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Welcome to Drivers' Union East Midlands.
Our Mission: Better road safety at lower cost. No unnecessary delay or slowing of road transport. No unnecessary or unjust prosecution of safe drivers.

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Monday, 24 February 2014

Why are you angry with cyclists?

The Twitter account @CycleHatred was designed to corroborate the claim that there's a driver's war against cyclists. It re-tweets all anti cyclist posts that it can find and the more violent or extreme the supposed threat the more the Cycle Lobby loves it. They then become indignant themselves, take it all seriously and so their 'war' is fomented.

Of course in reality it is only sticks and stones since drivers aren't really bumping cyclists off from deliberate hatred and most of it is really about winding up cyclists and no more.

But here is your chance to tell us in more detail why you are fed up with cyclists.

We will not publish profanity or threats but invite a genuine anti road cyclist discussion so you can tell us what it is that they are doing so wrong from your point of view. 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

This Judge has got it badly wrong.

A cyclist crashes into a stationary car during a cycling training run, heart monitors the lot and gets £50,000 from the driver. Story here 

Surely the same rules should apply to cyclist as to drivers? Only cycle at a speed at which you can safely stop? We all know that the brakes on bikes are not as efficient as those on cars, and bikes are not as stable or as easy to stop so why not ride accordingly? Didn't the Judge understand this?

For some peculiar reason he has gathered, from the length of scrape marks, that the car had only just stopped. Even so, the speed and style of the cyclist will have been a major factor in the damage and injury sustained. The fact is that it matters not how long the car was stationary, it's only the cyclists speed that caused all the damage and injury.

This judge got this badly wrong and I hope there will be an appeal so that the award is decreased by a great deal.

This judgement does nothing for cyclists safety. When will our politicians understand that European sedate, upright local cycling is totally different from the high speed sports style riding that is being encouraged on our roads.

The faster cyclists ride, the more danger for them.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

This is the best cycling can do at a Parliamentary Committee?

It was intriguing to listen to the utter waffle spoken by representatives of the, far too powerful, cycling lobby at the Parliamentary Transport Committee on Cycling.

In the chairs in a line were from the left Roger Geffen of CTC a cycling charity, in the centre Chris Boardman cycling gold medallist and on the right Edmund King of the AA, who likes to pretend that he is speaking for drivers when he isn't.

It was striking that no-one from the committee raised the obvious question. 'If road cycling needs so much to put it right and it is so dangerous, why are we still doing it in 2014?' It's a fair question isn't it? Here I will refer to our two pages that show how lethal road cycling is. Road cycling's a killer and Top cyclists prove it Did no-one on the committee think of asking:  'Would we normally allow unprotected humans to mix mingle, and compete with a large number of big essential fast moving machines which are operated by complete strangers of very varying ability?'.

Didn't anyone point out from either side that: 'Since the Olympics of 2012, and politicians, Sky, and The Times encouraging more to mingle with these machines, so cycle death and injury has escalated tending to support the obvious risks and dangers of doing it? See 2012 a 5 year high & along with more cyclists cycling faster in the style of Wiggins, we have Dooring incidents up. Doesn't any of this prove the more that do it, and especially the more that do it faster, so the death and injury rises as one would expect from a dangerous activity?' Surely these three luminaries should have been interrogated on this if they were unable to face it on their own volition?

Not one of the Committee suggested that, 'if there were no road cyclists and anyone suggested it now, especially for kiddies, we would think them mad.'

Not one on the Committee challenged the false premise that 'We must still have road cycling'.

No one from the Committee asked: 'Shouldn't we just look at restricting road use now for what is absolutely essential for sustaining the community? or 'Does the community need cyclists in the carriageway at all?'

So from the forgoing, we can see that the whole debate is not only on a false premise, a distinct advantage to the cycle lobby, but the white coat aspect of the concept of road cycling is airbrushed out of the issue too.

Now given all these advantages, let's look at how the statements of these three stacked up shall we?

Chris Boardman wants a '10 point plan to make cycling a normal method of transport.'  But how can being on two flimsy wheels, a hard seat, exposed to all weathers and very hard work be 'normal' to most people? If it were that great, most of our 65 million would choose it automatically. These cycling zealots are rather like the Green lobby, 'like it or not you must all do it too'. It's tantamount to joggers expecting more to jog! Cycling is only temporary for almost everyone and then even they don't do it in high wind, snow and blizzard when the drivers are still out there keeping our community running.

He wants us all to pay £10 a head, presumably per year, to make cycling take even more money from the community. Is that £650,000,000 a year no less? If there were an ideal time to ask 'Why have cycling at all?' Here it was and The Committee failed to ask it for the taxpayer. 

Geffen agreed with Boardman but then this peculiar, animated and jerky fellow, went on to talk about 'intimidation by lorries and bad driving'. But this is all subjective from a cyclists perspective. His qualification to judge 'bad driving' is what exactly? The 'intimidation' is a natural effect of the body trying to tell its owner, 'I don't wanna be here this is a bad place to be' and then ignoring the message. That is what cyclists do continuously. He then said 'Cycling isn't a dangerous activity'. Did the Committee miss that? Well  the concept is very dangerous as already shown above and the cycling death and injury corroborates it. Can any responsible politician ignore the reality like Geffen clearly does?

The Chair, in turning to King, asked 'You represent motorists?' to which King replied 'Yes'.

No he doesn't madam Chair. He is the media spokesman (designated a non executive)  President, of an association that fixes cars, plumbing, and provides insurance but neither he or his association have any special qualification in driving, road safety, accidents or prosecution. It does profit from driver prosecution and has a vested interest in certain anti driver legislation. It and he support the wholesale prosecution of perfectly safe drivers and profit from it and he is very pro cyclist at the expense of the driver.  So no madam you are misled. Edmund King is very much part of the cycle lobby. His association is now too diverse to be called a motorists organisation.

Yes he has 15 million people who pay for his services but how does that make it a motorists organisation? He polls them on a monthly basis he says. Well amateurs polling amateurs isn't the best way to run roads Madam Chairman, especially when the poll asks the wrong questions. According to King, his poll says that 76% want more children to mix and mingle with heavy essential machinery operated by complete strangers. Let them read my two pages of cycling reality and then ask them if they want kiddies amongst this? So determined a cyclist is King, he wants to imperil our kiddies too? Something I find particularly distasteful.

He then trotted out the RACFoundation nonsense that death on the road is still the highest cause of death of young people. RACF actually included 'more than from hanging themselves and from drugs too'. How dishonest of King. We certainly hope that death by accidents, on the road or not, will kill more healthy youngsters than from suicide, hanging themselves or by taking drugs or by illness too. He fails to point out that most of those were not drivers, many were not a driver's fault and in any case after 300 billion driver miles a year, all the death on the road from all causes, including of cyclists, are less than from accidents in the home. Wouldn't you expect someone speaking for drivers would have mentioned that? 

Oh then King had to refer to his 'Two tribes' or on this occasion, 'Us and them barrier'. King cited inflammatory twitter account He loves to foment a fictitious cycle war with this. Drivers have every reason to be annoyed with cyclists for many reasons but I suspect reducing their essential contribution to the community and keeping our society alive, to that of another 'tribe' that doesn't, is part of King's failure to grasp reality and in denying that we must have drivers but not cyclists, he shows clearly why he cannot speak for drivers at Committee sessions or anywhere else for that matter.

Geffen told the Committee that 'It's not anti car to say less cars'. Oh really? But his slip shows that these cyclists see cars and thus their drivers as the big evil. Cyclists detest the reality that it is the private car that keeps all our public transport, including air and rail, commercial transport, our NHS, water and food supplies and in fact all our basic needs running and viable. The car is the one constant in all this.

Madam Chair asked about 'Mutual Respect'. But that implies that drivers in their millions are not accommodating cyclists thousands of times a day. The 'lack of respect' is a charge of the Cycle Lobby, mainly based on nature being unhappy with their self imposed scenario but not supported by the brilliant UK driver's record mentioned already. A failure to recognise their selfless acts and even deny their importance is, in itself, a lack of respect for drivers.

King took up the 'Mutual respect' call with relish. Again assuming two equal opponents which is a disservice to UKs 35 million driver voters.  

He then made the extraordinary claim that his members know that 30% of drivers are texting or using their hand-helds. The Committee failed to challenge this example of King's polling. We have all seen drivers using their phones at some time or another but 30% of them? I have never seen anyone texting and driving at all. Yes no doubt in a long stationary queue there is more of it. Why not ask the poll, 'do you ever use your hand -held or text whilst driving?' because there is something clearly wrong with the one cited to The Committee.    

He made the observation that if road cycling were made safer, more would do it. Yes that's exactly the point. Most sensible people don't really want to do it because they like to know what is bearing down on them from behind.

King, the drivers representative, told The Committee that he wanted to see 'police prosecuting drivers first' presumably before prosecuting cyclists. 'Let's dish out more £100 fines' He said.

But on the issue of offenders, red light jumpers etc, shouldn't we point out that there are 35 million drivers covering many more miles than cyclists so, per capita , more cyclists are committing these offences more often aren't they? Didn't any of The Committee spot that?

Chris Boardman wants a cycling Tsar only answerable to the Prime Minister and no-one else. Who are these people? Do we need them at all?

They want lorries re-designed. 'Not fit for purpose' they said. However the evidence is that it really is true that, by definition, 'Road cycling isn't fit for purpose' so why must everything else change? 

Geffen said he want's 'lorry cabs changed and HGV drivers lowered to that of Bus and Coach drivers.'  Err but they have engines at the back allowing the driver to be in front of the front axle you silly man. HGVs have the engine at the front and must have the front wheels more forward and thus under the driver. It really would be far cheaper to ask do we really need road cycling?

Boardman's £10 per head apparently could be worth it because cyclists bring in £590 per head. However that will be by using all sorts of spurious claims, and not counting the costs to the community of impeding, and adding an unnecessary liability to major infrastructure. We wouldn't find any fiscal advantage to cyclists cycling along airport runways or railway lines would we so there is clearly a cost in road terms which isn't mentioned. Has the Committee checked the real costs of road cycling?

European cycling was mentioned quite a lot. Does anyone actually go there and see for themselves? see Europe Cycling. The myth     

Of course we have cycling towns too. But like those in Europe, not of the long distance racing style commuter but more of nice sedate upright local cycling. Our politicians would do well to note the difference. The faster people cycle, the more chance of accident and the worse the injuries too.  

Martin Vickers, (Cleethorpes) Sensibly pointed out that yes towns do need drivers.

Geffen's response was that 'Cyclists were good spenders' Oh so let's get rid of all the retail park car parks and just fit bike racks if cyclist turnover is that good. Pull down the multi story car parks and only allow cyclists, unable to carry large purchases or other spenders either for that matter, and see if our retailers liked it very much. What dishonesty or naïve statements to a select committee. Is this what our parliamentary committees allow unchallenged?

Geffen was asked to provide research to prove that the increase in shoppers in pedestrian precincts are cyclists. That's what he told the Committee. If his research isn't any better than the 'Speculations and assumptions' as Boardman called his own vague guesswork, or King's spurious polls, then the Committee should take it with a pinch of salt. Geffen's idea of a fact is 'Driving instructors tell him that they can tell students who cycle by the quality of their road sense'. Has that been scientifically studied? But since nearly all of us who take up driving because we already cycle and it isn't fit for our purpose, how can any driving instructor tell the difference?

Geffen and Boardman raised the old chestnut about health and how much money cycling saves the health service. We would challenge that but here we have and extraordinary claim by one pro cycling person from the BMA, a union, and on which so much pro cycling debate is based, See BMA thinks cycling death is worth it and On BMA reports Suffice to say there are much better and safer ways of getting exercise than road cycling. Obesity is more to do with, less sport, wrong diet, play stations, Internet and TV and all that can be cured without road cycling. If we want to reduce obesity we have more chance by getting people to do what they enjoy doing most and what is easiest for them.

Geffen on cycle lanes. He was asked By Adrian Sanders (Torbay)
Since  we are restricted with widths 'would you prefer no cycle lane at all or whatever could be fitted in if it was narrower?' To which he said 'If there is no space for dedicated cycle lanes and the road is busy then we must reduce traffic and slow it down' So we have to interfere and slow a major infrastructure? Good thing they don't cycle on railway tracks and airport runways then.

He then said 'We are not going to have much cycle use if we continue to assume that road space is predominantly for the motor vehicle.'   So having raised that point, The Committee must ask 'do we need cyclists on the road in 2014?' It's the cyclists, trying to raise their game, who are causing a focus on their activity. The answer could easily be 'cycle and get on with it or don't cycle, go away.'

But the biggest smile was the very last comment of the session. All asked by Madam Chair 'what they'd like to see?' Dear Edmund King could only think of the Awareness Courses that he and the AA run for profit. Business first for the AA then?

Did you note that Madam Chairman? We did.

Now why not call these witnesses back, recall their remarks and put all this to them? Is this really the best case the Cycle Lobby can make, and only then because they weren't challenged?

I am a cyclist by the way.

Note: Since this was posted, the Government is to allocate £650,000,000 a year to road cycling as a cycle manufacturer has demanded. 


Friday, 14 February 2014

Unqualified ideologists & profiteers are running our roads for honours too.

Honours & Parliamentary Committees

The first thing you must do is to look at our sister ship Drivers' Union on the subject of Royal Honours for road safety, where the recipients have no qualification, CV or background in this very serious life and death issue which also causes the prosecutions of many thousands of Her Majesty's subjects too, often for great profit or for other ideological agendas. In this instance, Rod King MBE the founder of 20s Plenty For Us. See DfT & anti driver honours 

Now bearing in mind that this is the same award that a long term community spirited person, like a well loved lollipop lady who, in all weathers, wind, snow and rain has diligently and cheerfully seen generations of kiddies and their mums safely across roads, or the similarly cheerful street sweeper and dinner lady who have spent three decades helping people to the extent that their community have put them forward for a thank you, what has Rod done for it? Well basically since 2004 he has taken it upon himself to run a campaign to turn most of our towns in 20 MPH Zones. This of course means lots of profit for the Speeding Industry; Cameras, maintenance, installation, signage, prosecutions, speed awareness courses and so on with of course less money for things we really need like, Hospitals, Nurses, Scanners, police, fire fighters etc. In short he wants to impose 20 Limits to where accidents do not happen instead of focussing on where they do and correcting the problems there. But his campaign and most of his support, is about an ideological anti driver anti car ideal which actually doesn't see the driver as, not only being the mainstay of society, keeping us alive, but actually increasing our life span too. 

Isn't it a coincidence then that Rod, no doubt believing his own nonsense, who is getting so much support when there is so much money to be made from drivers by all sorts of vested interests from his work, is given Royal Recognition? We have already queried other such anti driver awards too. See The road safety vested interests.  But what has come as a great shock to us, although we suspected it, is that it appears that officials of the DfT have revealed that they have been behind the Queen awarding her baubles to profiteers, the unqualified and people who want so many of her subjects put before the beak and even jailed too! Has anyone told her yet?

I will be raising this with MPs.

But now we find that Parliamentary Transport Committees seem to be only hearing unqualified witnesses with vested interests, and hidden agendas on matters road safety and driving too.

The Parliamentary Transport Committee have just sat to hear all about road cycling. It doesn't seem to have occurred to its secretaries that anything to do with road cycling will affect drivers and driving and that independent experts in road safety would be needed to bring a proper perspective to the issue. From what I can gather, now all patting themselves on their backs, the Cycle Lobby, for a minority group, seem to have been given the floor to themselves.

Who spoke for UK's 35 million drivers who are expected to steer around cyclists? No one? The Committee were no doubt led to believe that the AA are a drivers' association and that its media man, Edmund King is representative of drivers. Edmund rejoices in cycling and cyclists so is hardly impartial. In fact he and the AA believe in the prosecution (by many thousands) of perfectly safe drivers and the profiteering from that too. So they fix cars and plumbing and sell insurance and cycling gear, but how does that make them experts in road safety or road driving?  Or for that matter spokesmen for drivers? Was there one single independent non vested interest road safety or driving expert invited to tell this committee the truth about road cycling?


Edmund actually believes and says that there are 'two tribes' on the road and a war going on between cyclist and driver. Yes there are two tribes in the sense that, whereas society needs and depends on its 35 million drivers, it doesn't need cyclists on the road. By failing to acknowledge that simple reality, Edmund not only mischievously foments a war by and in cyclists but does a massive disservice to drivers and road safety itself. See Edmund stirs cyclist's pot and Our comments on his activities hereNo surprise that Edmund King of the AA is currently wallowing in the congratulations of the Cycle Lobby for his contribution 'as a driver' and clearly the Committee fell for it too.

So who did go and speak for drivers on this issue? What was their CV?

My Colleagues and I will now be raising all this because what we have is an honours system and a committee system that is currently the preserve of anti drive ideology and profiteering with no expertise. Any wonder that drivers can now be coerced into accepting guilt on the offer of no judicial process on payment of money to Limited Companies! How much worse can things get?    

Friday, 7 February 2014

Why four Twitter accounts? A fair question.

I am regularly asked why I run four Twitter accounts. Mostly I am ridiculed for doing so without the poster explaining what's so ridiculous about it or even knowing the reason for it.

Again to save my time I will use this blog for a once and for all history of the accounts and then just refer the Trolls to it.

Tweet Account 1: Keith Peat @BogTrotter1 Followers 163 Following 25

This was my very first foray into Twitter and not being IT savvy didn't appreciate that the user name is the address at the time. But the handle Keith Peat says it all. I am delighted that it currently has 106 followers. (More on followers later)

Tweet Account 2: Drivers East Midlands @EastMidsDrivers Followers 574 following 86

As the name implies this is east midlands drivers specific. As the East Midlands Co-ordinator of the ABD, Alliance of British Drivers, @TheABD, I was encouraged to create an East Midlands ABD account and indeed in its early days it was called that. We were also encouraged to develop our own web sites too. Again not being IT savvy I opted for a blog account for ease, and this used to be accessed by the URL and the two ran together. However the site manager and web master of the ABD began to insist on control over content which I resisted. The upshot of that was I kept control of all content but all reference to ABD had to be removed, including in URLs. So the twitter account and the blog were re-named and addressed. The Blog is now and the name of the group is now Drive Eastmidlands.  I do remain the East Midlands Coordinator of the ABD.

Tweet Account 3: Drivers Union @DriversUnion Followers 380 Following 50

When the Drivers' Union was formed some five years ago it made sense for it to have its own twitter account and of course its own web site. so both were created. But as most issues that affect drivers are not parochial and affect all, the Drive Eastmidlands Blog is ideal for regular comment on the latest issues for both groups. Drive Eastmidlands, although older is now subsidiary to Drivers' Union.

Twitter Account 4 Driver Hatred @Driver_Hatred Followers 251 Following 31

This account was set up in response to Cycle Hatred @CycleHatred who's purpose is to invent and perpetuate a war between drivers and cyclists. It has a following of household names who really should know better. It had not occurred to anyone that none of the rants against cyclists, which were being re-tweeted as evidence of drivers hatred towards cyclists, was no more than sticks and stones name calling, and drivers expressing their rights to be annoyed and indeed angry with cyclists. Neither has it occurred to some of these eminent fools that indeed cyclists themselves could and would invent some of it too. The worst case that set the cycle lobby in to spasms of ecstasy was the silly tweeter Emma Way, and even she hadn't deliberately driven into a cyclist.

So I opened Driver Hatred to show that most of the venom and bile, is that directed the other way, from cyclists to drivers. And it has worked as examples on this blog show. That Twitter account has that special purpose. To show where the silliness stems from in the cyclists hatred war.

Why do some tweets appear on three accounts simultaneously?

That is when I post an external publication or reference via Bitly because I want all followers to see it. If you follow more than one of the accounts it will appear on all.


It is very easy to follow far more people than actually follow you. In fact it is not uncommon to see an account with thousands of followers actually following thousands more. Yes I can easily increase my following by myself following many more people. I am selective. I only follow those who can assist the aims and am able to manage. The follower/following ratio of these tweet accounts then is excellent.   163/25 574/86 380/50 251/31 overall 1368 followers & following just 192. Last count an increase of 91 since 11/4/16 to 3/5/16

Monday, 3 February 2014

MotorWay Stealth?

I am not overly concerned about the idea of Motorway stealth speed cameras. I drive on the assumption that we are being timed on Motorways anyway, either by SPECs or mobile cameras and drive accordingly. I am far more concerned about inappropriate speed limits and the use of cameras to generate funds at the lower limits and at least there can be no misunderstanding, the Motorway limits are always pretty clear aren't they?

I will be concerned if these cameras are generating more Speed Awareness Courses run by profiteers and will be looking out for what margins of excess are being prosecuted.

Time will tell but for now it's the profiteering courses that bother me as, while they are an option, none of us can have any faith that any of this has anything to do with reducing speeding or accidents.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Angry Cyclists

Anyone who follows me will know that I don't attack people in my writing but challenge ideas and concepts. 

I am certainly easily able to state the case for drivers without attacking any individuals or groups. On occasion, I am bound to address issues originated by cyclists which concern drivers or if acted on could certainly affect drivers, but there is never any need to be personal about that.

Nor do I need to stalk people on their blog or twitter accounts either.

What is clear on these pages is that defending and being positive about drivers certainly brings out the worst in some cyclists. All of them are stalkers who are the first to call me a troll. How you can troll your own accounts is beyond me and the irony lost on them too. 

There is no fury like that of a cyclist, who imagines they've been scorned it seems.