Thursday 15 December 2011

My response to Kulveer Ranger

Kulveer Ranger has issued a statement.
This is my reponse to it.
Dear Kulveer Ranger

As a person who cycles through London every day I must say that your view of what has been done differs considerably from what people who cycle can see.

You say safety has been the most important consideration - how was it then possible to accept designs such as Bow Roundabout. This isn't an isolated case and 99% people who cycle will tell you that "Smoothing traffic flow" prevails over safety at most CS junctions - places which are most dangerous for people on cycles.

I am looking forward to the review. But more keenly I am looking forward to implementation of the findings. Copious amounts of research and studies have been done for Superhighways yet they have been mosly ignored, which is why the CSs will remain paint on tarmac and give people a false sesne of safety while putting them in conflict with motorised traffic they cannot compete with.

People drive and cycle badly - this is the reality, because humans make mistakes. A good road design means that results of these mistakes are limited and do not cause peopel to die. Adding mirrors to HGV is all well and good but it still doesn't take the human error out of equation. Roads can be a place of peace and serenity when you design them in a way that removes the conflict between different modes and don't hope to be able to accomodate every Londoner driving - current policies tend to the opposite.
Cycling isn't getting safer really. Until now the domain of fit men, it is quickly becoming popular among all ages and fitness level. Let's see if it becomes safer when kids, elderly and other groups start cycling. I really hope no one else has to die for you to realise that mixing cycles with motorised traffic will never be inherently safe and that no amount of training and mirrors is going to change it.

My sour tone stems for the fact that I have been let down by promises and cute posters, but the reality people on bicycles have to face is quite different. Not tragic, but definitely far away from cycling city London is aspiring to be.

Kind Regards


  1. I think you are way too kind to Ranger. His blather on his "blog" stated among other things that TfL/the Mayor would undertake a review of HGV safety performance and features. We all know that this is entirely outside the scope of the Mayor's authority (driving standards are a national issue and equipment is largely an EU prerogative these days) so it must be a diversionary tactic to try and draw attention away from the mayor's failings in areas over which he does in fact have some measure of control - civil-engineering road safety measures.

    So there is going to be a review and perhaps like St Paul on the road to Damascus, Boris will see the light and change his policy. I am not holding my breath.

  2. Thanks for your comment Paul M. The biggest problem here is that Ranger and Johnson see this as a political issue, while it is case of getting home alive for people who cycle. So it's a publicity stunt - "Oh look how much we care" while nothing of any substance is being done. So much for a cycling mayor. Sometimes it seems cyclists are their own worst enemies...