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The war on Britain's roads

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Messages: 1 - 50 of 161
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by alan997 (U1233723) on Monday, 3rd December 2012

    Was reading about this in The Guardian over the weekend. Apparently there's a war going on between Britain's motorists and cyclists - or so this upcoming programme is going to claim. Some MP's been getting a bit shirty about it, calling it shoddy sensationalism that's likely only to inflame a potentially dangerous situation.

    For example:

    ""Austin's mention of "commercially-produced film of reckless stunt cycling" refers to a sequence used in the documentary showing cycle couriers racing extremely recklessly through central London. It fails to mention that the footage is both six years old and shot by a professional filmmaker who sells DVDs of his footage"

    Does sound pretty shoddy and irresponsible.

    Also, don't wars generally involve casualties on both sides? I know quite a few cyclists get killed every year by drivers; how many drivers get killed by cyclists?

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by thedogcody (U14659366) on Monday, 3rd December 2012

    Wednesday BBC1 9pm

    www.bbc.co.uk/progra...

    Might be worth seeing it first before passing judgement.

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by GZ (U5310554) on Monday, 3rd December 2012


    Also, don't wars generally involve casualties on both sides?
     


    The word "war" seems to be being used metaphorically in this case dont you think?


    I know quite a few cyclists get killed every year by drivers; how many drivers get killed by cyclists?
     


    If you had a genuine interest in finding specifics, you could probably find some statistical information somewhere that would specify fatal collisions that were determined to have resulted because the driver was trying to avoid a cyclist and either struck another vehicle/s or drove off into ditch or hit a tree or light pole or similar.

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Tuesday, 4th December 2012


    Here's the programme summary - Wed 2100 BBC1

    DURATION: 1 HOUR
    Life on Britain's roads can now be seen from a whole new perspective - thanks to the cycle helmet camera. As thirty four million vehicles and thirteen million bikes all try to share the same crowded space, this footage gives us a dramatic and unique insight into the unfolding tension and conflict.

    From everyday incidents that get out of hand between cyclists and motorists, to stories of near-death experiences and fatal collisions, this timely documentary shows the battle between two wheels and four has never been so intense.

    The programme shows both sides of the story, retelling dramatic incidents from both the cyclist's and driver's point of view. It follows the police on bikes as they chase down errant road users and record more than three thousand offences every year from car and bike users alike. We even see a cyclist who is attempting to police the roads himself, handing out his own 'tickets' for anything from texting behind the wheel, to jumping a red light.

    A mother who lost her cyclist daughter in a fatal collision with a cement mixer tells us the extraordinary story of what she did to change cycle safety on our roads, while a black cab driver's own loss changed his opinion about cyclists forever.

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by alan997 (U1233723) on Tuesday, 4th December 2012

    Wednesday BBC1 9pm

    www.bbc.co.uk/progra...

    Might be worth seeing it first before passing judgement. 
    I would certainly watch first before passing judgment on the programme itself, but I see nothing inherently wrong in questioning the BBC's decision to effectively endorse what looks to me like very dodgy journalistic ethics, assuming - as I see no reason not to - that the behaviour described in the quote I posted is as described.

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Tuesday, 4th December 2012

    www.guardian.co.uk/l...

    On the Guardian article about the programme, link above, there's the following statement from the BBC - which says that the courier sequence was genuine footage of couriers cycling in London - it *wasn't* specially filmed 'stunt footage' included for effect.



    A BBC spokesman said the courier race sequence was genuine footage shot by a cyclist taking part and uploaded to YouTube. He said: "The footage has since been released commercially, but the fact remains that it depicts real behaviour on the streets of London."

    The spokesman added: "The programme is intended to be a serious examination of the relationship between cyclists and other road users. It uses actual footage of real incidents to provoke discussion and investigates the outcomes and consequences of several of the incidents captured. Raising awareness of these issues, on a primetime BBC1 programme, can only be a positive thing for both cyclists and other road users." 

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by pedrokelly (U1360661) on Tuesday, 4th December 2012

    Is there a 'war' on Britains roads?

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by St Maddenus witty name to follow (U14314874) on Tuesday, 4th December 2012


    I have a local crossing where drivers ALWAYS go through red lights usually 2 cars go through on the red. The police could make a fortune just handing out tickets for one week. Probably a whole Bobbies annual salary.

    I would say that BOTH cyclists and Drivers are equally bad. I'm a cyclist and some of the stupid cycling I see every day really annoys me.

    The trouble is, and this is why cyclists are stupid, cyclists don't kill drivers if they crash into them.

    as for motorists crashing into trees and being injured because of avoiding a cyclist I would suspect that the statistics are negligable as opposed to cyclists being forced off of the road by car drivers and injured.

    I have only had 1 accident in 3 years and that was due to a car forcing me off the road, fortunately I suffered only minor bruising.

    Is it a war between cyclists and other drivers? No more than what I see regularly on the roads between all road users anyway. Britain has some of the most selfish drivers going. Buses, taxis, cars lorries they all have their own ways of fighting.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by colonelblimp (U1705702) on Tuesday, 4th December 2012

    You are dead right. As a cyclist, I'ld be the first to testify that there are stupid, irresponsible people on bikes - I've seen idiots take their life in their hands by cycling straight through a red light and across a busy junction; cycling invisibly in the dark on main roads with no lights or even reflective clothing; ditto the wrong way up one-way streets (nice if you're on a bike yourself, heading in the right direction, and the fool suddenly looms out of the gloom in front of you). More importantly, I've seen them hurtle straight through pedestrians, on a crossing or on the footpath.

    But, like you, I also see, practically on a daily basis, drivers deliberately flouting red lights. Not to mention parking on double yellow lines where they block bike lanes and/or obstruct other road users' view of oncoming traffic (particularly dangerous when they do it right on a junction), parking across the footpath, turning without indicating and ignoring restrictions banning private cars from city centre streets between certain times. On the website of our local paper, motorists boast about ignoring a 20 mph limit that's been put in place in residential areas. I too have been forced off the road by people overtaking where there's insufficient room, and have had a driver throw a toddler tantrum at me because he's chosen to take a shortcut down a narrow, medieval street with one-way traffic flow (and delivery vehicles parked on double yellow lines) and couldn't get past me - losing him perhaps 30 seconds of his valuable time. By and large (apart from when they're a hazard to pedestrians, as I've mentioned), idiot cyclists are just risking their own lives. Idiot, irresponsible, lawbreaking drivers are endangering other people's.

    And if you challenge either of them, you get the same response - a mouthful of abuse, possibly garnished with threats.

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by GZ (U5310554) on Tuesday, 4th December 2012

    A lot of cyclists on these roads have talked about being forced off the road by a vehicle and crashing as a result, having items thrown from cars at them, one poster said a passenger leaned out the window of a car and deliberately punched him as they drove past, another poster said that groups of young people in cars have - and he used these words - deliberately tried to kill him several times, and now we have drivers who "garnish with threats."

    I'd be curious to know how many of these incidents - particularly the incidents where people have pulled alongside cyclists and punched them, or singled them out and tried to kill them, thrown bottles at them or even made verbal threats to them have been reported to the police and what action the police took.

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by Mongo (U1060723) on Tuesday, 4th December 2012

    I live in Cambridge and there is definitely a lot of animosity between cyclists and drivers. I'll be watching this as it is something I have experienced from negligent drivers many times already with many more to come.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by counterblast (U14258320) on Tuesday, 4th December 2012

    A lot of drivers are forced onto the roads because of the obscene price of rail tickets and the fascist smoking ban on trains.

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by henry crun (U14339711) on Tuesday, 4th December 2012

    Reading that Grauniad story, it does look like the BBC have adopted Daily Wail standards of journalism. Oh dear.

    We will find out for sure on Weds.

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by alan997 (U1233723) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    www.guardian.co.uk/l...

    On the Guardian article about the programme, link above, there's the following statement from the BBC - which says that the courier sequence was genuine footage of couriers cycling in London - it *wasn't* specially filmed 'stunt footage' included for effect.



    A BBC spokesman said the courier race sequence was genuine footage shot by a cyclist taking part and uploaded to YouTube. He said: "The footage has since been released commercially, but the fact remains that it depicts real behaviour on the streets of London."

    The spokesman added: "The programme is intended to be a serious examination of the relationship between cyclists and other road users. It uses actual footage of real incidents to provoke discussion and investigates the outcomes and consequences of several of the incidents captured. Raising awareness of these issues, on a primetime BBC1 programme, can only be a positive thing for both cyclists and other road users." 
     
    Yes indeed - one of the more disingenuous statements I've seen emerge from the BBC.

    The sequence may well have been genuine - I'm sure it was. It was a bunch of couriers showing off for their mates, to post on Youtube. And I can see the appeal for the (non-BBC) programme-makers: I've no doubt it makes for a dramatic, 'televisual' display.

    But showing it - and showing it in this context - within what purports to be a serious investigation of 'what's going on on Britain's roads' - is irresponsible. This is *not* going on on Britain's roads. This happened, once. However 'genuine', it is extremely unrepresentative - a true 'one in a million' display.

    One calculated, nevertheless, to inflame the kind of drivers already predisposed to hate cyclists, who will view it not as a one in a million but as vindication for their views about what irresponsible/reckless/selfish types cyclists are - and, by extension, why it's fair game to bully and harrass them on the road.

    In short, it will serve only to further stimulate an unreasonable passion that's responsible for many deaths and serious injuries every year.

    How that can be presented as 'a positive thing for both cyclists and other road users' is a mystery to me.

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012


    Hi alan997

    But showing it - and showing it in this context - within what purports to be a serious investigation of 'what's going on on Britain's roads' - is irresponsible. This is *not* going on on Britain's roads. This happened, once. However 'genuine', it is extremely unrepresentative - a true 'one in a million' display.  

    Have you seen the clip or the programme? It hasn't aired yet.

    Do you live or work in Central London? I do. And I've seen first hand what the bike couriers do on a normal day on London streets.

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by tony ingram (U14880461) ** on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    I live in Cambridge and there is definitely a lot of animosity between cyclists and drivers. I'll be watching this as it is something I have experienced from negligent drivers many times already with many more to come.  And what about negligent or thoughtless cyclists? I've lost count of the number of times I've seen cyclists ignore red lights, or been slowed to a crawl on a narrow country lane by cyclists riding two abreast and chatting, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they're holding up traffic.

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by Dave (U13980703) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    Totally agree,

    I am concerned that the showing of this film, using old commercial footage of dangerous cycling practice will only serve to inflame the problems between cyclists and motorists. This footage should be cut from tonight's broadcast and more said about the need for improving infrastructure.

    If broadcast without any changes, this would be as irresponsible as some of the recent child abuse coverage, possibly even more so as so many peoples lives are at risk every day on the roads.

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Dave (U13980703) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    This post shows that even before being shown, the film seems to be inflaming the situation. Like 90% of cyclists, I also hold a driving licence. I totally agree that there are many breaking the rules on both sides but turning the discussion into a tit for tat argument does not help and this is what the post I am replying to and the title of the film seem designed to do. Two days ago, had I crossed the road when the green man and green bicycle were lit, I would have been killed by a motorist who was both ignoring the light and the speed limit but I have also nearly killed a, "ninja" cyclist, wearing dark clothing and not using lights at night. I only just saw him/her in time to avoid hitting them. They had also gone through a red light. What we need is not a slanging match but thought about how to improve the infrastructure and training for both drivers and cyclists.

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    I live in Cambridge and there is definitely a lot of animosity between cyclists and drivers. I'll be watching this as it is something I have experienced from negligent drivers many times already with many more to come.  And what about negligent or thoughtless cyclists? I've lost count of the number of times I've seen cyclists ignore red lights, or been slowed to a crawl on a narrow country lane by cyclists riding two abreast and chatting, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they're holding up traffic.  
    I've been very nearly hit by a bike in London on very many occasions. Often while I was actually on the pavement. I can't ever remember nearly being hit by a car.

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by alan997 (U1233723) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012


    Hi alan997

    But showing it - and showing it in this context - within what purports to be a serious investigation of 'what's going on on Britain's roads' - is irresponsible. This is *not* going on on Britain's roads. This happened, once. However 'genuine', it is extremely unrepresentative - a true 'one in a million' display.  

    Have you seen the clip or the programme? It hasn't aired yet.

    Do you live or work in Central London? I do. And I've seen first hand what the bike couriers do on a normal day on London streets.  
    I haven't of course seen the programme; as you say, it hasn't aired yet. But I bet you I've seen the clip - or its ilk. If it's not this:

    www.youtube.com/watc...

    I'm sure it'll be something of its ilk.

    And yes, I live, work and cycle in Central London, and I see cyclists do stupid things. But in ten years of 7 miles-each-way commuting I've never seen this.

    Maybe when I see the programme I'll end up with egg on my face. They'll be showing just the kind of odd bits of cyclist stupidity/selfishness you do see every day.

    But I'm guessing I'll remain hearteningly egg-free. And the BBC will end up having endorsed shoddy, irresponsible and downright dangerous sensationalism.

    Let's wait & see, eh?



    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by GZ (U5310554) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    Perhaps this programme should be renamed "Britain's Hatfields and McCoys" smiley - winkeye

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by old git at 70 (U14213449) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    I live in Cambridge and there is definitely a lot of animosity between cyclists and drivers. I'll be watching this as it is something I have experienced from negligent drivers many times already with many more to come.  And what about negligent or thoughtless cyclists? I've lost count of the number of times I've seen cyclists ignore red lights, or been slowed to a crawl on a narrow country lane by cyclists riding two abreast and chatting, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they're holding up traffic.  
    I've been very nearly hit by a bike in London on very many occasions. Often while I was actually on the pavement. I can't ever remember nearly being hit by a car.  
    some Cyclists think that the Highway code only apply's to drivers of motor vehicles.
    when I was learning to drive , many moons ago it had a section for all users of the Road,
    and one of them for Cycleists was on busy and narrow roads they should ride in SINGLE file,
    lots of them ignore this rule, another one was they should have a warning instrument( usually a bell). lots of times when walking in the country , admittedly spread out across a 10ft carageway they come fying past without any warning ,and at a speed at wich they could not stop if one of us stepped the wrong way

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by colonelblimp (U1705702) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    I live in Cambridge and there is definitely a lot of animosity between cyclists and drivers. I'll be watching this as it is something I have experienced from negligent drivers many times already with many more to come.  And what about negligent or thoughtless cyclists? I've lost count of the number of times I've seen cyclists ignore red lights, or been slowed to a crawl on a narrow country lane by cyclists riding two abreast and chatting, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they're holding up traffic.  
    I've been very nearly hit by a bike in London on very many occasions. Often while I was actually on the pavement. I can't ever remember nearly being hit by a car.  
    Well, if you'd been cycling with me this morning, you could have enjoyed that very experience. Twenty to seven, in the dark, on a road in the centre of York. A driver emerging from a side street hesitated, then decided he had time to pull out in front of me - which he did, barely. A driver behind him, in an SUV (oh, what a surprise) decided it was OK to follow him straight out without actually pausing to check whether anyone with the right of way was coming down the road. There was: me, complete with lights and reflective clothing, which aren't much use in the face of drivers who don't bother looking. Luckily, I'm only too well aware of the inconsiderate and dangerous driving that's commonly encountered in York, and I always pull out towards the middle of the road at that point precisely in case some fool does that - so he had time to wake up and slam his brakes on.

    And the other night, I was half way over a Pelican crossing when a driver who'd been parked nearby pulled out and deliberately drove straight through the red light. As for zebra crossings, a good number of drivers just ignore them.

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by henry crun (U14339711) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    Parliamentary Cycling Group demands Director General ensures proper balance - www.ianaustin.co.uk/...

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Prophet Tenebrae (U5995226) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    Also, don't wars generally involve casualties on both sides? I know quite a few cyclists get killed every year by drivers; how many drivers get killed by cyclists? 
    Facts don't factor into needlessly evocative hyperbole!

    And this already feels needlessly evocative - no attempt at facts, just straight into emotion.

    This isn't a documentary, it's reality TV and we're only 4 minutes in!

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 25.

    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by Green Soap (U899978) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    Oh dear. It's the uber-smug cyclist with an attitude, versus bad drivers so far.

    Great TV....

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 27.

    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by Green Soap (U899978) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    Oh well, seems that opinion is restricted here. The Moderator must be a cyclist, or even the "web developer" from the show?!

    Anyway, I'd like to say that the 24 year old cyclist, who is talking on the world on his bike is the most self-righteous person I've had the pleasure of viewing on BBC.

    Thanks BBC. You rock.

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by Prophet Tenebrae (U5995226) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    Seems as if I shall have to word this carefully.

    While I don't care for what amounts to a sermon on "THE EVILS OF THE MOTORIST!" - even if in some greater sense it might contribute to balance - I think this is a very dangerous precedent to set.

    I'm not going to use the word vigilante but we're getting dangerously close to that kind of territory and I have to wonder why the BBC is glorify this kind of reckless and dangerous behaviour.

    Why on EARTH is this person being given a platform for his one man crusade? I shan't say any more (I think there's already a 50/50 chance I'll get modded) than I think this marks a new low for the BBC in terms of irresponsible programming.

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by GZ (U5310554) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    Prophet it seems your reviews of the programme have been run over - not sure if it was by a bicycle or car.

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 30.

    Posted by Green Soap (U899978) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012



    Why on EARTH is this person being given a platform for his one man crusade? I shan't say any more (I think there's already a 50/50 chance I'll get modded) than I think this marks a new low for the BBC in terms of irresponsible programming. 


    Yep. This is BBC 3 fodder at the very best.
    Why this is prime evening "entertainment" ?

    Now we have one of the contributors saying he's going to report people to their employers for posting comments on his youtube videos.

    This is a whole new low. smiley - sadface

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by monic1511 (U1768751) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    All this shows is the idiot cyclists and the idiot drivers at their worst.
    Cyclists should not be on the road with their headphones in as they are not aware, skiping lights & riding on pavements is also wrong. The drivers have to be aware of everyone and no matter how much the idiots annoy you I wish you wouldn't retaliate.

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by Prophet Tenebrae (U5995226) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    Yep. This is BBC 3 fodder at the very best. 
    I think it seems more like the kind of stuff you'd find during the summer sport in the afternoon on Channel 5... and even that seems to be overselling it.

    The comment about finding people's employers seems needlessly petty but then... that isn't exactly surprising given that at least two of these cyclists are treating this as if it's on a par with holding back the Mongol hordes.

    Also, from a technical point of view the web developer... if we have everything he's recounting on video, can't we just see it all with him commentating? Do we need to cut back to him gormlessly biting his lip or pouting every few seconds?

    And repeatedly calling it a "war" doesn't make it a valid usage of the word!

    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by Green Soap (U899978) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    Think I'll get my camera out, and go and film the pavement cyclists where I am, and see if I can flog it to the BBC.

    It's almost as if they'll but any old tat after that programme!

    Report message35

  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by Andy (U2269368) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    That first cyclist with the glasses was deeply irritating with his smirking and his holier-than-thou attitude, not to mention his desire to 'control the road'. I suspect he goes out with his camera and deliberately provokes 'incidents' by putting himself into dangerous situations.

    That cyclist who got squashed between the pickup and the bus was entirely to blame. He was trying to thread his way into a gap that he could see was too small and he came unstuck.

    There were plenty of idiot drivers in the programme, but cyclists do seem to behave in irrational and very risky ways.

    Report message36

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by hawk1960 (U15529167) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    This is only half the story what about the other of side of cyclists, who ride aggressively on the pavement forcing pedestrians to get out of the way, who ride down one way streets the wrong way, and get angry and ride towards you at speed if you dare to walk on a cycle path which at one time was all a pedestrianised area but has now been halved to accomodate cyclists, maybe we as pedestrians should invest in video cameras to highlight our plight as pedestrians as to how vulnerable we are, from dangerous aggressive cyclists.

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by Ms Clarabella (U15529155) on Wednesday, 5th December 2012

    I agree, I live, work and cycle in Zones 1-2 in London and really don't see my daily 4 mile commute in this way! Also, the film seemed to indicate that the roads are largely a woman free zone, dominated by shouty, aggressive men. It's really not that bad, and is likely to completely put off anybody thinking of commuting by bike, particularly women. As a regular female cyclist, I find it a a healthy, low-cost and quick form of transport and it's a shame this side of things wasn't shown.

    BBC - you really should be ashamed of such hysterical unbalanced reporting.

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by Logans Run (U13830424) on Thursday, 6th December 2012

    The programme should have been called the war on London roads.What do you expect from one of the worlds most unfriendliest cities? It amazes me why anyone would want to live and work there.There are some nice museums though,but I will use an Oyster card thanks.

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Thursday, 6th December 2012

    I agree, I live, work and cycle in Zones 1-2 in London and really don't see my daily 4 mile commute in this way! Also, the film seemed to indicate that the roads are largely a woman free zone, dominated by shouty, aggressive men. It's really not that bad, and is likely to completely put off anybody thinking of commuting by bike, particularly women. As a regular female cyclist, I find it a a healthy, low-cost and quick form of transport and it's a shame this side of things wasn't shown.

    BBC - you really should be ashamed of such hysterical unbalanced reporting. 

    Hi Ms Clarabella

    The programme wasn't about cycling to work and what a healthy option it is - it was as the title stated, specifically about the aggression on the roads between cyclists and motorists.

    I think some of the posts in this discussion highlight how cyclists and motorists have strongly opposing viewpoints.

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 39.

    Posted by alan997 (U1233723) on Thursday, 6th December 2012

    Egg-free, me.

    A pretty shoddy piece of work, I thought, that signally failed to address many real and important issues while somehow managing to be both sensationalist and dull at the same time.

    Hats off to the lady who managed to stop the cement mixer company from killing/maiming 'an average of one person a year', but what else in this programe was enlightening or revelatory, let alone encouraging or inspiring?

    We learned that some cyclists are smug and irritating; some drivers intolerant and violent. Well, who'd of thought it? But what did we learn about campaigners' efforts to make the roads safer? What did we hear from the companies out there who haven't been challenged at their AGM, and whose drivers are still doubtless killing and maining as a matter of course? What about MPs? There are some who give a damn, and who are working to change attitudes, and improve infrastructure. Did we hear from them? We did not.

    What we got was a picture of a 'war'. Melodramatic, highly selective, very unrepresentative, and - as an earlier poster has sugested - positively calculated to persuade many potential cyclists not to risk it out in the badlands, to the detriment of their own health, and everyone else's.

    Oh, and London is not 'one of the worlds most unfriendliest cities'; the programme just made it look that way.

    Cycling in Britain has all the potential for a good programme. Someone should make one.

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 40.

    Posted by Gizmomoo (U10999499) on Thursday, 6th December 2012

    Whilst I feel terribly sorry for the young lady (and her mother) that got killed when the cement lorry turned left, what she did was one of the most dangerous (and common) things that cyclists do which is coming up the inside of stationary traffic at a junction. Don't undertake, either overtake or stay behind and queue.

    I was very suprised that there was reference by the voice over to "the company that killed her" especially as a couple of minutes later they stated that in court it was deemed as an accident.

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Thursday, 6th December 2012


    It may have been an accident, but they still killed her. I'm not quite sure how else you could put it.

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by Gizmomoo (U10999499) on Thursday, 6th December 2012

    The company that owned the lorry involved in the accident? The lorry that hit her?

    I think saying "killed her" was very emotive. If I was the company boss I'd be a bit incensed at that.

    (can you be "a bit" incensed? Or only very?)

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 44.

    Posted by Gizmomoo (U10999499) on Thursday, 6th December 2012

    Thinking about it; it was the timing of the statement as well. They were talking about the mother trying to find out what happened and then said about "the company that killed her" at this point I shouted at the TV "hold on, she cycled up between the lorry and the pavement" it wasn't until a few minutes later that they stated it was deemed an accident. So at that point it seemed to me the voice over was laying balme on the company.

    It could have been worded better and in such a delicate situation I think the makers should have considered the statement a bit more.

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 40.

    Posted by Darkense (U15520834) on Thursday, 6th December 2012

    I agree, I live, work and cycle in Zones 1-2 in London and really don't see my daily 4 mile commute in this way! Also, the film seemed to indicate that the roads are largely a woman free zone, dominated by shouty, aggressive men. It's really not that bad, and is likely to completely put off anybody thinking of commuting by bike, particularly women. As a regular female cyclist, I find it a a healthy, low-cost and quick form of transport and it's a shame this side of things wasn't shown.

    BBC - you really should be ashamed of such hysterical unbalanced reporting. 

    Hi Ms Clarabella

    The programme wasn't about cycling to work and what a healthy option it is - it was as the title stated, specifically about the aggression on the roads between cyclists and motorists.

    I think some of the posts in this discussion highlight how cyclists and motorists have strongly opposing viewpoints. 
    So in other words you are happy to admit that the Beeb deliberately set out to make a divisive programme highlighting the worst incidences of driving and cycling and the resulting aggression and bad feeling regardless of the fact that such a programme is going to fuel the aggression some people feel towards a part of the population simply because of the form of transport they choose? Well, nice to see a sense of social responsibility still alive and kicking.

    You say that the comments on this forum show how cyclists and drivers have differing viewpoints. Firstly well done for figuring out something you could have seen from the response to any news article on cycling. Secondly I love how you blithely ignore the moderate comments. Just like the documentary.

    For me as a regular commuter cyclist I watched half of this programme from between my fingers as the dangerous behaviour shown by both drivers and cyclists was horrifying. I've had some scary experiences with cars coming too close or cutting me up at junctions, but I've also had a wealth of positive experiences of friendly and safe drivers, not to mention happy pedestrians as I behave with care and respect around them. Despite all this a taxi still managed to hit and injure me, and seeing the attitude displayed in this film has made me feel genuinely anxious about getting back on my bike when I'm healed. I can only imagine the impact it will have had on people considering cycling as an option for themselves to save time, money and get themselves fit. But that's not a concern for the makers of this documentary is it.

    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by St Maddenus witty name to follow (U14314874) on Thursday, 6th December 2012

    I thought it was pretty well balanced in the most part. It showed faults on both side.

    As a regular commuting cyclist I thought the main one was a bit agressive and didnt cycle to the left as much as he could but there are times you just cant.

    I think the show did what it said on the tin but it actually didnt cover some of the reasons WHY some cyclists have to drive away from the kerb or even out of the cycle lanes.

    POT HOLES.

    Some roads are so bad a cyclist HAS to swerve to avoid them. One road I have to cycle down I have to cycle in the middle of the bus lane to avoid the pot holes and One part of a cycle path is so badly maintained that you have to swing out and this is at a junction!

    This morning I had a pedestian have a go at me for cycling on the pavement.... I didnt bother to stop to address him.

    After all there are plenty of signs around showing that the pavement in question is also a cycle path. I passed him at about 8 mph.. I could have been doing 30 but that would have been irresponsible.

    The pavement was made a joint cycle pedestrian path because of the amount of cyclists knocked off their bikes by irresponsible drivers. I used to drive on the road there until I was forced off...

    The footage of the race may only have been a one off BUT courier cyclists DO do stuff like that.

    I'm not perfect, today I did a left turn on a red where the is a pedestrian crossing. There were NO pedestrians at all. If pedestrians were there I wouldnt go because its totally wrong.

    The reason I go ahead where I can is because the vehicles behind me have no patience and if i don't get up to speed quick enough I will be squeezed off the road.

    There are boxes for cycles in front of crossings, most of the time I have to go way in front of them because there are vehicles on them, and those vehicles don't want to wait for you to get up to speed.

    Cyclists SHOULD take more care, they are the ones that will die if they do stupid things like wearing headphones and crossing intersections without care. They should show pedestrians the respect that they expect from cars as in effect they are the a car to a pedestrian.

    As we saw in the show though some pedestrians do not look at all.

    but as a cyclist you should know that people are taking no notice of you and prepare for the stupidity of others. Thats how I cycle, I assume that the other vehicle, bike or pedestrian is going to do something stupid and I cycle accordingly.




    Report message47

  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 47.

    Posted by Gizmomoo (U10999499) on Thursday, 6th December 2012

    Good post StM. smiley - ok

    but as a cyclist you should know that people are taking no notice of you and prepare for the stupidity of others. Thats how I cycle, I assume that the other vehicle, bike or pedestrian is going to do something stupid and I cycle accordingly.  

    The first time I got in a car my driving instructor told me to assume every other person on the road was an idiot with a weapon that could kill me, so drive accordingly.

    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 46.

    Posted by Radioactiveoldduffer (U4768882) on Thursday, 6th December 2012

    Why make a television programme featuring idiots on the road? Why not make a programme that addresses the issues that may prevent the next death or injury?

    Here are my thoughts on improving road safety:

    Do not place cycle lanes where there is clearly no room for them on narrow roads. The Lottery funding that launched these was spent as quickly as possible with no thought as to how cars can pass cyclists in safety whilst avoiding oncoming traffic and numerous traffic islands. Cars, let alone goods vehicles, have become wider over the years but we still build roads as if we are in the 1930's.

    Motorcycles now have to have daytime lights on - why not cyclists (modern led lights can be seen quite well even in daylight). Cyclists have a thinner profile when approaching junctions so why not address this issue? Even a simple day glow flat panel attached to the front forks would help.

    Long ago when I passed my cycle proficiency test the one thing we were taught was never to undertake cars especially when they are indicating left. It was never the motorists fault if you undertook while they were doing this so why is it now the accepted responsibility and guilt of motorists in such incidents?

    Motorists rightly cannot use mobile phones whilst driving but what about cyclists who cannot hear any warnings because they have ear phones plugged in playing music.

    The title of this BBC programme told you all you needed to know in how it was going to be presented but it could have done a service for all road users in putting some of the above to the road experts and Government officials. Instead of stating the obvious why not try to solve the problems or at least identify possible ways to reduce road injuries.

    Report message49

  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 48.

    Posted by St Maddenus witty name to follow (U14314874) on Thursday, 6th December 2012

    I think the bbc SHOULD follow up on this show. Not just about the cyclist/Motor user relationship but with a responsible look at the facts of driving and cycling.

    Things that we both have to put up with.

    For example as I said Pot Holes and their effect on both our vehicles and what it causes.

    Showing blind spots on vehicles to Cyclists. I took part in a cycling safety scheme at work where the police supplied a Lorry for us to sit in the driver seat to show us. I was stunned at how far in front you have to be to be seen by a Lorry. It might not be the most EXCITING of shows but could be necessary to help balance out this show.

    If I am a car driver and I saw a Cyclist weaving from the edge of the road i'd probably be annoyed however they have to consider that there are probably reasons.

    Report message50

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