Cyclist deaths in London?
372 cyclists were killed or seriously injured last year on the roads your article says. Most of them from stopping at red lights to then be run over by drivers not paying attention. A recent report concluding this cannot be published because it demonstrated that riding through red is sometimes safer than stopping for it. The observation in your article that women DO stop for lights is also reflected in the death toll; most are women cyclists.
If I would have a pound for every pedestrian that crossed the road without looking or waiting for their green light and walking straight into my path while cycling I would be rich. And if I would have a penny for every car/van/hgv driving fool that did not indicate, went through red, made a dangerous manoeuvre or swerved into my path while cycling I would be even richer. How about solutions that are best for everyone and not just drivers and to a lesser extent pedestrians? Look at how Denmark and The Netherlands deal with cycling for good ideas. And don't rely on any politician here in the UK, including Livingstone, to come up with the goods they promised. I have yet to see a solution to road problems in London that benefits green long-distance commuting - i.e. cycling. I think cyclist-bashing has gone on for way too long here in the UK. When will people finally realise they are the solution not the problem? Does oil really need to run out first, forcing drivers onto bikes before all blinkered people finally awaken? Angry cyclist Evening Standard comment
Cycling in rural areas
What more can one say? The deaths are for London which is still one of the largest cities on Earth, motorists are not supposed to drive at more than 30mph so what's wrong? It could be argued that even if a motorist was caught exceeding the 30 mph limit they would be unlikely to be prosecuted unless they exceeded 35 mph. But even more worrying about these appalling statistics is what if you live in the country? What protection have you got? Nothing, except for your helmet, reflective clothing, lights and the good sense of the motorist. The national speed limit is 60 mph whilst many rural roads are not safe to drive along at 20 mph let alone 60. The cyclist in rural areas really has to depend on motorist's driving sensibly. The trend though is that that motorists tend to drive faster than they should and use their brakes when they see a cyclist or other road user this behaviour is intimidating for cyclists and others who feel unsafe. The safety of the public, whether they be pedestrians or cyclists or other vulnerable road users really depends on the response of the motorist. But to get back to London.
Barclays Cycle Superhighways
Since the article in the Evening Standard which was published in January 2008 Boris Joohnson himself a keen cyclist and the Mayor of London has supported the introduction of Cycle Superhighways. Cycle Superhighways
The 12 routes will cost 22 million pounds, that's a lot of money! There is more to it than simply painting part of the road bright blue. Road users, for example will be able to hire a bike and return it to one of 400 locations in the city centre.
When the vast majority of people would be unable to get to work if they cycled or travelled by horseback as it takes too long, the presence of cyclists is regarded by many, particularly in rural areas as a nuisance to those who need to get to work and want to get home. <to be continued>