Tag Archives: radio

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