Tag Archives: police

BBC Radio4 PM discusses pavement cycling by a 4 year old

Click the picture to listen to the BBC Radio 4 interview.
Click the picture to listen to the BBC Radio 4 interview.

In the news yesterday, 10th March 2015, was a report about police in Lincolnshire threatening to confiscate a 4-year-old’s bicycle because she was riding it on the pavement.

Eddie Mair, host of the BBC Radio 4 news and current affairs programme ‘PM’, interviewed Donnachadh McCarthy, co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists, and Joe Irvin, Chief Executive of Living Streets, about the issue of police enforcement of pavement cycling.

Note: contrary to the introduction by Mr Mair, the origin of Stop Killing Cyclists was to build a peaceful but more radical approach to fighting for safer infrastructure for all of the city’s road users; and last November it was part of the Stop The Killing coalition calling making 10 Demands, one of which is Stop the Killing of Pedestrians.

In the programme, Donnachadh said:

What the policeman should have done was praise the parent for teaching the child to cycle in a non-dangerous way in a safe environment.

He continued,

It isn’t a conflict between cyclists and pedestrians that we really have in this country. It is a conflict between cyclists and pedestrians [together] and the HGV road users.

Donnachadh concluded,

The real problem in the UK is our politicians are refusing to invest in cycling safety: in Britain we spend £2 per person per year, in [the Netherlands] they spend £28. If we spent that on creating a network of physically protected, safe cycle routes across Britain then we wouldn’t be having this conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, we’d be on the same side.

Joe said:

The root of the problem is unsafe roads, and things like bringing down maximum speeds to 20mph in urban areas would be a big move in the right direction. It’s no doubt at all that HGVs and cars are the biggest [cause] of deaths and fatalities and that’s for people on the pavement.

On 9th January 2014, Robert Goodwill MP wrote to Donnachadh McCarthy to follow-up on points raised during a meeting he had with Baroness Susan Kramer earlier. In the letter, Mr Goodwill re-issued Ministerial Guidance on Pavement Cycling.

Some of the statistics highlighted by Donnachadh during the program are noted by the CTC in their briefing document: PEDESTRIANS.

  • In the 4 years 2009 to 2013, there was 1 pedestrian death involving a person cycling on the pavement or verge;
  • Whereas each year, on average, there were 34 pedestrians killed by vehicles.
  • That 1 death statistic rises to 14 when deaths anywhere are considered, for example on the road, when a person walks in front of person cycling;
  • And, the 34 deaths statistic rises to 1,245 when you consider pedestrians killed by people driving motorcars anywhere, not just on the pavement or verge.
  • For 2009-2013, the number of people walking who are seriously injured by person riding bicycle was 334;
  • Whereas, there were 20,181 seriously injured by a person driving a motor vehicle.

Listen to the Interview for a limited time on iPlayer; or on YouTube: BBC Radio 4 PM with Eddie Mair: Interview of Donnachadh McCarthy

Cycling Minister reaffirms guidance to police regarding pavement cycling

Donnachadh McCarthy writes…

Robert Goodwill Minister for Cycling Letter (pdf)
Click on the thumbnail to read the letter from Robert Goodwill MP, the Minister for Cycling (pdf, dated 9 January 2014)

Wow – some positives from the meeting with the Lib Dem Minister of State (Department for Transport) Baroness Susan Kramer – see article about that by clicking HERE.

I have received a letter from Robert Goodwill, who is the Tory “Minister” for cycling (aka Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport).

(UPDATE:  click for PRESS RELEASE and LETTER TO POLICE; or to see the MEDIA COVERAGE including the ACPO police response)

Whilst the letter covers only a few of the cycling safety issues I raised with Susan, it does cover my request for ministerial clarification on the guidance for implementation of the fixed penalty fines for pavement cycling.

This follows my being told by Operation Safeway police that they had been instructed by their senior officers to ignore the guidance and to implement the letter of the law instead.

The GOOD news is the minister re-endorsed the original guidance by the Minister who introduced the fines, Paul Boateng which was :

“‘The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so. Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle in the road… sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required “

This was one of the issues the Vauxhall Cross Demo was addressing.

He also gives a potential positive to our suggestion that the DfT should be monitoring what local councils are doing on cycling, so that the data can be examined and compared and badly performing councils identified and held to account.

I have attached the letter (click on the thumbnail to see the pdf copy).

Yes We Can!

thanks
Donnachadh