War on Britain’s roads


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On Wednesday December 5th the BBC aired a programme called ‘War on Britain’s roads‘ where they were investigating the way Britain’s road users share the road, thought helmet camera footage from cyclists.

Ian Austin, the joint chairman of the Parliamentary Cycling Group and Labour MP for Dudley North, has attacked the documentary “The War on Britain’s Roads”, which claims a battle is raging between those who ride bikes and drivers. He calls it irresponsible nonsense.

Did the programme take the right approach? It certainly got the nation talking, which may not be a bad thing, but I am not sure that the issue was approached in a balanced way.

I was approached by BBC Radio Northampton to comment on the programmes approach, and the question, as always, was who’s fault is it? I asked the social networks before I went on air, to see what other people thought. I listened to some of the comments that were sent to the programme and read on air, and there seemed, on the whole, a balanced and fair argument on the topic (for once!) usually it’s jus an opportunity for the motorist to bad mouth the cyclists, and vibe versa. The main points raised by callers I agree with on the whole. Here is what they said:

  • There are idiot cyclists, but there are also idiot motorists
  • Both parties need to take responsibility, there is not one single answer
  • Both parties need to be punished with the full weight of the law
  • Cyclists are dangerous to pedestrians if they cycle on the pavements
  • Cycling proficiency should become law in order to buy a bike
  • Drivers should be tested incorporating cycling proficiency and the motorcycle CBT
  • Roads need to be maintained properly including cycle lanes
  • Cyclists should dress in a sensible visible fashion, and well lit
  • Helmets should be law
  • Earphones should be agains the law
  • HGV vehicles have a large blind spot, cyclists should ride safely with this in mind
  • We need to SHARE the road, and stop blaming each other

Here is the interview with Joe the presenter and myself:

 

What are your thoughts? How can we make the roads safer?

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