishaps, mistakes and accidents are bound to happen.

    I appreciate your post as it has allowed me to cover a lot for further readers. However minority zealots have a habit of learning nothing. Good job they’re a minority then. ;-)

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  8. Hi Stan, First I have campaigned for years against the 'agressive slow'. The basis is 'reduce the need to overtake, reduces the overtake attempts, ergo reduces the overtake crashes' The term 'Agressive Slow' was coined by a book Mind Driving by Stephen Hayley. It is a book where Haley and I had arrived at the same conclusions from different directions. I recommend for all drivers. Reading it one will be a better driver without leaving the arm chair. Basiclally the driver you speak of is driving without due care by ignoring his own queue and will be the cause of many multi casualty crashes. The police & Dft do not accept he exists and will not address it. My site enlarges but coincidentally, there is no money or profit for anyone by addressing the matter so there you are.

    I too cycle. Those 5 seconds, and I that is very conservative, I saw a queue of cars following cyclists the other day, will amount to many millions of seconds over the whole network each day. And time is money. Lots of it. We have given a 1 mph cost of £3 billion per year.

    But you miss the point. See other answers. Cycling is placing your faith in loads of very average strangers operating large pieces of kit. We all have a choice about that but whatever cyclists say, it's not for politicians to ignore just to square up their failures.

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    1. Possibly. But this is happening in all societies and countrys. And your 2nd para, actually endorses why being out there amongst them aint such a good idea Stan

  11. Stan, it doesn't help to attribute comments I have not made as that undermines your case.Where have I suggested that 'everyone should driver everywhere'? That is indeed 'ridiculous' so I am glad it's your comment and not mine.

    The issue of cycle hold ups is not the main issue. The main issue is the promotion of cycling at the expense of the driver and especially the extra prosecutions that will come from these measures. It is right therefore to get both types of transport in a proper perspective. Apparently cyclists only want to hear one aspect and so far they have been indulged by politicians for very insincere reasons. Are you saying that we cannot give the merits and advantages of motoring? That we cannot respond to the very profound claims being made against it with the positives without cyclists indulging in insult, petty name calling & bile?

    Congestion is dealt with fully at but basically most has been caused by a list of local policies, much from a left wing anti car ideology in town halls, and is self evident, including the wrong phasing of traffic lights. The congestion is caused, not only by deliberately feeding drivers to the same choke points, but by only investing about £7 billion of the £50 billion driver taxes a year into our road networks.

    If there is to be a debate about cycling in 2012, then lets have it. But the fact is that when it comes to priority, even you given the choice, would have to keep you car or van. The simple fact is that our society can survive without push bikes. That is what must be accepted when the matter is weighed. And the other new radical but valid question I raise is the main one. Since when was mixing humans among many fast pieces of essential plant a good idea. It's a pretty simple and valid proposition and a truth that seems to be sending the cyclists into apoplexy. Well it needs to be accepted as part of the debate.

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  13. Are 'impicitly implies it' So I didn't say it then Stan did I and it is the only way people, especially in rural areas cane get around. 300 billion driver miles a year stan & this can be done by pushbike? Oh right you can go and feed a whole family from a pushbike load?

    No the push bike and car were Circa about 1880/90 but so was the horse too and they are now obsolete other than for recreation. It's 2012 Stan. But drivers are entitled to the carriegaways.

    Ok Stan. Clearly one of the minority Zeolots that cannot accept a truthful concept. But thanks for highlighting the demands of a minority in the way you have. I think you have presented your best case now.

  14. Dear Keith,
    I will try to use simple words so even YOU can follow me.

    We live on a small planet. We don't know of any other usable planets. Even the Met Office is now officially saying that PEOPLE are messing up the climate. The biggest cause of that is exhaust fumes from motorised transport.

    FAR better and more economical overall is to invest in light rail, and normal rail, as well as buses, yet you're not calling for that. No, you want to place ever more cars, at higher speeds, on overcrowded roads.

    See, Keith, the MOST selfish people are those single occupant drivers. THEY cause the congestion that pains you so much. Oh, and by the way, your numbers don't add up.

    Keith, you told me in a tweet that all cars were needed for survival. ALL cars. Your words. Don't try to back out of it now. Clearly that is a stupid statement that is totally false.

    Drivers are not entitled to carriageways, Keith - PEOPLE are entitled to carriageways. And yes, that includes cyclists. Your hollow "tax-burdened, short-changed motorist" argument doesn't add up, but you'd know that if you were prepared to look at the issue objectively. (Objectively means without bias, OK?). Tax payers pay for the roads, Keith, even sweet little old ladies that never drive. In fact, they subsidise motorists. If you were REALLY intelligent enough to be a member of MENSA you'd be able to work that out for yourself.

    But you can't work that out for yourself, can you? You evidently don't have the capacity to do so. Your I'm-firmly-stuck-in-1952 attitude causes you to even deny climate change, despite the OVERWHELMING unbiased scientific evidence.

    Keith, this isn't 1952 any more, it's 2012, and you need to evolve with the world around you, or go the way of the dinosaurs! Bicycles are GOOD for the environment, GOOD for the economy and GOOD for people's health.

    Seriously, Keith, how do you think tens of thousands of Londoners got to work over the past two weeks. Remember, most were NOT using their cars!

    Whenever anybody challenges your stupidly out-of-date ideologies, you call them zealots, but really you're the only zealot here.

    Look around you, Keith! The world has moved on, the world has progressed. Time for you to try and keep up!

  15. Don't try telling the nations on mainland Europe that bicycles have no place as everyday transport in the 21st Century. You may well get a strange look and a very rude answer. And don't say that "it can't be done" in UK. Of course it can. Before you say it can't be done I recommend you take the time to go on a Study Tour run by David Hembrow. Open your mind.

    1. I have not said 'bycycles have no place as everyday transport' Again misquoting & false attribution condemns the rest of your point.

      However, name one of those nations where they do not run on motorised road transport? That, given the choice between one and another, they would have to choose the road transport. But also note that those nations where the majority in rural areas are relying on puchbikes, are also poorer. In the UK wealth is spread much more evenly and that is based on much more private transport.

      Holland & Belgium do have much more cycle freindly cities and generally flat but unfortunately we have evolved differently from that and a lot of out towns and cities are hilly too. My family of runners have just sold all their bikes. Why? The hills are far too steep to be viable for them. He by the way, a train driver, commutes 18 miles a day to his train by car. They also point out that if it were not for free rail travel for all of them, the costs of rail travel would be way out of their reach.

      It's your mind I am trying to open. Please uinderstand all of your tweets were unsolicited as indeed are these posts too. I have no need to study anything but am simply gathering samples for politicians and people like Edmund King to see exactly what is motivating all of their policies. So far I am rather shocked. Surely there must be some cycling body who can rationally address these points better?

    2. So you think that bicycles *do* have a place as everyday transport, then? Doesn't that completely undermine the whole thesis of your post?

    3. No there is no conflict at all. Since politicians started promoting pushbikes to overcome their failures, as I predicted cycle casualties went up. Now without playing the blame game which achieves nothing and is subjective, I have been proved correct on that. As indeed my predictions that 20 Zones would create more casualties and low and behold K/SI in these areas have gone up 24%. So my record, despite silly comments and detractors, is to be proved correct.

      I am not saying that cyclists must not cycle on roads but asking if it is such a good idea? It's amazing how none of you are addressing the concept of 'would humans normally be allowed to mingle, mix and compete with heavy fast moving essential machinery operated by any Tom Dick & Harry except for cycling?' It really is a self evident no brainer isn't it? That cycling death and injury has gone up in line with the increase in cyclists, answers that question I think.

      Today, I have discovered and will be exposing an ex builder and maintenance man who is running a firm to give courses on how to be and advanced driver instructor. And here are all the dangers. All sorts of non experts in a life and death issue. I have also published today a report on Mike Penning a (cycle clips) roads Minister who poo pooed my warnings about 20 zones and now people have died. Since he has promoted cycling too and encouraged more to mingle with machines, despite my predictions, more have died there too.

      You may not like what I say, and be in a state of denial but events are proving me to be right all the time.

      Anyway, I am now closing this forum since, so far, none of the great and good of the cycling world, have been able to add anything that I can say explodes the case against cycling in the carriageway.

    4. Sounds like you are in favour of optimising the road system to accommodate all types of road user, not just cars, as per the Dutch model.

      By the by, the 20 zone stats recently published have been well debunked elsewhere. The reported 17% increase in deaths equated to just one casualty nationwide. The equivalent zones on the mainland have been in place for years and are successful in their purpose.

    5. Not at all. Just not to delay, hamper and prosecute drivers any more than they are and in fact less than they are if that's OK with you.

      Re the stats. Ah! The percentage arguement. So it's OK for DfT to use bogus percentages to exaggerate accidents in BUA simply because the real numbers don't warrant 20 zones but not when it work the other way?

      So the published statement of the DfT that K/SI in 20 zones is up 24% whilst in 30 zones they are down is wrong is it? There were 2262 K/SIs in 20 MPH BUA in 2011 & 1827 in 2010.

      But I predicted this in April 2011 to Minsisters is the point. And at that time I was getting the same inane Whahahahaha responses from the Lycra Minds I recall!

      Anyway this forum is now closed. It has served its purpose.

  16. Keith -ignoring the rural areas -what's your stance on cars in cities? Is walking obsolete? Because there is outright conflict between the needs of everyone who drives on the school run (space, parking, 30mph, no zebra crossings, traffic lights) and those who want their kids to walk safely to school on their own (pavements clear of cars, zebra crossings, 20 mph zones, keep clear zones by schools enforced)?

    Do you consider walking to be a historical transport option?

    BTW: you are one of the motoring advocates -we are equally zealous. You just feel on the defensive.

    1. Cities need cars to keep alive just like Asda, Tesco, PC World, Wickes, B&Q who all surround themselves with large car parks. Just look at the shuttered shops, the grafiti, the charity shops taking over our high streets because council officials, with a generally liberal left ideoligical bias, think they know better than these big businesses. I like pedestrian precincts so long as adequate parking space is provided nearby, and to compete with the shopping precincts parking should be free too. This will bring business back. As it stands councils are losing a fortune from rents & rates mainly from their anti car policy.

      Pedestrians? Again I replied to that silly position in the original post at the very beginning. Please don't come on here unless you have read fully all of my responses. Believe it or not, I am a very busy man for road safety and also local community work too.

      But so far in this debate not one single person has accepted simple reality. They have not shown why cycling is so paramount that we should and can curtail major transport infrastructure and keep prosecuting people for accident scenarios set up for them by society and HMG. And no-one has addressed the simple question. Is it a good idea to mingle and mix with heavy, fast moving, essential plant and machinery operated by any Tom Dick & Harry? Well sorry to draw that to your attention chaps but so far none of you have been able to admit the self evident have you?

  17. Again another very personal missive and totally incorrect yet full of indignant rightiousness!

    'Motorists are entitled to roads' was an answer to another of your ilk who said 'many motorists think they are entitled to the roads'. So what exactly was wrong about that answer? Do read the posts instead of being keen to publish your ideas first.

    Please provide the report by the Met Office that says the biggest cause is exhaust fumes from the motorist! They haven't. In any case the view about man made climate change is now becoming sensible. Climate changed drastically long before man walked the planet. Most of its life it has been too hostile for us and will return to that before it too is consumed by the Sun. Who says how the planet is supposed to be? How you and I like it? That is a classic of sixth form impertinence & self importance as is being expressed in these posts. In fact UK's cars only produce 0.28% of all man made CO2, and the vast majority is natural. CO2 is an essential life giving trace gas, which at the current 400ppm is near the bottom end, about 200ppm where we all die. The world was vibrant and lush at 1500ppm so we can do a lot better. Yes all cars. (Except the tiny amount of enthusiast collector ones). Who on Earth runs cars for fun? Do you really believe that all people live within a cycle ride or walk from work? Their main suppliers? Their Doctors? Their Hospitals? That all people can ride bikes or are fit enough to? Odds are you will not be able to for that long either!

    But why are you all changing the subject? You want carriageways safe for cyclists as of a right. That cannot happen unless we curtail and prosecute UKs drivers. For cyclists? A tiny self indulgent minority? So by raising the issue, they must expect what they do to be examined. And when you do that we have to get both activities in perspective. One is done or depended on by the majority of the 60 million, and the other a minority who would not be missed by the economy. Is it a good idea to mingle and compete with and on the same tracks as heavy essential moving machinery? That is a reasonable question that I and others are entitled to ask without people going apoplectic and insulting. By doing that you make my case and lose yours.

  18. William, much of your 'points' have already been covered. I am not going to keep covering the same ground for the sake of the entrenched. No. Uk Government doesn't say that there is more than 0.28% Co2 from UKs cars. They say that road transport creates 22% of all Uk's CO2 output which is only 2% of world man made output. Of course the taxmen love to publish the greater figure to fool people like you. 22% of 2% = 0.44% of which cars are 0.28%.

    Public Transport is now private and do you think they are not subsidised? These private companies now have public road space given to them which is taken away from the £50 billion car taxpayers and is a major reason for city congestion. Do you agree with private profiteering at public expense? But Public Transport depends on private transport to make the connections unless we all live on train platforms, airport terminals and bus stations. Oh Purleees guys? Also public transport is exceptionally expensive and does not take you where you want to go from where you want to leave at any time 24/7. In 1950 we only had PT so had to live nearer to jobs or family. Governments have encouraged us all to move far and wide and the car has made that happen. Bulk buying from out of town precincts are now the norm. On that basis, food is oredered on a very fine last minute ordering and supply basis, hence large trucks in and out of the Supermarkets and Hypermarkets several times a day. How do you think that is being taken away and distributed? Push bike?

    I went out today to see several in Lycra amongst the busy holiday traffic, but the biggest shock was to see an old chap riding a new bike on the footway. I know him well and asked how long he had been cycling? 'Since the Olympics'. I discussed how wise he was to keep out of the road, although illegal. The point is that he was making my point for me. How can anyone with any brains put their blind faith in the actions of so many different characters & demand nothing bad happens?

    It's worse for motorcyclists. I understand the explosive anger when a driver cocks up and knocks you off. I have had it happen on more than one occasion and lived to tell the tale. But cyclists seem to think that drivers do it deliberately and for fun. They don't. It's bloody dangerous out there on two wheels. Motor bikers at least have the advantage of power to get out of the way and to drive defensively. We Bikers would all concur that in most Biker accidents it's a driver involved. You don't get many motorbikes crashing into each other, or cyclists either. So yes most drivers are not good and never will be. But for economic reasons we have long past the reasonable speed barriers, slowing of transport & prosecuting drivers with economic over-kill. The multi billion for profit road safety industry, and the hampering of road transport is killing more people than from any cause on the road now.

    We need to start again based on 2012 reality. The Horse, now pure recreation, can go back to the fields where it is happier and safer. Why not? After all we don't allow five a side or table tennis in the road do we? And then look at what is the best approach to busy dangerous carriageways and if it is wise to be in among it. For now it is your own choice but don't blame me if something bad happens; it aint good out there.

  19. 45% of the GB population cycle. This is a minority, but hardly a tiny one. (All statistics are from DfT.)

    In 2010, cars drove over 400 billion miles. I don't think anyone is suggesting these could all be done by bike. But some of us think society would be better off if the low-mileage trips were made by bike. Half of all journeys under two miles are made by car or van.

    Further, UK society has rearranged itself to encourage car use, perhaps to make it essential, in everyday life -- work, school, shopping, etc. Some of us think this is bad news, and that society would be improved if we could reduce this.

    Is it safe to encourage, in this day and age, humans to mingle with heavy fast moving essential machinery? No. We could save lives of cyclists and pedestrians by banning them from the highway, although the cost would be higher mortality from inactivity. Using the same argument, banning motoring on the highway would save many more lives -- including the lives of motorists, naturally.

    Of course we can't do that. But the more people who swap their cars for bikes, the better for all of us. We need to become less enslaved to our cars.

  20. 45% Cycle? Who told you that? References please. One of your inane mates would go Wahahahahaha to that had it been one of my figures. The only way you would get anywhere near that is 45% have cycled at some point in their lives.

    I have not disagreed that more cycling and less driving is good for people. Just that it ain't gonna happen and that it is dangerous. Just being on two slim wheels is dangerous without mixing & running alongside heavy fast moving essential machinery. More off road cycling yes. But why not run, swim, go spinning and keep fit and out of danger too?

    Why include pedestrians? They are not a problem. They are instructed to get off the carriageway smartly, and because they have sense, are prepared to step off it on rural roads if a machine heads their way. So don't compare yourself to pedestrians.

    The more who swap cars for bikes, the more in danger they will be; hence the casualty increase in cyclists last year. It's happening. Do wake up.

  21. Hi Keith,

    First up, it's actually Sir Chris Hoy, not Steve.

    I've read some of your letters in the Lincolnshire Echo. Am I remembering correctly, are they 'signed' in print: "Keith Peat, Drive East Midlands"? I was most surprised to find that the latter is just the name of your blog.

    You're leaving pedestrians out of the debate because they get out of the way smartly, but how many pedestrians are still killed or seriously injured by motor vehicles every year?

    You ask why cyclists mix with heavy fast moving essential machinery when you think it's not safe for them to do so, but how many motorists are themselves killed or seriously injured by other motor vehicles every year? Perhaps drivers should be advised, for their own good, to stick to track days at Silverstone and not venture out on to the public roads.

    Why as a nation should we tolerate such death and destruction? Shouldn't the private motor vehicles be reined in before they kill or seriously injure us all?! Who's the boss in this scenario anyway, human being or motor vehicle? Wouldn't our towns and cities be more pleasant if far fewer short trips were made by car? (The streets wouldn't be filled with ¾-empty, fast moving faceless instruments of death and serious injury. Pedestrians would no longer have to be enclosed by barriers at every turn like so much cattle. The womenfolk in the Peat family could be doing housework, rather than having to watch and fret over young Johnny and Jemima playing outside!) Couldn't we lop a few billion motor miles off the annual total you quote? (People do go out driving for the sake of it - they aren't all economically productive miles.) Shouldn't HM Government be applauded for trying to reduce that total?


    Ben How,
    Ride East Midlands.

  22. Ben, virtually all of your points have been covered here or in answer in the Echo. Motor Transport is an essential, including private cars, without which we would all die very rapidly from lack of basics. That would not happen if there were no cyclists. Driving has increased longevity and keeps more alive that it kills. Pedestrians do not expect to share the same path/track of heavy moving essential machinery like cyclists do. Under any other circumstances such activity would be considered madness. Cyclists seem to believe that simply having the right not to be rammed into Eternity means that it will not happen. It will and it does. Please see: cycling is risky at . It is about time that politicians stopped exploiting cyclists for their economic ills and or green ideology. It is right that I should ask them if they can recommend cycling and guarantee it won't end in death or life changing injury for people since it isn't essential at all.

  23. Keith, thanks for publishing my comment and for replying. Before composing my message I did read higher up the page that you were ending this debate, and it was some weeks ago that you posted that, so good on you.

    Of course, you're right that motor vehicles are essential for life as it exists in this country, but I don't agree that bikes need to be discouraged from using public roads. I don't think either of us are going to get what we want.

    As for the link you provided and the talk of allowing drivers to drive according to the conditions, rather than having to stick to speed limits, I think quite a number of drivers would overestimate their ability to drive quickly yet safely in built-up areas. Also, I have to say that while out walking I haven't actually heard my pet dog or any parked cars agreeing with your viewpoint on this matter! (They didn't dissent either though, to be fair.)

    Anyway, if you've been through all this multiple times already then don't feel the need to repeat yourself for me.


  24. I do not say drivers must not stick to the speed limits but that a driver who is driving to the conditions is more important because often that will be below the limits. However I do know that the limits are not set scientifically or by driving experts or people whose professional expertise and qualification is from that background. As a result many limits are inappropriate and the sequence of some will cause terrible accidents elsewhere. Our planners seem incapable of thinking beyond the spot they are addressing and work out the likely consequences elsewhere or later in the day. This tunnel vision, as well as the parochial nature of road policy, means that road safety is dangerously being run by the local butcher, baker & candlestick maker.

    I think you will find that the majority of drivers do automatically reduce their speed dramatically as the hazards increase and their road conditions come more confined. If they didn't do that there would be piles of wreckage at every bend and junction. In most of the areas where 20 zones are in place, 20 is too fast and they would've selected a lower speed anyway.

  25. Dear Keith, My video of my commute to work most days - now tell me how many billions i am wasting by holding up the traffic.. Oh wait a second, based on your logic we should remove all roadworks, traffic lights, other cars, roundabouts and have a private road each to our destinations

  26. I see several cars regularly patiently waiting to pass cyclists. Multiply this millions of times a day. So you now think that cars are not slowing for you at all? Oh please!

  27. On my cycle to work in London it's cars that slow me down. Same if I drive.

    If I cycle or drive at 5am no cars, takes me 45 minutes (on car and bike), 7am full of cars, takes me an hour and 15 minutes on the bike, and at least two in the car.

    Suffice to say I've only ever driven to work twice due to extenuating circumstances. Driving a car to work in London is utter madness.

  28. Oh yes of course that's right. I commuted in London for over 30 years and did most on motorbike or moped and cycled too but 2nd most by public transport. In fact I did shift work to get out of it and nights was a dream. However I witnessed all the ideological anti driver policies that actually created congestion. Taken for granted now but, to any copper from the early days, they would have predicted the outcome.

    Fact is the cyclis is still a tiny minority of commuters. But I would advise moped for it instead of cycle if public transport is not viable. The problem is that for many suburbs the PT isn't a direct option and often means driving to the nearest if people can't use two wheels and that means most. Then most of the stations either have no parking or it's costly.

    Lot's of commuters simply have no choice. They're certainly not in their cars because they love it.