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.