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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 07:34 
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:wink:

Ist the latest from the government.

In a bid to reduce the school run- (one in five cars have ONE child in them on way to school :roll: ) - the government plan to have a cycle lane route to every school in country und have pledged cash for cycle proficiency for ALL!

This seem to be a good idea - if you take a face value. They even name a figure... fifteen million pounds.

Hang on.. a moment...

I thought they said they had improved standards in Maths? :shock: :?

If you count up the number of schools in this country.. fifteen million pounds ist not going to buy of build that many cycle lanes. :roll:

If you reckon up the number of kittens attending these schools.. fifteen million pounds will not buy that many lessons in proper training to ride to the Highway Code.

Perhaps this could be funded better by...

fining all cyclists who currently flout red lights und ride on footpaths

Providing road safety by fining those who break the law..

:wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

That ist a novel idea then :wink: :wink: :wink:

Ach... Hark...

I hear the rumble of agitated fingers on all cycling fora up und down the country... the riff raff "at it again" :twisted: :twisted:

But then what ist good for the goose apply equally to the gander - nicht?

I jest of course :wink: But as more take to their bikes - raising revenue that way could be just a step away. After all they need to keep the cash cows a-milking! :wink:

But then to clear up school run... how about improving standard in all schools so that parents do not seek the school in leafy 'burb some miles away.

Und perhaps ensure all kids attend same schools - instead of different ones... :wink: Two cases highlighted in press regarding IDENTICAL five year olds who face most traumatic day of their young lives being separated not by classroom - but by school three miles apart! :roll: :roll: :? :shock: :x :furious:

Parent says they can walk to the first one .. but to get both children to these different schools on time require using the car

But back to the issue.. fifteen million pounds may sound a lot.. In reality - it will not buy much of what they plan.

Politishuns :roll: Ist a case of trying to be greener than thee :roll:

So I guess real point of this thread ist about getting the cash spends on decent road engineering to include a safe cycle lane facility built into these roads.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 09:08 
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WildCat wrote:
In a bid to reduce the school run- (one in five cars have ONE child in them on way to school :roll: ) - the government plan to have a cycle lane route to every school in country und have pledged cash for cycle proficiency for ALL!

This seem to be a good idea - if you take a face value. They even name a figure... fifteen million pounds.


This REALLY sickens me.

Kids are at far lower risk of injury in cars than on bikes.

So suppose they are successful and get kids out of cars and onto bikes. More will be killed or injured.

This scheme sacrifices system safety for transport ideology. How dare they!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:42 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Kids are at far lower risk of injury in cars than on bikes.

So suppose they are successful and get kids out of cars and onto bikes. More will be killed or injured.

This scheme sacrifices system safety for transport ideology. How dare they!

Hmmm ... IMO, yes and no.

Yes, right now, with most kiddywinkies doing the school run in cars. Just before school start and just after school close, most of the traffic near schools is on the school run. So, replace all those cars with bikes and I suspect system safety would improve somewhat. Of course, those kiddywinkies could still crash and so they probably would not be safer on their journeys to and from school, but at least they'd be getting some exercise and I suspect that their overall "whole of life" safety would improve.

Yes, unless there is some concerted effort (and fifteen million isn't even going to scratch the surface) this will remain a pipe dream.

However, I've had what I think is a better idea for some time. Except for residents' access, ban vehicle movements near all schools for an hour either side of start and close times. In concert with this, create "drop and ride" schemes so that parents drop their offspring at designated pickup points and children are bussed through the exclusion zone. This will need some fine tuning - for example, where a school is close to a through route you'd need to allow traffic through but prevent stopping to drop off children. This will also reduce motor traffic near schools and so make the roads safer for the student cyclists.

Since my suggestion is veering off-topic, I've started a new thread here for anyone who wants to discuss it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:44 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Kids are at far lower risk of injury in cars than on bikes.

and safer still in buses... don't hear you calling for more PT Paul.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:16 
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johnsher wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
Kids are at far lower risk of injury in cars than on bikes.
and safer still in buses...


Actually I have my doubts about that. With buses there's always a pedestrian phase which is statistically quite dangerous for kids, and then buses are one of the most dangerous vehicles to expose pedestrians to. The 'on the bus' phase is very low risk, but that's too small a part of the picture.

johnsher wrote:
don't hear you calling for more PT Paul.


No. And you probably never will. Safe Speed stands for road safety - trying to get the system to work as well as possible. 'Modal shift' is a political objective, not a safety one.

Anyway, my present opinion is that modal shift is highly unlikely to improve system safety.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 23:08 
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willcove wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
Kids are at far lower risk of injury in cars than on bikes.

So suppose they are successful and get kids out of cars and onto bikes. More will be killed or injured.

This scheme sacrifices system safety for transport ideology. How dare they!

Hmmm ... IMO, yes and no.

Yes, right now, with most kiddywinkies doing the school run in cars. Just before school start and just after school close, most of the traffic near schools is on the school run. So, replace all those cars with bikes and I suspect system safety would improve somewhat. Of course, those kiddywinkies could still crash and so they probably would not be safer on their journeys to and from school, but at least they'd be getting some exercise and I suspect that their overall "whole of life" safety would improve.



We really have to work on getting people to ride comeptently and safely. A lot of bikes jockeying for position on narrow bike lanes trying to reach their school could also pose problems.

Think about it.. school of say 1200 students and if 800 of these choose to cycle - and add on the kids at the feeder primaries and the rival secondary ..and you have an awful lot of scop from crashes and falls.


Having been on duty at football matches at some stage in my career, I'd never underestimate the sheer power of a mass crowd, even a peaceful and fairly well disciplined one, in one place.


Thus - we would need to ensure all cyclists could cope with a congestion - at present they are not faced with this .. but with volume of traffic.. volume of two wheeled traffic spilling out into a rather confined cycle lane at one and the same time in the day.. :scratcchin: training would have to be designed to cope with this.


.(we have an independent and a church High School within a mile radius of one main non-denomination comp, each has between 800 and 1200 students. :yikes:)

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Yes, unless there is some concerted effort (and fifteen million isn't even going to scratch the surface) this will remain a pipe dream.


Which is why this sum is rather derisory in terms of the training required and the number and width of paths needed.


So I think we should be looking in reality at a mix of decent , reasonably priced public transport for ALL, proper school bus services similar to that offered in the USA and Oz, attendance at nearest school to home - preferably within walking distance, as well as encouraging cycling to school for those who want to.

Of course - continuous dollops and refreshers of the Green Cross Code and Highway Code in general would feature highly in my "vision" of decent education in schools - along with spelling out safety led COAST riding which then spills over to rding and driving :wink:


As for the rest of your post will - :clap: 8-)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:21 
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If experiences with our local council, Darlington, are anything to go by this initiative is just posturing and completely lacking in common-sense.

One of the reasons they wanted to close our high-performing secondary school in Hurworth and merge it with the lowest-performing school in the town on a new council-owned site was so that "the vast majority of students would be within walking or cycling distance" of the new school. This town has loads of money for encouraging people out of their cars - "Do the Local Motion" is the title of the campaign, make what you will of that :)

In reality the vast majority of kids are either driven to and from school by their parents or arrive on school buses. Occasionally you see a kid on a bike coming from the town to school here - it invariably means they have been banned from the school bus. The principal road from town is twisty with an NSL limit and is rendered pretty hazardous by the locals - I invariably ride a longer route involving a straight single-track road and a long straight two lane road - the traffic is faster but they don't come upon you unawares. There is no way this council will pay for a footpath even though a jogger was killed on the road a few years back, so neither will they build a cycle path.

When you add to that the quoted cost of building such a facility incorporates the cost of design and the wages of staff that are already paid for via the council tax, £15M goes nowhere. To put it into perspective it's what a new secondary school costs.

Am I a cynic or a realist? :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:43 
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To give you some idea of the cost of dedicated cycle paths separated from the road, one was recently approved near where I work. It was said to be 1.4 miles long and costed at £400,000. (I don't know if this included the cost of buying the land.)

Your £15M won't go very far.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 13:07 
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This is my first post. I'm not a troll!

I've a few problems with this post.

Why does the government need to build cycle paths, there's lots of them, there called roads! These are safe, if used properly by both cyclists and the car drivers. I've been cycling in London nearly every day for 2 years and have not had an accident. I do however avoid potential accidents every single day that are being caused by incompetent drivers.

I agree with Paul when he says that we should fine the RLJers and pavement cyclists, as long as this goes with the RLJers in the cars who I see every day, and even the driver who had the cheek to sound his horn at my wife and I as we walked down the pavement (there was a long cue of traffic that he couldn't be bothered waiting in)

Also, why does it cost so much for children to go through their cycling proficiency test. When I did it, it was done by our primary school teacher during school hours. Their TEACHERS, they should make it part of the curriculum.

I used to have to cycle past 3 schools on my commute. The standard of driving by the parents in their 4X4's used to make me laugh. It might be safer for the kids (which I don't actually agree with) but you have to actually get them there in the first place. Miles of traffic all snarled up every morning, because parents are over protective of their children. My parents were satisfied my with my brother's and my own road sense that they would allow us to cycle on the roads unsupervised at around the age of 8.

Take the school of 1200 pupils, if 800 decided to cycle, that could be a possibilty of say 500 cars less on the roads to school in the mornings, that's a lot cars.

Lastly, no wonder most people have soft, fat little porky kids. "he might fall off his bike" so what! kids are meant to fall off things, it's what makes them learn!!!!!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 21:37 
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Bewildered wrote:
This is my first post. I'm not a troll!


:welcome:

You'll find we are quite a nice friendly bunch really.. we may indulge in the odd bit of fun, banter and leg pulling - but we are gents on here.

:yikes: forgot the L-L-Ladies too.. my wife, redrose and a few others.

Quote:
I've a few problems with this post.

Why does the government need to build cycle paths, there's lots of them, there called roads! These are safe, if used properly by both cyclists and the car drivers.


That's part of the problem which we are trying to debate. If all behave to the Highway Code and we begin to regain the self discipline of courtesy and basic good manners - then we have little conflict.

However, we are all more than painfully aware on this site that most of the carnage on our roads are caused by a handful of yobs.. not qualified to drive and not even capable of riding a bicycle without causing distress to another road user either. :roll: :furious: :banghead:


Also .. we have another problem to address in the same way as we addressed our embracing of the motor car by introducing a set of rules and laws in that sales of bikes have increased by one heck of a margin in the last couple of years. This sadly accounts perhaps for the upsurge in cycling KSI as more people on bikes.. means ultimately and may inevitably .. more scope for accidents to occur. We thus need to ensure those who take to bicycles to beat congestion charges (main reason per a recent Halfords/Insurance company poll) and fear of terrorist targetting of public transport (another reason put forward - so not so much being green and hip then :wink: ) .. but we need to ensure these people are safe. After all it's some years perhaps since they did a cycling proficiency and traffic and road conditions are on a continual change.

Bewildered (but I hope not for long wrote:
I've been cycling in London nearly every day for 2 years and have not had an accident.


Um - that's what those who recieve an NIP for nit picking blips of 34/36 mph say ... or "10%+2 " at other speeds.

Oh ... I think luck plays a part sometimes. Reason why I say this.. had my wife set out 5 minutes earlier or later... would have been someone else and not her who was hit. However, my wife is quite a lady .. stoic and determined .. like my fave pro Emma (and yep .. she does look a bit like my sister-in-law and hair apart .. a little like my wife as well in superficial facial feature .. perhaps that is another reason why I follow her career with a lot of interest. ) But anyway .. luck does play a part. Another reason why I mention "Lady Luck and her mate Kismet" ;).

February 2004. About 6 pm. M61 motorway. Wildy had driven up after joining M61 after picking up her parents from the airport. I followed and caught up with her .. tucking in behind her as I'd been supervising a patied I'd referred to the heart transplant team in Wythenshawe. (Lurgies attack the heart muscle.. :roll: :cry: )

About 15 minutes after we passed this spot.. two drivers had their lives seriously changed from pleasant to completely traumatised - together with the immediate family of a 13 year old girl who decided to emulate some yobs she knew by running across the busy motorway.. :cry: :roll:

Now had either of us had been delayed.. could just as easily have involved us and NO.. C O A S T does not prepare you for a chav ladette being - put it bluntly - plain daft. Her parents cannot comprehend why she did this either for record. They came across in the media reports as very decent and terribly shocked and upset that their child did this. If they happen on this site .. I am sure they understand my point of view and as a father myself .. I do still offer condolences as feist prebuescent teenager can be absolute HELL to reason with at times.. I admit there have been the odd occasion when I have thrust my hands deep into my trouser pockets with a couple of very belligerent fosters and even my own "terrible twins" in the past (my second son.. had to have a little chat about dealing with girls, sex. safe sex, treating girls as he'd expect another boy to treat his sisters - for example and smoking :roll: .. and I have asked myself some hard soul searching questions as to whether I dealt with it correctly too.


Bewildered whom I hope will not be for long and would like to see more of too as he comes across as a thoroughly nice gent wrote:
I do however avoid potential accidents every single day that are being caused by incompetent drivers.


Defensive COAST type cycling :clap: How I wish we focussed on COAST and improving skills instead of the rather blinkered road safety policy we have at present.. :roll:

Bewildered and I hope he's no longer so wrote:
I agree with Paul when he says that we should fine the RLJers and pavement cyclists, as long as this goes with the RLJers in the cars who I see every day, and even the driver who had the cheek to sound his horn at my wife and I as we walked down the pavement (there was a long cue of traffic that he couldn't be bothered waiting in)


Oh please let this be the case.. and as my wife pointed out.. perhaps they should ringmark this cash to pay for decent cyclist training and facilities. Yeah .. I know it's controversial and some people somewhere will rage about my opinion here.

But if speed cams are funded by drivers who break the law by a minor infringement .. then by the same logic.. given more people are taking to bikes and by virtue of number creating a new hazard or danger to other road users . .. then we have to apply the rules more stringently than we did before . .. and we could use this milk cow cash to fund genuine road safety projects.

You know :wink: taste of the same medicine the mililtant advocate for others :wink:

Guess it mirrors PeterE's post in the early days of this forum regarding training and and lower fines to be "careful about what we wish for"

Wish lists have a "sting in the tail" as no government wants to look a gift "creamy gold top milky cow in the proverbial mouth"

Quote:
Also, why does it cost so much for children to go through their cycling proficiency test. When I did it, it was done by our primary school teacher during school hours. Their TEACHERS, they should make it part of the curriculum.


Um... I have one brother and three sisters who are teachers. My wife has two cousins who are teachers. ]

I will blow the family trumpet in that these people are truly committed to road safety and I know for fact that Jessika (Swiss and a headteacher of her school) sacrificed a tennis and swimming session to her Year 7 to accommodate road safety and cycling proficiency to second phase fo CTC National Standard. My brother and sisters in the State sector did follow Jessika's standard - and my other sister who teaches in a leading Independent School booked courses with a CTC approved company called Bike Right as part of the "end of term jollies"

The school which my own brood attend follow a similar pattern . My fosters attend State school as prescribed by the authorities. If I had my way.. given both are with me long term.. I'd willingly pay for them to be educated with my own and adopted kids ... :roll: But the roaad safety programme on offer is woefully inadequate .. :banghead:


I know Steve and his JJ pals cannot comment about this now. A shame as I know they'd be appalled and would try to address this. I have written to them ... and Steve et al.. if you lurk .. grateful for contacts re the really stupid cycle lanes and we appear to be at a standstill on common sense there. :roll: :wink:

[quote="Bewildered and I do not blame him for being bewildered"
I used to have to cycle past 3 schools on my commute. The standard of driving by the parents in their 4X4's used to make me laugh. It might be safer for the kids (which I don't actually agree with) but you have to actually get them there in the first place. Miles of traffic all snarled up every morning, because parents are over protective of their children. [/quote]

Costs me £400 per child - includes the current two fosters to a state school ....I pay for my own.. and adopted at an Independent here - as they need the non pee-cee discipline :wink: I know my genes and my wife's genes :lol: ) to send by bus. Next year - or as soon as twins pass L-test.. they will take turns at ferrying our brood to and from school.


We bought our eldest a fairly decent second hand Astra when he was in his final year at school. I have to treat the twins in the same way. As you can appreciate.. twins cost me double anyway and I could make them share one car.. but they'd see this as "unfair" given I run a car for their older brother. I will thus run a car for each of them - but insist they take turns at the school run. I am honour bound to treat each of my children in the same caring fashion.

It can be a costly hell to be a fair parent :roll: :wink:

Quote:
My parents were satisfied my with my brother's and my own road sense that they would allow us to cycle on the roads unsupervised at around the age of 8.


I think I have brought up all my children and the fosters to have a very decent understanding of road safety.

Like IG .. I used to walk.. ride .. and sometimes take the bus to school. I loved the independence and trust my parents placed in me.

A lot depends .. I think on distance and route. My kids are relatively safe because we are in a rural area as well.

But.. I think we have to be aware of potential dangers all the same and individual perception will affect choices. We are eachg unique as IG pointed out as to how we perceive potential danger.

Quote:
Take the school of 1200 pupils, if 800 decided to cycle, that could be a possibilty of say 500 cars less on the roads to school in the mornings, that's a lot cars.


I will not disagree .. but it;s also a lot of bikes and we have to establish some ground rules as to how to cope and be safe with so many bikes in one limited area . as IG pointed out in his post.. :wink:


Hence .. we need training and skills which can cope with this .. and it's not anti-cycling to say so. I am very much pro-cycling..

I am, however, very very much pro safety and common sense (in my opinion :wink: :wink: ) with regard to all cycling profiency and motoring issues.

Quote:
Lastly, no wonder most people have soft, fat little porky kids. "he might fall off his bike" so what! kids are meant to fall off things, it's what makes them learn!!!!!!!


:clap:

My kids are not afraid of a bit of blood and a sticky plaster. It's part and parcel of growing up and developing an immune system, survival awareness and common sense. :wink:

Bewildered .. :welcome: :clap: :bow:

I look forward to reading more of your common sense values. :bow: :clap:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 23:41 
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Our village school doesn't need a bike lane, it does however need somewhere for all the bikes to be put, and secured if that happened there would be lots of kids going on bikes.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 09:58 
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Mad Moggie.

I am flattered at the length of your response. I was expecting this to be more of as petrolhead forum, but have been pleasantly surprised by most of the threads and comments. There are however a few worrying aspects to the forum, but I think I'll stick around.

Thanks for the welcome. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:37 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
So suppose they are successful and get kids out of cars and onto bikes. More will be killed or injured.

This scheme sacrifices system safety for transport ideology. How dare they!


I'm not sure I agree with that.

Teaching children good road sense, teaching them how to cycle instead of reliance on cars and parents - I don't think there would necessarily be an increase in injuries or deaths. There may actually be an overall reduction in fatalities if you have a generation of children who understand how to use the roads correctly, and a generation of motorists who see cyclists as responsible road users rather than pests.

/cyclist mode off


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:41 
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Parrot of Doom wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
So suppose they are successful and get kids out of cars and onto bikes. More will be killed or injured.

This scheme sacrifices system safety for transport ideology. How dare they!


I'm not sure I agree with that.

Teaching children good road sense, teaching them how to cycle instead of reliance on cars and parents - I don't think there would necessarily be an increase in injuries or deaths. There may actually be an overall reduction in fatalities if you have a generation of children who understand how to use the roads correctly, and a generation of motorists who see cyclists as responsible road users rather than pests.

/cyclist mode off


I think it depends really on the motivations of those pushing the scheme. It seems to me that DfT are more motivated by transport ideology, whereas a pure motive might be 'let's make all aspects of the system as good as we can'. It's the imbalance in the DfT's approach that makes me believe that they are willing to sacrifice kids. For example, I believe that they will use cycle lanes to reduce road space for other vehicles - deliberately making driving conditions more difficult.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:46 
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Well ideology is all well and good, but needs to be backed up by real improvements and not token gestures :)

Many cycle lanes in this country are useless, however there are some instances where they are valuable. A long straight road that is busy with traffic, and that has no junctions - cycle lanes work well here as motorists tend to tailgate on such roads, and cannot see cyclists in time to avoid them. Segregating cyclists from vehicles is IMO a good idea in these instances.

I think for your average inner city school this scheme might not be a workable idea, but for a small town or village school it could be excellent.

Ironically, education is the key, and thats what we're all arguing for anyway :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:03 
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Parrot of Doom wrote:
Well ideology is all well and good, but needs to be backed up by real improvements and not token gestures :)

Many cycle lanes in this country are useless, however there are some instances where they are valuable. A long straight road that is busy with traffic, and that has no junctions - cycle lanes work well here as motorists tend to tailgate on such roads, and cannot see cyclists in time to avoid them. Segregating cyclists from vehicles is IMO a good idea in these instances.

I think for your average inner city school this scheme might not be a workable idea, but for a small town or village school it could be excellent.

Ironically, education is the key, and thats what we're all arguing for anyway :)


Yeah.

A bit more background. My personal 'ideology' in the area is that everyone should be free to choose the best transport mode for each and every journey. The government act as facilitators of those choices - no more and no less.

I certainly don't believe that it's the role of government to restrict free choice.

The Safe Speed campaign's official position is simply: "safety first", and will always stay well away from 'ideology' discussions.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 17:54 
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We mustn't forget that regardless of the risks the more people who take to the roads using a different method of transport to the car, the more they will understand the perspective of other road users and that can only be of great benefit to society as a whole. So on yer bike! :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:36 
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Hmmmmm.... just two questions:

mumsy taking cherub to school in a 4x4 is safer for who? The kids walking and cycling?

So because there are such bad drivers on the road, kids should be discouraged from cycling? Should we not, as you say, prosecute people who break the law? i.e. drivers who speed, drive without due care and attention, etc etc etc?

Such an excellent example of victim-blaming!!!!!!!!! I would never have seen this board as being so 'PC'!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:05 
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nanki_poo wrote:
mumsy taking cherub to school in a 4x4 is safer for who? The kids walking and cycling?

So because there are such bad drivers on the road, kids should be discouraged from cycling? Should we not, as you say, prosecute people who break the law? i.e. drivers who speed, drive without due care and attention, etc etc etc?

Forget drivers who speed. Speeding is an offence of expedience and nobody yet has been harmed from a driver who was speeding but driving at a safe and appropriate speed for the conditions. Concentrate instead on dangerous driving and driving without due care and attention.

That said, while you are theoretically correct, pragmatically you could not be more wrong. Put it this way, are you going to be the first to sacrifice your child on a matter of principle? Until we get motorists out of the "driving by numbers" ethos and into driving for the conditions, the roads will never be as safe as they should be for cyclists (and pedestrians where on roads without pavements).

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:46 
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Astounding.

You actually think that because drivers cannot control their cars, children should be prevented from cycling.

Bad driving has nothing to do with any 'ethos' except for the arrogance of people who think that everyone should drive cars to protect themselves, and if they don't they essentially deserve it if they die. :?

I have no children, but recall walking and cycling to school throughout my childhood, between one and six miles!!!

I think some on here might need to take deep breaths after hearing those heady distances...


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