Monday, August 14, 2006

Ken's U-turn

First the good news:

"One week (and many complaints) after announcing his plans to force cyclists in London to have number plates, Ken Livingstone has shelved the idea. He agreed with CTC's concerns over the prohibitive cost of such a scheme and now wants to launch a 'Share the road' campaign which will encourage all road users to obey traffic regulations and advise them of the penalties for not doing so."

now the bizarre news

Cyclist fined for riding on the road
"A UK cyclist has been fined £100 with £200 costs for riding on the road and obstructing traffic. The Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC) reported that member Daniel Cadden was cycling fast downhill on a single-lane approach to a roundabout when he was stopped by police who believed that the position he had taken in the centre of his lane was forcing cars to cross the solid white line in the centre of the road illegally in order to overtake."

So who's breaking the law here then? Can I use as a defence that cars driving without due care and attention forced me to cycle illegally on the pavement? Probably not. I'm fucking appalled!

"CTC Director, Kevin Mayne, said, "The police at the scene said that Daniel
should have been cycling well over to the left - effectively in the gutter -
but the judge felt that Daniel should have crossed three lanes of busy
traffic and used a segregated cycle track to save fractions of seconds off
the journey times of a few motorists. CTC continues to fight a re-draft of
the Highway Code, which proposes cyclists 'should use cycle paths where
provided', in order to tackle the attitude, held by many people in the
judiciary, police and public alike, that cyclists should be out of the way
of motorists."

So it's true cyclists are about to be banned from using the roads we fucking pay for in our taxes. What makes it worse is that the cycling facilities we're expected to use are treated with such contempt by everyone else. I tried to use a contra-flow lane this morning, just north of Tower Bridge, and someone's put a fecking great sign warning of problems in the Blackwall Tunnel right across it. I had to cycle on the pedestrian bit.

Then at Leyton, there were about 20 lorries and other vehicle parked in the contra flow lane. I had to stop an on-coming lorry in order to make my way along the road. The driver didn't like it either.

I only hope that this cyclist can win on appeal.

No comments: