The hell of cyclists
It is never a piece of cake driving in any city, let alone London. Driving today has become even harder with the growth of bicyclists. This was brought to mind when I heard this morning that another cyclist had been killed by a large lorry. The newsreader promptly went on to suggest that London should examine the possibility of banning large vehicles from the roads. Whilst my sympathy goes out to anyone who is killed on the road by whatever means, my sympathy for cyclists is seriously tempered by experiencing daily how the majority of them behave on London roads:
- Traffic lights are only an indication of what other road users are doing. If nothing is coming, then cycle through the red light. If there is traffic in the way then stand wobbling on your bike (feet never touch the ground) until it’s clear to carry on.
- Anyone using a zebra crossing will have a cyclist skirting around them as they walk across the road.
- One-way streets are only one way for all other vehicles on the road.
- A 20 mph speed limit in Richmond Park does not seem to cover bikes.
- Cyclists riding side by side, chatting away, taking exception to cars trying to overtake them.
- Hand signals are often a single finger in the air.
The only bikes I don’t have a problem with are the Boris Bikes for hire, as they are largely ridden by tourists or a local going from A to B. As they don’t wear helmets, maybe they cycle more carefully and in a manner that abides by the rules of the road.
Now you must think I hate cycling, far from it. He and I have had wonderful holidays on the Isle de Ré where there are 100 km of cycle paths and only 20 km of car road. A dream for London would be to take the cycles off the roads and give them their own exclusive lanes, a more practical answer would be to impound all cycles whose riders do not obey the Highway Code. Can we also do something about Lycra?