Decisions we need to think carefully about...

Honour Tomkinson

Honour Tomkinson

First published in News by

How did you get to work today? Most days I make a choice between walking or cycling, the outcome is natural, it’s usually decided based on time and energy levels or whether I need a vehicle of some sorts to run errands in the day. I hate the very rare occasions I have to drive a van. A five-minute drive gives no opportunity to quietly think and get some exercise before my tasks of the day.

Until recently I hadn’t really thought about why I have these options or make the decisions I do, but working with EasitOxford, a partnership promoting green travel options, has brought my attention to how we decide our mode of travel.

I expect most people make an educated daily travel decision based on how much it will cost them, whether they want a healthier option and fundamentally how much time each mode of travel will take.

Parking a car seems to be a major consideration for some and I know many a person who advocates bicycle use to overcome that obstacle.

But then again I have met those with an enviable inner-city parking space who still cycle for the exercise. I have friends who never learnt to drive or gave up due to its hostility. They love the bus or train and then their two feet fill in the gaps.

Listening to BBC Oxford last week I heard snippets of a delightful piece about travel in Oxford before the motorcar. Did you know an Oxford tram was turned down because the overhead cables were considered too unsightly for our picturesque city? Would you have used it? Everybody walked back then, even unimaginable distances nowadays, or if lucky you went by horse and cart. Neither option seems particularly speedy for today’s jobs and lifestyles – you just couldn’t afford the time. We must be so much busier than our ancestors but I don’t know if that’s a good thing.

Time is of the essence, we want to get from A to B in as little time as possible. Even when we go on holiday the journey is seen as a hindrance, not an experience. I really love taking longer on my daily commute, I take the dog to work most days and we like to get off road amongst nature, perhaps even adding a few miles by bike.

I wouldn’t dream of driving around our city when there are other options available. Perhaps you are thinking seriously about changing your commuting habits, maybe to get fitter or to be greener. EasitOxford is launching now and can help. Working in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council as part of the Government’s carbon reduction strategy to encourage more intelligent car use and inspire modal switch to public transport or walking and cycling, your employer may already be a member. You can check at www.easit.org.uk/ easitoxford. If not and you would like your business to become a member or would like more information please contact info@easit.org.uk

Comments (17)

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10:33am Tue 25 Feb 14

xenarthra says...

"...to encourage more intelligent car use and inspire modal switch..."

I approve of your aims, but I would caution against using messages that sound patronising ("more intelligent") and jargon-laden ("modal switch").

Both are sure-fire way to turn the public off to your message. A suggestion: if you mean "...to encourage less car use...", just say so.

Good luck with the launch.
"...to encourage more intelligent car use and inspire modal switch..." I approve of your aims, but I would caution against using messages that sound patronising ("more intelligent") and jargon-laden ("modal switch"). Both are sure-fire way to turn the public off to your message. A suggestion: if you mean "...to encourage less car use...", just say so. Good luck with the launch. xenarthra
  • Score: 12

11:19am Tue 25 Feb 14

Madi50n says...

I'd love to use my bicycle to commute, take my daughter to nursery & generally get about, but I tried that for about 3 months last summer and and it nearly got me and my daughter killed three times.

Once, on the Banbury Road by the taxi driver who sat on my rear wheel revving loudly until he squeezed by with no more than half a foot between us.

Once on Parks Road by a VW Toureg turning left in to south parks road.

The final straw was the taxi that squeezed us up against the pavement outside St Edward's on Woodstock road trying to get back into the bus lane.

These incidents and the inumerable times I was in a shared bus/taxi/cycle lane and had a taxi or massive bus sit less than a meter from my rear wheel and therefore from ny daughter's back, got me off my bicycle and into my car.

I wouldn't get back on a bicycle in this city if you paid me. Cycling's better for my health, and therefore helps the NHS; saves money, reduces traffic and therefore pollution too, but none of those are any good to you if you're dead.

Unfortunately, it's evident from the attitude of a lot of people posting on here they'd prefer it if cyclists didn't exist; it's also clear the council has no will to improve the cycling infrastructure or help to increase the number of cyclists, nor to increase their safety.

So I and a couple of other people I know, so I'm guessing (just guessing) that we won't be the only ones who have made this decision, get in our cars because it's safer for us and our children.

So essentially, bad attitudes to cyclists from drivers (many of them prfessional drivers) and a lacklustre attitude from the council means traffic just keeps getting worse.
I'd love to use my bicycle to commute, take my daughter to nursery & generally get about, but I tried that for about 3 months last summer and and it nearly got me and my daughter killed three times. Once, on the Banbury Road by the taxi driver who sat on my rear wheel revving loudly until he squeezed by with no more than half a foot between us. Once on Parks Road by a VW Toureg turning left in to south parks road. The final straw was the taxi that squeezed us up against the pavement outside St Edward's on Woodstock road trying to get back into the bus lane. These incidents and the inumerable times I was in a shared bus/taxi/cycle lane and had a taxi or massive bus sit less than a meter from my rear wheel and therefore from ny daughter's back, got me off my bicycle and into my car. I wouldn't get back on a bicycle in this city if you paid me. Cycling's better for my health, and therefore helps the NHS; saves money, reduces traffic and therefore pollution too, but none of those are any good to you if you're dead. Unfortunately, it's evident from the attitude of a lot of people posting on here they'd prefer it if cyclists didn't exist; it's also clear the council has no will to improve the cycling infrastructure or help to increase the number of cyclists, nor to increase their safety. So I and a couple of other people I know, so I'm guessing (just guessing) that we won't be the only ones who have made this decision, get in our cars because it's safer for us and our children. So essentially, bad attitudes to cyclists from drivers (many of them prfessional drivers) and a lacklustre attitude from the council means traffic just keeps getting worse. Madi50n
  • Score: 10

12:12pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Bart_simpsonDoh says...

mmmm no mention again of bad habbits by cyclists, its always the motorists fault. Thats why cyclists are never taken seriously as they never take any blame for their actions.
mmmm no mention again of bad habbits by cyclists, its always the motorists fault. Thats why cyclists are never taken seriously as they never take any blame for their actions. Bart_simpsonDoh
  • Score: -16

12:18pm Tue 25 Feb 14

xenarthra says...

Bart_simpsonDoh wrote:
mmmm no mention again of bad habbits by cyclists, its always the motorists fault. Thats why cyclists are never taken seriously as they never take any blame for their actions.
I cycle (and drive, and walk, and have a motorcycle license, and use public transport). I'm quite happy to admit that my cycling (and driving, and walking) are not always perfect. Now, will you stop trying to kill me when I'm on my bicycle?
[quote][p][bold]Bart_simpsonDoh[/bold] wrote: mmmm no mention again of bad habbits by cyclists, its always the motorists fault. Thats why cyclists are never taken seriously as they never take any blame for their actions.[/p][/quote]I cycle (and drive, and walk, and have a motorcycle license, and use public transport). I'm quite happy to admit that my cycling (and driving, and walking) are not always perfect. Now, will you stop trying to kill me when I'm on my bicycle? xenarthra
  • Score: 19

12:19pm Tue 25 Feb 14

xenarthra says...

Bart_simpsonDoh wrote:
mmmm no mention again of bad habbits by cyclists, its always the motorists fault. Thats why cyclists are never taken seriously as they never take any blame for their actions.
I cycle (and drive, and walk, and have a motorcycle license, and use public transport).

I'm quite willing to admit that my cycling (and my driving, and my walking) are not always perfect.

Does this mean other motorists will now stop trying to kill me? Is there some sort of badge I can wear when cycling to indicate that I'm the sort of cyclist who admits to making mistakes, so am not one of the ones that should die?
[quote][p][bold]Bart_simpsonDoh[/bold] wrote: mmmm no mention again of bad habbits by cyclists, its always the motorists fault. Thats why cyclists are never taken seriously as they never take any blame for their actions.[/p][/quote]I cycle (and drive, and walk, and have a motorcycle license, and use public transport). I'm quite willing to admit that my cycling (and my driving, and my walking) are not always perfect. Does this mean other motorists will now stop trying to kill me? Is there some sort of badge I can wear when cycling to indicate that I'm the sort of cyclist who admits to making mistakes, so am not one of the ones that should die? xenarthra
  • Score: 12

12:23pm Tue 25 Feb 14

King Joke says...

Madison's experience sounds terrifying - it's so sad stuff like this puts people off cycling.

Remember the safest place to be is at least 1 m away from the kerb, which makes it less likely that chancers will try to squeeze you out, and will instead wait for a safe opportunity to overtake.
Madison's experience sounds terrifying - it's so sad stuff like this puts people off cycling. Remember the safest place to be is at least 1 m away from the kerb, which makes it less likely that chancers will try to squeeze you out, and will instead wait for a safe opportunity to overtake. King Joke
  • Score: 14

12:25pm Tue 25 Feb 14

cubist says...

Bart_simpsonDoh wrote:
mmmm no mention again of bad habbits by cyclists, its always the motorists fault. Thats why cyclists are never taken seriously as they never take any blame for their actions.
no its not always the motorist's fault, but a mistake by a motorist can lead to death, is that blame enough for a mistake
[quote][p][bold]Bart_simpsonDoh[/bold] wrote: mmmm no mention again of bad habbits by cyclists, its always the motorists fault. Thats why cyclists are never taken seriously as they never take any blame for their actions.[/p][/quote]no its not always the motorist's fault, but a mistake by a motorist can lead to death, is that blame enough for a mistake cubist
  • Score: 12

3:14pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Madi50n says...

You see? Bart is one of those who wish cyclists weren't on the road.

I mention 3 specific incidents that, as a cyclist, have put me off ever getting on my bike again, and he pulls out the "Cyclists break the law too." argument.

Yes Bart, you are right, some cyclists do break the law. But that's not I was talking about, is it? I was pointing out why I and some other people I know don't cycle in Oxford anymore. Why we add to the congestion rather than help alleviate it.

We don't cycle, because we want to get home to our families in one peice. Having a 3 yr old on my bike, you can bet I was as careful as I could be; I never went through red lights, or on pavements or the wrong way down one way streets. We wore helmets and hi-vis, I had lights on my bike if it even looked like it might rain. None of these prevented me from the bad behaviour of those drivers, none of them prevented taxis and buses driving ina manner to threaten and frighten me and my daughter.

But, oh I see, sorry, because a few other cyclists do stupid things, that makes it okay for those drivers to threaten and drive dangerously, of course, it does, how silly of me not to have relaised i was a target because of other peoples' behaviour..

This is exactly why I don't cycle, people like Bart.

Their attitude is that cyclists are a nuisance and should get off "our" roads. They think a mythical road tax exists which they pay to use the roads and therefore cyclists should be grateful to them for allowing them the use of the roads, so don't moan when you get hit by a driver, it's your fault for being on the road in the first place.

They don't see cyclists as humans, just annoyances. Just go to youtube and search for cyclists and you can see hundreds of videos of drivers assaulting, crashing into, abusing, threatening, intimidating cyclists on a daily basis. People like Bart think it's ok because some cyclists don't abide by the rules. They are a bit too stupid to remember that many drivers don't abide by the rules either and they don't suffer the same intimidation and danger as cyclists. Why? because they're entitled to dish it out regardless of how badly they drive. Cyclists shoudn't be on the road.
You see? Bart is one of those who wish cyclists weren't on the road. I mention 3 specific incidents that, as a cyclist, have put me off ever getting on my bike again, and he pulls out the "Cyclists break the law too." argument. Yes Bart, you are right, some cyclists do break the law. But that's not I was talking about, is it? I was pointing out why I and some other people I know don't cycle in Oxford anymore. Why we add to the congestion rather than help alleviate it. We don't cycle, because we want to get home to our families in one peice. Having a 3 yr old on my bike, you can bet I was as careful as I could be; I never went through red lights, or on pavements or the wrong way down one way streets. We wore helmets and hi-vis, I had lights on my bike if it even looked like it might rain. None of these prevented me from the bad behaviour of those drivers, none of them prevented taxis and buses driving ina manner to threaten and frighten me and my daughter. But, oh I see, sorry, because a few other cyclists do stupid things, that makes it okay for those drivers to threaten and drive dangerously, of course, it does, how silly of me not to have relaised i was a target because of other peoples' behaviour.. This is exactly why I don't cycle, people like Bart. Their attitude is that cyclists are a nuisance and should get off "our" roads. They think a mythical road tax exists which they pay to use the roads and therefore cyclists should be grateful to them for allowing them the use of the roads, so don't moan when you get hit by a driver, it's your fault for being on the road in the first place. They don't see cyclists as humans, just annoyances. Just go to youtube and search for cyclists and you can see hundreds of videos of drivers assaulting, crashing into, abusing, threatening, intimidating cyclists on a daily basis. People like Bart think it's ok because some cyclists don't abide by the rules. They are a bit too stupid to remember that many drivers don't abide by the rules either and they don't suffer the same intimidation and danger as cyclists. Why? because they're entitled to dish it out regardless of how badly they drive. Cyclists shoudn't be on the road. Madi50n
  • Score: 13

9:18pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Floflo says...

oafie wrote:
Oh how lovely.......so glad you can afford to live near enough to do that.
If you live too far away to cycle all the way in you can always drive to a Park and Ride and ride the rest of the way. It's likely it will be faster then driving into the city.

Also if you are relatively fit you can do a six mile ride in around half an hour. A commute from Abingdon to Oxford is usually quicker, and much more relaxing by bike.

Or perhaps I should reply in the same tone as your post - so glad that you can afford to run a car and that you have the time to spend hours every week stuck in traffic.
[quote][p][bold]oafie[/bold] wrote: Oh how lovely.......so glad you can afford to live near enough to do that.[/p][/quote]If you live too far away to cycle all the way in you can always drive to a Park and Ride and ride the rest of the way. It's likely it will be faster then driving into the city. Also if you are relatively fit you can do a six mile ride in around half an hour. A commute from Abingdon to Oxford is usually quicker, and much more relaxing by bike. Or perhaps I should reply in the same tone as your post - so glad that you can afford to run a car and that you have the time to spend hours every week stuck in traffic. Floflo
  • Score: 11

9:06am Wed 26 Feb 14

Bart_simpsonDoh says...

Most of the replies to my comments must come from cyclists as they see things that are not there, and ignore the facts!! Where does it say I encourage drivers to kill cyclists? where does it say I target cyclists? If cyclsits can not use thier comon sense they they only have thmeselves to blame. I would not cycle up the inside of a lorry if it is indicating to turn left...common sense. I would not cycle down a one way street the wrong way..common sense. I would not cycle at night without any lights... common sense. I would look behind when pulling out...common sense. Just a few easy options to choose when cycling.
Most of the replies to my comments must come from cyclists as they see things that are not there, and ignore the facts!! Where does it say I encourage drivers to kill cyclists? where does it say I target cyclists? If cyclsits can not use thier comon sense they they only have thmeselves to blame. I would not cycle up the inside of a lorry if it is indicating to turn left...common sense. I would not cycle down a one way street the wrong way..common sense. I would not cycle at night without any lights... common sense. I would look behind when pulling out...common sense. Just a few easy options to choose when cycling. Bart_simpsonDoh
  • Score: -13

9:27am Wed 26 Feb 14

Madi50n says...

Bart, please answer these questions.

Where did I say I was "cycling up the inside of a lorry if it is indicating to turn left"?

Where did I say I was cycling "down a one way street the wrong way"?

Where did I say I was cycling "at night without any lights"?

Where did I say I don't "look behind when pulling out"?

I wasn't doing any of those things. I was cycling safely and responsibly on all three occasions, on all three occasions I was in a cycle lane or in the shared bus/taxi/cycle lane on Banbury and Woodstock road.

On all three occasions my life and that of my daughter was put in danger by motorists doing stupid and dangerous things.

Your response was

"mmmm no mention again of bad habbits by cyclists, its always the motorists fault. Thats why cyclists are never taken seriously as they never take any blame for their actions."

In all three of those cases it was categorically the motorists' fault.

More questions for you to answer:

Why does the behaviour of other cyclists have any bearing on the behaviour of those motorists to me in those incidents?

What blame am I supposed to take for these incidents where I was cycling legally and safely?

My comment was written to point out why i do not cycle in Oxford any more, and your response was "Cyclists have bad habits too".

Yes Bart, some cyclists do break the rules, and they shouldn't. Okay?

Last question:

Will you admit that motorists break the rules and they shouldn't?
Bart, please answer these questions. Where did I say I was "cycling up the inside of a lorry if it is indicating to turn left"? Where did I say I was cycling "down a one way street the wrong way"? Where did I say I was cycling "at night without any lights"? Where did I say I don't "look behind when pulling out"? I wasn't doing any of those things. I was cycling safely and responsibly on all three occasions, on all three occasions I was in a cycle lane or in the shared bus/taxi/cycle lane on Banbury and Woodstock road. On all three occasions my life and that of my daughter was put in danger by motorists doing stupid and dangerous things. Your response was "mmmm no mention again of bad habbits by cyclists, its always the motorists fault. Thats why cyclists are never taken seriously as they never take any blame for their actions." In all three of those cases it was categorically the motorists' fault. More questions for you to answer: Why does the behaviour of other cyclists have any bearing on the behaviour of those motorists to me in those incidents? What blame am I supposed to take for these incidents where I was cycling legally and safely? My comment was written to point out why i do not cycle in Oxford any more, and your response was "Cyclists have bad habits too". Yes Bart, some cyclists do break the rules, and they shouldn't. Okay? Last question: Will you admit that motorists break the rules and they shouldn't? Madi50n
  • Score: 11

9:28am Wed 26 Feb 14

xenarthra says...

Bart_simpsonDoh wrote:
Most of the replies to my comments must come from cyclists as they see things that are not there, and ignore the facts!! Where does it say I encourage drivers to kill cyclists? where does it say I target cyclists? If cyclsits can not use thier comon sense they they only have thmeselves to blame. I would not cycle up the inside of a lorry if it is indicating to turn left...common sense. I would not cycle down a one way street the wrong way..common sense. I would not cycle at night without any lights... common sense. I would look behind when pulling out...common sense. Just a few easy options to choose when cycling.
I say you are encouraging drivers to kill cyclists, whether you recognise it or not. I agree you didn't say it. I'm sure you wouldn't do these things. Well done! I hope you leave the car at home tomorrow and jump on a bike then, to show us all how it's done.
[quote][p][bold]Bart_simpsonDoh[/bold] wrote: Most of the replies to my comments must come from cyclists as they see things that are not there, and ignore the facts!! Where does it say I encourage drivers to kill cyclists? where does it say I target cyclists? If cyclsits can not use thier comon sense they they only have thmeselves to blame. I would not cycle up the inside of a lorry if it is indicating to turn left...common sense. I would not cycle down a one way street the wrong way..common sense. I would not cycle at night without any lights... common sense. I would look behind when pulling out...common sense. Just a few easy options to choose when cycling.[/p][/quote]I say you are encouraging drivers to kill cyclists, whether you recognise it or not. I agree you didn't say it. I'm sure you wouldn't do these things. Well done! I hope you leave the car at home tomorrow and jump on a bike then, to show us all how it's done. xenarthra
  • Score: 9

2:24pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Bart_simpsonDoh says...

Madi50 you really need to read the comments before replying as it makes you to be a bigger fool than you really are. Let me explain to you very
s l o w l e y........I was giving common advice to cyclists, where does it mention you in particular??????????
????
Madi50 you really need to read the comments before replying as it makes you to be a bigger fool than you really are. Let me explain to you very s l o w l e y........I was giving common advice to cyclists, where does it mention you in particular?????????? ???? Bart_simpsonDoh
  • Score: -9

2:42pm Wed 26 Feb 14

cubist says...

Bart_simpsonDoh, a question do you cycle at all?
Bart_simpsonDoh, a question do you cycle at all? cubist
  • Score: 6

10:42am Fri 28 Feb 14

museli says...

I do think some of you take Bart too seriously - I don't think all this anti-cyclist drivel he is forever posting is supposed to be taken as a logical argument to be contested. It's just the defensive reaction of someone deals with uncomfortable truths about their selfish behaviour by pointing the finger at everyone else. File him away with the deluded 'climate change is caused by homosexuals' and 'a big boy did it and ran away' cases and ignore him. Feeding the trolls just encourages them!
I do think some of you take Bart too seriously - I don't think all this anti-cyclist drivel he is forever posting is supposed to be taken as a logical argument to be contested. It's just the defensive reaction of someone deals with uncomfortable truths about their selfish behaviour by pointing the finger at everyone else. File him away with the deluded 'climate change is caused by homosexuals' and 'a big boy did it and ran away' cases and ignore him. Feeding the trolls just encourages them! museli
  • Score: 4

7:24pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Cityview says...

No I think there is a deeper issue with the Barts of the world. What really upsets them is that they have spent loads of money on their cars and assume that by spending more they are entitled to arrive quicker. Every time they are overtaken by a cyclist they think its unfair. Every cyclist getting there quicker highlights that their decision making process is flawed and they get angry about the money and time they are wasting.

Proof: Do you ever see complaints on here about motorbikes? No because being overtaken by a motorbike is OK because they cost loads of money.

The reality is every motorist should be happy to see a cyclist because thats one less car in front of them in the queue. I commute daily from Osney Mead onto the Botley road . While waiting at the lights I would estimate that the number of cyclists I see using the Botley Road halves when its raining. What happens to the Oxford traffic when it rains? It gridlocks. Cyclists in their cars?

I would love to prove this point. Lets have a "leave your bike at home and drive into Oxford day" and see how bad the gridlock would be and how many extra hours it would add to the commute.

Only problem is I can't see many cyclists being that keen to be travelling that slowly.
No I think there is a deeper issue with the Barts of the world. What really upsets them is that they have spent loads of money on their cars and assume that by spending more they are entitled to arrive quicker. Every time they are overtaken by a cyclist they think its unfair. Every cyclist getting there quicker highlights that their decision making process is flawed and they get angry about the money and time they are wasting. Proof: Do you ever see complaints on here about motorbikes? No because being overtaken by a motorbike is OK because they cost loads of money. The reality is every motorist should be happy to see a cyclist because thats one less car in front of them in the queue. I commute daily from Osney Mead onto the Botley road . While waiting at the lights I would estimate that the number of cyclists I see using the Botley Road halves when its raining. What happens to the Oxford traffic when it rains? It gridlocks. Cyclists in their cars? I would love to prove this point. Lets have a "leave your bike at home and drive into Oxford day" and see how bad the gridlock would be and how many extra hours it would add to the commute. Only problem is I can't see many cyclists being that keen to be travelling that slowly. Cityview
  • Score: 2

9:54pm Fri 28 Feb 14

xenarthra says...

Cityview wrote:
No I think there is a deeper issue with the Barts of the world. What really upsets them is that they have spent loads of money on their cars and assume that by spending more they are entitled to arrive quicker. Every time they are overtaken by a cyclist they think its unfair. Every cyclist getting there quicker highlights that their decision making process is flawed and they get angry about the money and time they are wasting.

Proof: Do you ever see complaints on here about motorbikes? No because being overtaken by a motorbike is OK because they cost loads of money.

The reality is every motorist should be happy to see a cyclist because thats one less car in front of them in the queue. I commute daily from Osney Mead onto the Botley road . While waiting at the lights I would estimate that the number of cyclists I see using the Botley Road halves when its raining. What happens to the Oxford traffic when it rains? It gridlocks. Cyclists in their cars?

I would love to prove this point. Lets have a "leave your bike at home and drive into Oxford day" and see how bad the gridlock would be and how many extra hours it would add to the commute.

Only problem is I can't see many cyclists being that keen to be travelling that slowly.
It's a nice theory. The only problem is that many car drivers also block the passage of motorbikes filtering through traffic. Frustration at moving slowly certainly plays a part in it, but I think the causes of danger to cyclists are (i) incompetent drivers, and (ii) impatient bullies. The first group are not too bad, because a cautious cyclist can ride defensively so as to minimise the threat they pose. The second group, however, are much nastier. Something about being encased in a steel shell leads them to dehumanise other road users into mere annoyances; cyclists come off particularly badly, because they are seen as weak, which is what a bully lives for. These people are capable of mind-boggling reckless manoeuvres in order to get past an irritating cyclists as quickly as possible, and if they can teach the cyclist a lesson at the same time, all the better. These are the sort of people that cause me the most concern. There are plenty of them in Oxford.
[quote][p][bold]Cityview[/bold] wrote: No I think there is a deeper issue with the Barts of the world. What really upsets them is that they have spent loads of money on their cars and assume that by spending more they are entitled to arrive quicker. Every time they are overtaken by a cyclist they think its unfair. Every cyclist getting there quicker highlights that their decision making process is flawed and they get angry about the money and time they are wasting. Proof: Do you ever see complaints on here about motorbikes? No because being overtaken by a motorbike is OK because they cost loads of money. The reality is every motorist should be happy to see a cyclist because thats one less car in front of them in the queue. I commute daily from Osney Mead onto the Botley road . While waiting at the lights I would estimate that the number of cyclists I see using the Botley Road halves when its raining. What happens to the Oxford traffic when it rains? It gridlocks. Cyclists in their cars? I would love to prove this point. Lets have a "leave your bike at home and drive into Oxford day" and see how bad the gridlock would be and how many extra hours it would add to the commute. Only problem is I can't see many cyclists being that keen to be travelling that slowly.[/p][/quote]It's a nice theory. The only problem is that many car drivers also block the passage of motorbikes filtering through traffic. Frustration at moving slowly certainly plays a part in it, but I think the causes of danger to cyclists are (i) incompetent drivers, and (ii) impatient bullies. The first group are not too bad, because a cautious cyclist can ride defensively so as to minimise the threat they pose. The second group, however, are much nastier. Something about being encased in a steel shell leads them to dehumanise other road users into mere annoyances; cyclists come off particularly badly, because they are seen as weak, which is what a bully lives for. These people are capable of mind-boggling reckless manoeuvres in order to get past an irritating cyclists as quickly as possible, and if they can teach the cyclist a lesson at the same time, all the better. These are the sort of people that cause me the most concern. There are plenty of them in Oxford. xenarthra
  • Score: 2

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