Corking blogpost from Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester. If only Labour politicians read it!
There is a whole road safety industry out there that seems to treat people who walk and cycle as vermin to be removed from the road. The latest incarnation of this in the local area is the campaign from the Greater Manchester Casualty Reduction Partnership.
The attitude towards people like us can be seen in this line advising drivers:-
You might think you know the roads but every day new hazards appear; road works, pedestrians and cyclists so make sure you pay attention.
So the Greater Manchester Casualty Reduction Partnership regard pedestrians and cyclists as “hazards” alongside roadworks. To them we are no different from traffic cones or holes in the road!
The whole approach is to push blame towards the victims and young drivers, rather than enforcing road traffic law and reducing traffic speed and levels.
Worst of all is the advice for “cyclists”
Remember that cycle lanes are there to help you and when you need to make sure you share the road.
Don’t go unseen make sure your wearing high visibility clothing and always wear a helmet.
Cycle lanes are there to help you? Not round here they aren’t, most of the cycle lanes in Manchester are CRAP!
Many are even downright dangerous.
As for Hi-Viz and Helmets, they are both causes for concern and may actually be counterproductive. The case for Hi-Viz is demolished by the Road Danger Reduction Forum as yet more victim blaming, and the case against cycle helmets has always been clear, as collated by the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation.
Of course neither are a legal requirement on our roads and promoting either of them actually discourages people from cycling, with all the consequent health risks of inactivity.
This campaign is doing nothing to improve the safety on our roads. We desperately need better road traffic law enforcement in Greater Manchester. Every day I walk down Deansgate I see drivers openly flouting the law and endangering lives… Here a bus goes straight through a red, long after the other direction has gone green.
It is time to properly enforce road traffic law and take the dangerous drivers off the roads, not blame their victims.
Surely, the main problem must be the sheer volume of traffic on the roads? On the TV the other night there was a programme in which the presenter was talking to camera in the middle of a village in rural Sussex – a village which was probably a sleepy hamlet 30 or 40 years ago. I estimated that, in the 5 or so minutes that the presenter was talking, around one car per second went past him. The next day I tried crossing a road in Chorlton (with no pedestrian crossing nearby) and it must have taken me 7 or 8 minutes because of the volume of traffic. This is another of those situations which has crept up on us and no-one has noticed – and you have to be an old git, with a long memory, like me, to realise that, traffic-wise, we’re in ‘deep shit’ territory now. More and more traffic must mean more and more accidents (let alone the damage to the environment)?