Monday, 24 May 2010
Cambridge. A crash and the public response
It's become quite common for cyclists in the UK to video their cycling in order to catch evidence of motorists misdemeanors. This video from Cambridge shows how a cyclist is hit by a car while cycling, and the remarkably unsympathetic response of the average BBC Look East (local news TV programme in Cambridge) viewer...
I used to commute along roads very near here myself when I lived in Cambridge, and just like Paul in this video, I'd occasionally have more than a close call and actually be hit by a car.
The comparison with cycling in the Netherlands is remarkable. While I cycle much more now than I ever did in the UK, not once have I had the least bit of hassle here due to a driver.
While Britain continues to ignore the need for decent cycling infrastructure, the situation will remain the same. The cycling rate will continue to flatline and cyclists will continue to be treated as outlaws with no legitimate place either on the road or on the pavement.
Copying Dutch infrastructure which gives cyclists direct journeys in safety is the only way of turning this around. Real action is needed. Not yet more empty promises.
I know of many Dutch people who make cycling videos, but not one of them records their cycle rides to catch "evidence". Rather, Dutch cyclists' videos are made to record pleasant experiences of cycling. There are many of them on youtube.
Isn't it better that cycling should be something enjoyable and full of good memories ? Something not only for commuting adults but that you're also happy for your children to do ? Compare the problems faced by British children with the freedom experienced by Dutch children.
There's also a blog post showing what happens when a similar incident occurs in the Netherlands.
I came across the Cambridge video on the I Pay Road Tax blog, thanks to a tip from Biking Brits.