Met Commissioner 'would not cycle' in London

Bernard Hogan-Howe Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said he would not cycle in London due to the vulnerability of cyclists

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The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has revealed he would not cycle in London, following six fatalities in the city within two weeks.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said cyclists were too vulnerable and traffic too busy on the city's roads.

He said: "If you get it wrong, or the driver gets it wrong, the person that's going to pay is the cyclist."

The Mayor of London's office said Boris Johnson had committed £1bn to improving cycle safety in the city.

Mr Hogan-Howe was speaking to BBC London 94.9 after six cyclists were killed in a period of two weeks on London's roads.

Police operation

He said: "Of course some people don't have the choice, economically.

"If you've got someone who can't afford to take a car into the congestion zone, if they did, you can't park it anyway.

"I understand why they take the choice, [but] it wouldn't be mine."

In a statement released later, Sir Bernard added: "I was expressing a personal view as a non-cyclist and I would like to clarify my position.

Health benefits

"There is no doubt that despite the growth of cycling in London, it has got safer and its cost effectiveness and health benefits make it an attractive option for many people."

The number of cyclists killed in crashes in London so far this year stands at 14, the same as the figure for the whole of 2012.

Over the next week more than 2,000 police officers will be deployed in an operation to try to make the roads safer.

The House of Commons Transport Committee is also to hold an oral evidence session on cycle safety on December 2 to "stimulate debate".

Committee chairman Louise Ellman said the deaths this year had raised the issue of restricting lorries, and the behaviour of drivers and cyclists.

Fatal cycle crashes The map shows when and where the fatal crashes took place

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  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Cyclists seem to have no regard for other road users or pedestrians. They ignore red lights, weave in and out of traffic and use the pavement like it's their God given right. And on top of that they have a Holier Than Thou attitude to boot.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    BBC: Met Commissioner 'would not cycle' in London.

    Plenty of other people wouldn't too. I would argue that they are more important than someone trying to make the news headlines. Come on BBC, is this really a newsworthy story?

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Of course he wouldn't his legs don't look good in lycra, Oh and he has a chauffeur driven car.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    What's "afford" got to do with it?

    I cycle because I get to work in less time that it takes in the car. The time taken is consistent, I get exercise and overall it's a lot less stressful.

    If he believes the roads are too dangerous then perhaps he should be doing his job an making them safer.

    For me, one death per 10 million miles cycled (and my obvious 'good' road sense) make it a no brainer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    @Charlie - Rubbish You are a fool - Cyclists do not 'constantly' go through red lights ! A great deal more motorists go through red lights than cyclists do - Most cyclist injuries are through poor and dangerous driving. Thats my experience at driving and cycling for 30 + years

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Well Charlie(1),that's that sorted then. When you see a cyclist going through red lights is you first thought Jealousy or Concern for an accident

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Better for him to be honest rather than say what people want to hear.

    I wouldn't cycle in London either. When I do cycle it is for leisure, mainly on cycle trails. When I do cycle on the roads half the cars give you about a foot clearance, even if the other side of the road is empty.
    Just like horses, cyclists are very vulnerable. Neither have extensive metal armour.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Non-cyclists always say things like this since they have little or no knowledge of what it is like to cycle. Drivers used to behave better towards cyclists because they mostly have been cyclists in the past. Nowadays (as seen in recent child exercise news stories) children don't cycle much.
    Cyclists have been bullied off the roads and it no surprise that people like Sir Bernard think like this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Cyclists are largely a menace who constantly go through red lights and perform dangerous manoeuvres. I remember watching a live news feed on how dangerous cycling is in cities and yes a cyclist went through a red light live on the news feed. I suggest most of these fatal accident are at the fault of the cyclist. Thats my experience of driving for 20 years.


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