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The trouble with bicycles… and David Cameron March 21, 2008

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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cameron_on_bike.jpg

It’s a small thing in the greater scheme, isn’t it? But I can’t help feeling that the reports about David Cameron evoke a sense of schadenfreude:

Conservative leader David Cameron has apologised after being photographed ignoring red lights and cycling the wrong way up a one-way street. Pictures in the Daily Mirror newspaper showed the politician breaching traffic rules as he cycled to work.

“I know it is important to obey traffic laws – but I have obviously made mistakes on this occasion and I am sorry,” Mr Cameron said in a statement.

Campaigners criticised him though some blamed poor regulation and signage.

Also got to love the idea of Map of Mr Cameron’s bicycle route from the piece. Helping us to avoid Cameron – eh? Thoughtful.

The piece continues with the following:

But the pictures merely highlighted the difficulties the average London cyclist faced, said cycling campaign group CTC.

“It shows what an ass cycling regulation [and] traffic management is in this country at the moment… we campaign in CTC for things like opening up one-way streets, which are allowed all over Europe,” said director Kevin Mayne.

“[Mr Cameron] is a yard in front of the white line in front of the Houses of Parliament – frankly, that’s where I’d go to get away from the cars, he was hardly jumping the light,” he said.

He added that the story had also highlighted how difficult signage was for cyclists in London.

On a serious level I have to disagree. I cycle every day, in and out of work and elsewhere, and the truth is that there is some terrible, and occasionally stupid, cycling out there. It’s rife and part of the problem is that cyclists seem to think that the moral authority of not utilising hydro-carbons is sufficient to inure them from all criticism. Indeed I agree entirely with the following…

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, criticised Mr Cameron.

“It is essential that all road users, including cyclists, obey traffic laws. The laws are there for everybody’s safety and, as always, it is disappointing when someone in the public eye sets a bad example,” he said.

Road safety charity Brake stressed that all road users, including cyclists, needed to observe traffic rules.

“People are dying on the roads every day and we can’t afford to become complacent,” a spokeswoman said.

“As a role model, Mr Cameron must be aware that if he does break [the rules], it is going to send out the wrong message to those he hopes to inspire.”

Comments»

1. Brian - March 21, 2008

Isn’t his cycling, and his whole “Green” schtick, just a PR
stunt? No-one who really respected nature would
support the killing of animals for sport.

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2. WorldbyStorm - March 21, 2008

Well, a man of his age, close to my own as it happens needs the exercise… trust me…

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3. Pidge - March 22, 2008

In fairness Brian, climate change affects people – it’s perfectly reasonable to want to reduce carbon emissions while not giving a damn about nature. (Works for me!)

I’m always annoyed at people who break the lights when they cycle: it becomes that a cyclist will always break the law. I’ve noticed at a few junctions in Dublin they now have orange sections in front of the lights where cyclists can stop ahead of the cars, which seems a reasonable compromise between the two positions above. One way streets are a pain, though, especially when there’s room for a contra-flow bike lane. It’d make a huge difference to start giving cyclists extra perks in the city (especially when those perks don’t involve inconveniencing others). Nassau Street, for example, would be great with a bike lane.

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4. Pidge - March 22, 2008

And oh, there’s an interesting viral video campaign been run in the UK on the issue of motorists and cyclists. Well worth a look:
http://www.dothetest.co.uk

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5. Brian - March 22, 2008

Maybe I need to dig out the bike myself-though biking, as
WBS points out, does confer responsibilities.

Remember the ad on RTE in the 80s about “the bad motorist”
and “the bad cyclist”?

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6. WorldbyStorm - March 22, 2008

Great exercise. Very cheap. Good views.

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7. Brian - March 23, 2008

Cameron lives in Notting Hill. I’m still furious about the
way Richard Curtis ethnically cleansed the district in his
ghastly film. And why were there no people from the actual
Third World in “The Girl in the Cafe”? The whole show was
about Third World poverty!

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8. WorldbyStorm - March 23, 2008

I never saw it. Sort of ignored Curtis after his first couple…

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9. soubresauts - March 23, 2008

This all gives me an idea: Bertie Ahern’s last chance to salvage his reputation as the dacent-skin man of the people…

Ditch the Merc. On yer bike, Bertie!

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10. WorldbyStorm - March 23, 2008

🙂

Mind you, isn’t that what he did by dragging the Greens in to the tent…

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11. Pidge - March 24, 2008

Zing!

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12. WorldbyStorm - March 24, 2008

It’s the way I tell ’em

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