This site is not intended to personally insult those who work at the UK’s Department for Transport or other transport authorities, though it is intended to prod them, criticise them, and make them think about what it is they are doing.

They draw up lots of rules which means that the UK’s roads are pretty much uniform wherever you go. They draw up nice diagrams set in some kind of 1950s Peter & Jane book, where drivers follow all the rules all the time, and everyone is nice to each other and gets home for tea safely. If only the world really was like this!

Unfortunately, something goes wrong somewhere in the transition from fantasy perfect rule-world to the gritty urban streets we live on. Rules are ignored, not just by road users but also by road designers, engineers, installers, local councils, etc. Why does this happen? Can the UK’s street-designer’s rule-book be modified or improved?

We’ve got low road casualty rates in the UK but at great cost – our freedom. Children aren’t allowed to play in residential streets because they’re used as rat-runs; asthma and other respiratory illnesses are on the rise; and maybe the increase in obesity has something to do with successive governments promotion of the private car above all other forms of transport?

This isn’t an anti-car blog, or an anti-taxi blog, or an anti-DfT blog. I should wear my heart on my sleeve and say that the DfT should wipe their hard drives and copy whatever their equivalent in the Netherlands is doing. They have an even lower road accident rate than the UK, and also have the happiest, healthiest children in the developed world (the UK is at the bottom), and strange as it seems, it has a lot to do with the way their towns and cities are arranged.

I am not a cyclist, I am a free man!

I am not a cyclist, but I do sometimes ride a bike.

Nor am I a motorist, but I do sometimes drive a van.

Nor am I a pedestrian, though I frequently walk.

I am not a train-spotter or a bus enthusiast, but I often use public transport.

I am a reasonable man, I do not define myself by the transport I use.

I can see that the bicycle — in its sensible, practical common Dutch form rather than the usual British sporting equipment — is a much misunderstood tool in the UK.

I can see that it presents a solution, or is part of a solution, to many modern day ills: alzheimers, dementia, obesity, heart disease, asthma. Traffic congestion, the school run, horrible high-streets, fuel costs.

And I can see that everyone can benefit from better streets and roads: Parents and children, students, workers, people with disabilities, the elderly.

(There is more to say but I’ll finish this later. – 19th January 2013)

One response to “About

  1. I recently attended the The Times/Sustrans Mayoral Debate and I think that the contempt that Boris showed for Cyclists was clear for all to see.
    I think that his contempt for Pedestrians is probably the same.
    In noticed a press release yesterday which showed that serious injuries to cyclists and pedestrians in London were up by 21% and that 9 of the 16 cyclists deaths involved HGVs.
    In 2010 BEFORE the Mayors Air Quality strategy, information was given to the Mayor for his consultation process which suggested a peak time delivery ban for HGVs, which would have significantly reduced pollution. If this ban had been implemented many of the cyclists deaths and serious injuries would have been avoided.
    The campaign for a Public Inquiry into the failed Air Quality strategies of The Mayor and TFL will expose why no proper action has been taken to reduce pollution in London. The pollution issue is something that will be of concern to many cyclists, but in addition a Public Inquiry will scrutinize ALL of the failed actions of TFL which should include the failed strategies with regards to cycling safety. In order to reduce pollution it is important to enable cycling in a safe way.
    There are many simple and effective strategies which could be implemented to improve cycling safety and enable cycling in London.
    Some ideas include enclosed elevated cycle routes and better facilities for taking bikes on trains and tubes.
    Your support for this campaign would be greatly appreciated. It would be great if your groups in each area would email their members perhaps or if you have a central email? Would you be able to post something on your website perhaps?
    Regards Dave Davies

    Please support this ePetition ;Please sign it and forward this email to as many people as you can and post it on websites
    This is the only way to take action.

    Responsible department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
    A Public Inquiry will expose all that has taken place and establish exactly why thousands of people have died. The Mayor/TFL have failed to comply with Public Law and to reduce emissions in London and as a direct result 4267 people a year have died. Thousands more suffer poor health and a diminished quality of life and continue to do so on a daily basis. Children walking to school and cyclists are breathing toxic pollution. The Environmental Audit Committee critical report of the failed Air Quality standards in London and Government attempts to force action have been ignored. Many Assembly Members and Politicians have asked for action and none is taken; there has been no accountability whatsoever. The Mayor /TFL have tried to cheat Air Quality measurements The EU could impose fines of £300 million . There could be severe pollution during the Olympics, Valid ideas have been ignored i.e. a peak time delivery ban or a clean up process for diesel vehicles, conversion of taxis to electric power.

    I would like to ask if you would support our campaign which is for a Public Inquiry into the deaths in London from pollution?

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