Friday, 24 July 2015

Cyclists' behaviour and the law

Nearly every week, in the pages of this paper there are letters about cyclists not behaving in the City but there are also reports of congestion – where cycling could be beneficial. More cyclists are appearing than for many years.

The Cyclists Touring Club has written a code of practice, which fits into the law. It applies to off-road as well as on-road cycling. A summary of it is:

▪ Cyclists are road users too, they should behave responsibly and within the law.
▪ Penalties for breaching the law should be proportional to the danger to other road users.
▪ Rules should not force cyclists to choose between acting legally and safety. Law enforcers must examine reasons for cyclists’ offending behaviour.
▪ Law enforcers should be able to send offending cyclists on training programmes instead of prosecution.
Highway authorities should reduce hazardous road conditions which cause illegal behaviour by cyclists.

Cycling in Holland
Countries, where cycling is more widespread than UK ( such as Holland, shown here) expect all road users to behave with respect to each other

Thursday, 23 July 2015

No Excuses Bike Commuting

Traffic congestion in Worcester is a regular gripe, but if you drive to work you’re part of the problem. By using a bike you’d be healthier, wealthier and part of the solution. Here’s 10 solutions to common excuses people use for not cycling to work.

1. Excuse: Its not safe to ride in rush hour traffic. Solution: Worcester has a network of backstreets and cycleways to get from home to work without using busy main roads.

2. Excuse: I can’t afford a special commuter bike. Solution: Do up your old bike or buy secondhand. Ask if your employer is in the Government’s Cycle Scheme which gives up to 40% off a new bike.

3. Excuse: I have to dress smart for work. Solution: Go by car once a week. Leave a week’s worth of clothes and take the dirty ones home.

4. Excuse: There’s no shower at work. Solution: Cycle so you don’t get sweaty. If you do, freshen up with scented wet wipes in the cloakroom.

5. Excuse: There’s no secure place to park a bike. Solution: Ask if there’s somewhere in the building you could use. Stash it with a friend who lives near or another business in the area.

6. Excuse: Sometimes I’d have to ride in the dark. Solution: Wear light coloured reflective clothing, fit lights and use a well lit route.

7. Excuse: I don’t like riding when its wet and cold. Solution: Buy clothing to keep you warm and dry and fit mudguards and sturdy tyres to your bike. When its really bad, leave the bike at home.

8. Excuse: Its too far to ride. Solution: Drive or take public transport part way and cycle the last few miles.

9. Excuse: I live too close. Solution: Take a longer, more scenic route to and/or from work. Its cheaper and nicer than using a gym.

10. Excuse: People will think I’m weird. Solution: So what? Point out all the benefits. You never know you might encourage others to give it a try.
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