Forum Topic

Cycling is not in the same category of danger as driving is, which is why there are no compulsory tests to take, nor is there any need for one.Will you be asking for a horse riding test next for all those who are lucky enough to own a horse and dare to ride their horse on the road? Why is this anomaly always overlooked? Horses leave their dung on the road for others to clean up, but not a spiteful word is ever said of a horse rider.Do you argue that people should not be allowed to drive on a motorway unless they have been taught specific driving skills for a motorway? If not, why not?We could improve the driving test by making it mandatory for a learner driver to ride a bike for an hour in an urban environment, if only to be used as part of an awareness training exercise.We could make learning how to drive on a motorway a compulsory part of a driving course and be then tested on it before being given a licence.We could make the test massively harder to pass, by including small things like when to hold back for an oncoming vehicle to have enough room to easily pass.We need to make cycling more accessible to encourage people onto bikes and not put in deterrents, such as the ones commonly suggested by the likes of  Raymond, Simon, Nigel and Peter.To achieve this we have to make and have more friendly cycling infrastructure to support the less confident.Yes to encourage training, but councils already do this by providing free cycle training.We should make it mandatory for all drivers to use the terminology of 'vulnerable road user' when describing someone who pedals a bicycle. That phrase etched into someone's mind might make some less aggressive and far more considerate.I find it extremely ironic when drivers are caught out by using their phone whilst driving, other drivers will jump to the driver's defence by saying something along the lines of 'have you got nothing better to do with your life?'This remark from drivers suggests that the dangers of driving with a hand held phone are massively overstated. They are not.Probably the biggest gain to be had is if drivers start becoming more accepting of people who cycle. In a stroke that would make cycling a hell of a lot safer.

Ben Owen ● 25d

Any scheme is only as good as those who use them. And that is assuming the schemes are well designed clearly signed and do not have blind spots.  Far too many are a complete exercise in ticking boxes and underlined by riders who clearly have never taken nor passed a proficiency test pontificating without diligence. And not much credit to those receptive but gullible career chasers not savvy enough to understand the gap between what computer design can do and the reality of practicality.  ( Turning left from Little Ealing Lane into Windmill Rd is a clear example of stupidity of design with shrubs completely obscuring a crossing and the pavement area and cyclists who use the pavement and ride across the crossing. Only HGVs have a clear view. )Far too many of the cycling initiatives are equally hazardous and it is noticeable that diligent and able cyclists are amongst those who don't use them. They know when their own safety is compromised out of their control.It is still incredulous, that on a daily basis out on my bike I still see riders cycle up the inside of HGVs, ride within the blind spots of vehicles, not have a bell or mudguards on their bike ( which is a pain for other cyclists in the wet) worst of all those who guide children not even complying with the most fundamental of road regulations.Smooth pothole roads, clear markings and proper enforcement of those who have no sense or respect at all would go a massive way to making cycling better.Rather than daft and pointless money burning schemes, sorting out decades of street neglect from months of wet rotted leaves to potholes and poor surfaces and signage would be far better.And mandatory training and a Pass on a proficiency test before any child can ride on a live road. It might not be so Cool for a photocall the usual types and not so high profile, but those who do use a bike will notice.With a few exceptions riding locally is not as safe or as easy as it was over the last 40 years of riding locally ( when it was far busier and traffic a mix of congested or faster moving )  I am still very much a local rider and was never able to do long distances. Yet ironically, was able to run 5 and 10,000m cross country races!Never worked that out, purely down to physique.

Raymond Havelock ● 25d

As Pedestrians we need to be aware that there are some pavements which are dual use and they are marked as such - but not on the pavement but on a sign which when many of us are looking at the state of the pavement so as not to trip on any rocking or broken ones (often due to cars and lorries and vans pulling up onto them) is a big danger.Also there are one way roads which Cyclists are allowed to ride down against the flow of the traffic.  As Pedestrians we must never ever only look one way when crossing the road.  We have to maintain what we learnt when crossing many years ago as it will keep us in good stead because changes do happen.  Remember drivers can also carelessly reverse without looking  properly and sometimes do this at speed in order to move from a parking space to a place on the main carriageway. Buses can and should inform passengers that there is a floating bus stop and that they should be careful when they alight.  If they are not doing this then please contact TfL.Obviously not everybody pays attention or can hear well enough but there are some safeguards we can try to take as we get older.Cyclists need to read the Highway Code but so do Pedestrians - ie all Road Users need to keep up to date.  Drivers should not be passing Cyclists as close as many do and Cyclists should not be passing passing Pedestrians as close as many do.  More of them could and should use a bell to make a little noise (not make the Pedestrian jump out of their skin).  Remember that by a road what little noise a cycle may make can be drowned out by traffic. As we age we also find it harder to jump out of the way!The Highway Code is there for all of us and it would be better for us ALL if everyone also paid attention to the MAXIMUM speeds permitted in good conditions!And why don't Cyclists understand and adhere to the round red-rimmed No Cycling signs?  I think a survey of the general public is needed on that one!

Philippa Bond ● 29d