Does anyone know about the accident in Thames street today? Drove past at about 1 pm and it looked like a man had been hit by one of those speed cyclists who pedal like something off a shovel! He was laying covered with a blanket with one of his eyes covered with a white bandage. He was surrounded by a few cyclists and police etc...just wondered if anyone knew anything? It looked like it happened on the corner near the zebra crossing over to the river.

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I'm a bit bored by the let's have ago at cyclists, I ride a bike I also drive and yes you do see a lot of people on bikes go through red lights, move from road to pavement or vice versa, all the things mentioned before and I suspect a few more besides. So do motorists!

However, having ridden a bike for a long time competitively and for pleasure, hmmm... pleasure is now the wrong word, because many motorists and the state of the roads make it everything but that, it has become increasingly apparent that the level of care and courtesy displayed by some towards cyclists is, in most cases, non existent. The state of 'cycle lanes' and roads are at best appalling, perhaps a cyclist swerving to avoid a drain cover that is 3 or 4 inches below the road surface or a hole that some clown has thrown 'stuff into as an excuse for a repair can be understood. 

Over the past few months I have been knocked off my bike 4 times, once by 111 bus at the High Street end of Station Road who thought it easier to go up onto the pavement to avoid the few cars in front of him but forgot I was there, once by a white van man who changed lanes at the traffic lights in Teddington when they were red and although I was stopped he didn't see me (we don't all jump them), once by a motorist in Hampton Hill who simply had to be in front then stopped dead because it was the end of the traffic queue but at least she got in front PHEW! and once in Richmond Park by a motorist who just thought it was fun to ride me off the road who with a cheer and a hand gesture went on his way.

It's not always the fault of the cyclist - a little more care and thought on both sides is all that's needed!




Trevor Mason said:

I agree 100% with Petra regarding the anti-social behaviour of the majority of cyclists and yes, i do mean the majority.
 
Petra Sale said:

His friend said it was a cyclist! Only going by what was mentioned...and what it looked like...geez... 

Cyclists do seem to have forgotten to put bells on their bikes these days though, just an observation...my cousin got hit in the stomach by a cyclist a few years back, and it really messed her up, they were speeding down a public footpath...as they seem to do when you're trying to have a walk in the park etc, coming up behind you no warning (no bell) and then just make a div to go past you...anyone could easily step over not knowing they're there. 

Just as bad on the roads, some riding side by side, shooting past the cars, knocking into mirrors then looking at you like your the one in wrong...who's the one paying the road tax to maintain your velodrome!

Lycra-Louts!

"'e's 'orrible all right, but 'e's fair - 'e's 'orrible to everybody"

Reg Smythe 

Daily Mirror

02 Oct 1958


Andy Kapp said:

Lycra-Louts!

I don't ride a bike but my husband spent many a month cycling from Hampton to Kensington. He has mentioned many times how badly a lot of the cyclists were driving and how he was surprised that there weren't more accidents.

There are, of course, both good and bad drivers and cyclists, but whereas the major motoring organisations (AA, RAC, IAM, etc) try to encourage drivers to be more aware of cyclists, some cycling organisations are trying to promote the idea that drivers should be held liable for any accident involving a cyclist - this doesn't seem like a level playing field.  I appreciate that cyclists have a difficult time these days and, when I used to cycle (I can't now for health reasons), the traffic was much lighter.  But this anti-driver stance is likely only to encourage cyclists to behave even less considerately.  I've almost been knocked down by cyclists who failed to stop at traffic lights and known at least one person seriously injured by a cyclist on a footpath.  I've driven along the A316 only to find traffic having to swerve around cyclists riding two abreast on the carriageway, instead of on the cycle path which they are required by law to use (look at the signs!).  If cycling organisations adopted the same approach as motoring ones, then maybe the situation would be better all round.

I'll now take cover from the inevitable flak!

It is perfectly legal to ride down the A316, good lord you may if you wish ride down the A3.

Feel free to tell us where these signs are?

The number of roads that have restrictions bar Motorways is a very select group.

allowing bikes on the pavement aka shared paths does not mean bikes have to use them. feel free to look up the laws or check the highway code rather than spouting ignorance.



Trevor Allan said:

There are, of course, both good and bad drivers and cyclists, but whereas the major motoring organisations (AA, RAC, IAM, etc) try to encourage drivers to be more aware of cyclists, some cycling organisations are trying to promote the idea that drivers should be held liable for any accident involving a cyclist - this doesn't seem like a level playing field.  I appreciate that cyclists have a difficult time these days and, when I used to cycle (I can't now for health reasons), the traffic was much lighter.  But this anti-driver stance is likely only to encourage cyclists to behave even less considerately.  I've almost been knocked down by cyclists who failed to stop at traffic lights and known at least one person seriously injured by a cyclist on a footpath.  I've driven along the A316 only to find traffic having to swerve around cyclists riding two abreast on the carriageway, instead of on the cycle path which they are required by law to use (look at the signs!).  If cycling organisations adopted the same approach as motoring ones, then maybe the situation would be better all round.

I'll now take cover from the inevitable flak!

Hi Trevor

I agree with most of your email. There are definitely good and bad drivers and good and bad cyclists. As an experience cyclist I often cringe at the dangerous positions many cyclists put themselves in on the roads.

Unfortunately I can't agree with your point about the A316. To the best of my knowledge there are no 'No Cycling' signs on the A316. A 'No cycling' sign looks like this:

The online version of the Highway Code, at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/travelandtransport/highwaycode/dg_069837, cites the following for cycle lanes [emphasis mine]:

63

Cycle Lanes. These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). Keep within the lane when practicable. When leaving a cycle lane check before pulling out that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer. 

I often don't use cycle lanes such as the ones on the A316 as they tend to be badly laid out (e.g. frequent interruptions and obstacles) and result in slower progress than using the main road.

When riding on a busy road it's important for a cyclist (or group of cyclists) to avoid being squashed into the kerb. That can often mean riding further into the carriageway or riding in a pair. This isn't very comfortable for most car drivers who are used to squeezing past at high speed. 

I've heard the argument that on fast roads like the A316 a driver might come around a corner and be surprised by two cyclists and have insufficient time or space to move around them. How would the same driver cope if they came across a broken down car? 

Anyway, I'm not looking for any argument and hopefully we can encourage friends and family to learn how to ride safely. The council have some info on their website: http://www.richmond.gov.uk/cycling_safety

Trevor Allan said:

There are, of course, both good and bad drivers and cyclists, but whereas the major motoring organisations (AA, RAC, IAM, etc) try to encourage drivers to be more aware of cyclists, some cycling organisations are trying to promote the idea that drivers should be held liable for any accident involving a cyclist - this doesn't seem like a level playing field.  I appreciate that cyclists have a difficult time these days and, when I used to cycle (I can't now for health reasons), the traffic was much lighter.  But this anti-driver stance is likely only to encourage cyclists to behave even less considerately.  I've almost been knocked down by cyclists who failed to stop at traffic lights and known at least one person seriously injured by a cyclist on a footpath.  I've driven along the A316 only to find traffic having to swerve around cyclists riding two abreast on the carriageway, instead of on the cycle path which they are required by law to use (look at the signs!).  If cycling organisations adopted the same approach as motoring ones, then maybe the situation would be better all round.

I'll now take cover from the inevitable flak!

Hi Tudor

I was actually thinking of the circular blue sign:

which occurs on the A316 and other major roads.  This type of sign is described as one which gives instructions, but I accept that the Highway Code description is open to interpretation.  I've always assumed that it indicated that the cycle path was compulsory for cyclists, whereas the rectangular sign: 

(which you see on other roads) is a recommendation.  I could be wrong, but there seems little point in having two distinct signs if they are both voluntary.

It's pretty confusing, isn't it. No wonder people aren't sure what to do sometimes...

The round sign is defined as: Route for pedal cycles only.  

The second one is described as : Route recommended for pedal cycles on the main carriageway of a road. 

I guess the subtlety is that the round sign is not mandating that cyclists must use the lane, instead that cyclists are the only road users permitted to use the lane.

Source: Bus and cycle signs and road markings 

 

Tudor

Thanks - pity (for cyclists!) that I was wrong, but I'm sure your clarification will help a lot of readers of this post.  I also accept that some of these cycle paths are so poorly maintained that they provide no incentive to use them.  However, common sense ought to dictate their use on busy dual carriageways, and maybe this is an area which could be investigated by DoT.  Unfortunately though, I can't agree with the tone of Roger's comment - it could encourage cyclists to put themselves at unnecessary risk.  The whole point of increasing the availability of cycle paths was to get cyclists off the road, so somebody obviously thinks this was important, and so do I!

It is so true that there are good and bad drivers whatever mode of transport you use!
We (myself, buggy & child on scooter) nearly got mowed down by a car this week, we were two thirds of the way across Tudor Road by the cash machine
When I heard a car rev it's engine and speed up so he didn't have to wait 30 seconds for us to finish crossing the road! As he passed he waved to us like the queen! Cheers!

As a keen cyclist, and although i agree with you petra, I probably pay more in road tax in one year than you do in 5, 2 cars and 3 vans..just saying!

Petra Sale said:

His friend said it was a cyclist! Only going by what was mentioned...and what it looked like...geez... 

Cyclists do seem to have forgotten to put bells on their bikes these days though, just an observation...my cousin got hit in the stomach by a cyclist a few years back, and it really messed her up, they were speeding down a public footpath...as they seem to do when you're trying to have a walk in the park etc, coming up behind you no warning (no bell) and then just make a div to go past you...anyone could easily step over not knowing they're there. 

Just as bad on the roads, some riding side by side, shooting past the cars, knocking into mirrors then looking at you like your the one in wrong...who's the one paying the road tax to maintain your velodrome!

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