Tuesday 18 October 2011

TfL - caring about cyclists

Whilst away on holiday last week, I note a few developments in the world of cycling in London.

In amongst the schemes that have been announced by TfL, a couple drew my attention

The first is the Stratford cycle challenge. Initially I thought this might be some kind of contest where cyclists went round and round the multi-lane gyratory with the winner being the last to be knocked off by speeding cars - some kind of cycling version of Tron. But no, it is actually a 100 mile event cycling from Stratford E London to Stratford-Upon-Avon. It does say the number of riders will be limited, and I assume this is because there are only a certain number of people stupid brave enough to cycle around Stratford (E. London) Gyratory. 

The second was a story on the BBC about TfL offering a reward scheme for people cycling and walking instead of driving. Apparently it uses the GPS facility in a smart-phone to log journeys and this will rack up points for discounts and promotions.

Both jolly promotions showing how much TfL cares for the cyclist.

Except are we satisfied? It would appear not! Surely what else do we want?

There is the LCC now demanding all sorts of impractical things, like a Blackfriars bridge that is actually cycling and people friendly. There are even blogs such as cyclists in the city promoting demonstrations against the current TfL schemes which prioritise important motorists, and leave cyclists to fend for themselves and pedestrians to cross using multiple islands.

Then there are pesky sites such KingsCrossEnvironment which are digging up all sorts of information under FoI which TfL would prefer didn't see the light of day. Documents which show TfL had audits predicting casualties on certain roads as "inevitable" due to the layout encouraging aggressive driving and speeding. And then the blog has the temerity to think that maybe TfL should be held account when the "inevitable" happens and vulnerable road users die on said roads. Surely we need to realise that squeezing as much private traffic as quickly as possible through dense urban areas is of upmost importance?!

Us cyclists are really a grumpy lot. We are not content with some discounts for using our bicycles, but actually want roads fit for cycling as well?! What next, moon on a stick?

I for one will be very grateful for my discount points earned whilst dodging speeding traffic on the A11 bow flyover, or being close passed on the A10 at Stamford Hill, or harassed by taxis whilst in "their" bus lane. I think we should simply be happy with this and not questioning why TfL believes a points-means-prizes gimmick will encourage cycling whilst they continue to pursue a policy of marginalising cycling on the roads. 

1 comment:

  1. Clearly the holiday has not improved your grumpiness any :)