I’m being kept awake and was catching up on Facebook when I read this ridiculous article:

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9201293.___Cycle_on_the_roads_or_else/

The Facebook post asked for comments. I wrote this in response:

SO many things wrong with the comments from the police.

First of all I’m totally with Andy, cyclists should obey the law. There’s no excuse for illegally cycling on the pavement and scaring pedestrians. BUT…

We might want to ask WHY cyclists feel a need to do this. Is it because Cricklade Road is narrow and congested, but also a key link in the cycle routes from Stratton into town? Punishing cyclists is all well and good but what’s being done to make cycling on the roads safer? Are there plans to put an alternative cycle route in? Or to make a decent amount of space on Cricklade Road for cyclists?

We may also want to consider road safety again. The article says there have been no accidents involving bikes. The other day I read this:

“In Swindon between summer 2008 and summer 2011, 2,322 cars were in accidents resulting in 10 fatalities and 186 serious injuries.”

We might like to consider if it’s a good use of police time cracking down on the non-existent threat of cyclists and spending some time pulling over some of the shockingly bad motorists who pose a real threat to everyone. People who use mobiles while driving; people who speed; perhaps the guy who overtook me on Croft Road because I’d slowed down to give a cyclist room.

Finally get get the police to stop putting the burden of road safety on to vulnerable users. It’s all well and good telling cyclists to wear helmets and hi-viz (which MIGHT protect you somewhat in a collision with a vehicle), but who’s telling motorists to look out for cyclists, to give cyclists room, to drive carefully in residential areas.

Like so many articles about cycling, this one is ALL backwards, it both blames cyclists for being a threat and tells them that they’re vulnerable and need to protect themselves using every measure available.

Cycling is a safe, healthy, efficient and clean mode of transport. If you really want safer streets go tackle the real issue of motoring, and make cycling as easy as possible.