One of the most experienced bicycle messengers in London UK, Henry Warwick, 61, died in a collision with a bus last Friday – in what witnesses are calling a classic example of the, “.. ‘half over take the cyclist, forget they are there and then swing left’ manoeuvre.” (‘swing right’ here in Canada). The driver has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving.
(See “Tributes paid after ‘brilliant’ cycle courier dies in crash with coach” - http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-24033836-tributes-paid-after-brilliant-cycle-co)
The tragedy is playing into a City of London Mayoral race, which is already focused on cycle safety. Candidates are positioning themselves to be the one most concerned about making London streets safer for cycling. The Times of London has played a part in making the issue central in the campaign with their “Cities fit for Cycling” campaign.
‘Give cyclists a head-start at traffic lights’
Rhoda Buchanan and Kaya Burgess
Last updated February 10 2012 12:01AM
Cyclists would have a five-second head-start on other traffic at dangerous junctions and all cycle lanes would be reviewed for safety if Ken Livingstone is re-elected as Mayor of London.
Mr Livingstone made his pledge as the Times campaign for safer cycling amassed a total of 25,000 written pledges of support, and more than 1,300 letters were written to MPs urging them to support the campaign and attend a parliamentary debate.
Greater Manchester Police also gave their backing to the campaign, joining a growing list of politicians, celebrities and businesses who support the call for “Cities fit for cycling”.
A debate in the House of Lords this week also suggested that ministers consider mimicking a new scheme in Paris that would allow cyclists in Britain to run through red lights if they are turning left at a T-junction.
.. read the rest… – http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/article3315346.ece
And from www.britishcycling.org.uk
“London Mayoral candidates under pressure to make radical changes for safer cycling”
Posted: 10 February 2012
Report: Eddie Allen
As momentum builds on road safety issues, yesterday the focus moved to London as the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) added its voice to recent demands for radical improvements to cycling infrastructure, with the launch of its ‘Love London, Go Dutch’ campaign, asking Londoners to petition mayoral candidates to deliver radically different, continental-style cycling infrastructure in the capital.
The LCC campaign has three main demands: Implementing three flagship ‘Go Dutch’ developments; making sure all planned developments on main roads that they control are redesigned to Go Dutch key principles and ensuring that the current Cycle Superhighway programme is completed to Go Dutch standards.
This is very much in line with British Cycling’s road safety strategy and it is clear that cycling will be a prominent issue in the London mayoral elections with Boris Johnson having invested in flagship projects including the cycle hire scheme and cycling super highways whilst Ken Livingstone, having pledged to improve conditions for London cyclists announcing yesterday that if he is elected cyclists would be given a five-second priority at busy junctions.
This “Dutch Style” meme marks a sea-change in philosophy around cycling issues. A great divide has always existed between cycling advocates – one element advocating for rules and regulations that will enable cyclists and automobiles to coexist on the same infrastructure – and those who believe the two cannot mix, and that separated infrastructure is the only way to achieve that elusive ‘critical mass’ that will take cycling from being viewed as a children’s recreational form to a serious urban transportation alternative.
Of coarse, one candidate is on the one side and his interlocutor, on the other – we’ll see who wins – and if ‘Dutch Style’ infrastructure actually get built.
But the discussion embraced is a qualitative change.
Posted: February 11th, 2012
Author: michael holloway
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