Here’s short excerpt from today’s front page story in the Times:
“since 2001, 576 British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq; 1,275 cyclists died on British streets. The latest data shows there were 1,850 deaths or serious injuries in the first half of 2011, a 12 per cent rise on the year before. Britain leads the world in competitive cycling; it is time that we did the same for the cyclists on our streets.”
it’s a thought provoking article and unusual in its prominence. chris evans mentioned it on the Radio 2 breakfast show today and the #cyclesafe hashtag is doing the rounds in the tweetosphere. In a week where i’ve been passed within about 20 inches more times than i can remember and shouted at at least three times, anything that challenges the dangerous antipathy and lack of safety provision for the most vulnerable group on Britain’s roads has to be a good thing.
it’d be nice if it kick started a general change in attitude towards cycling and cyclists; i don’t hold out hope, but i’m not eternally pessimistic either. these things invariably start with the media; perhaps this is a belated recognition that stupid comments by chinless numbskulls like Mathew Parris do have an effect on a largely compliant readership. i say largely compliant, because if they had any scruples or common decency they’d have long deserted a paper that is at the core of metropolitan media/police/political corruption simply by dint of being owned by Rupert Murdoch.
So anyway, sign up, support it. Let’s hope that TfL take their responsibilities for road safety more seriously. That they finally get the message that their inaction is killing people, and that atrociously designed roads and a carcentric culture is a genuinely bad thing for everyone, including car drivers.