Thursday, 1 March 2012


Positive cycling culture
Make no mistake. This is big. Corporate manslaughter charge mooted for TfL  and DCI Oldham speaking massive sense again. I've come to love the chap.

What does this mean for local authorities? The Times states "If charges are brought, it would alert local authorities that they can be held responsible for deaths unless they improve danger spots."

They'd be scared... what would happen next?

Would local authorities firmly retreat into the darkness of their shells and silos, head-in-sand, eyes wide shut. Bending, twisting, can't-do-it like that and ignoring the obvious (and postponing the inevitable). Continue to marginalise walking and cycling, or discouraging by in-action. The land of bollards and cattle-herding guard railing.
  • Or will they live up to the measures required to make places truly safe and have a positive modal shift? Will they take measures to reduce traffic? Give space to cycling and walking? Clearly delineate spaces and integrate where approriate? Give due regard to sustainable active green modes? And make junctions safe? What about the use of intelligent traffic light systems? Overall. Safety by design, enforced where necessary. Getting the priorities right. And making places for people.
If I'd asked civil servants to cycle to work - it's actually part of my town's Climate Change Declaration to lead by example - would I be viewed as making a callous request and would it trigger the well-rehersed town hall re-action of reams of risk assessments reeling off the 'production' line (usually hampering any real action in the process)?
  • Or would it bring about real changes like danger reduction measures and a positive approach to road safety with notable increases in active travel?

What happens next, is of course down to leadership. Continuing 'as is' is not an option.

The crunch question is this. Will our leaders lead us down the 'road of slavery or salvation'?

It's an acid test.

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