Monday 4 August 2014

The cyclist-killer bill: why its time to get our voices heard!

More details on the raised HGV speed limits are coming out, particularly that the DfT are saying that it will lead to an increase of KSIs. And who else is going to be involved in that KSI statistic? Go look in the mirror before you do a ride on a rural road.

The DfT are effectively saying "we are prepared to kill cyclists to satisfy the needs of the motoring lobby" -a lobby that consists of the FTA (happy to attend party conferences and talk to politicians), and the general motoring public, whose views are summarised by those of Gemma Doyle MP: don't ever hold us up, even on dual carriageways, and even if you are training for the commonwealth games..

The DfT then think they've got something to keep the politician's lobby groups happy, and for all their voting drivers who view being held up by a lorry from the "natural" road speed limit as a personal affront.

Yet when announcing this they pretended it was a "safety feature"' to sell it on all front: money for the businesses, happy drivers, and less people in A&E and the morgue.

They lied about the safety features.

The DfT report being discussed in the guardian shows that they know they are lying.

Yet the politicians —and this is a political decision— went ahead for the following reason

The lives of cyclists are not considered important

Which from a political perspective comes down to

They felt they would win more support from faster driving than the political cost of allowing a few more cyclists and pedestrians to die.

This shows where we are today. The parliamentary cycling group may publish reports asking for money, but the UK is not only 40 years behind the NL in infrastructure, it is 40 years behind the NL in caring about the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and other "vulnerable" road users.

We can ask all we want for cash, but first the DfT has to care about cyclists lives —which means the politicians have to care.

Which means we have to make them care.

The good news is that there will be an election next year. We need to get organised and make those politicians care, to feel that their positions are threatened if cyclists lives are threatened. Then maybe they will back down from the cyclist-killer bill —and lets start calling it that, shall we? If we keep calling it that, the name will stick, the consequences will be clear.

Maybe they will even go beyond that, and start to look in their wallet.

But first: stop the cyclist-killer bill!

It's lethality not only makes the roads of Britain even more dangerous to cycle, it makes it something that we can publicly campaign against and get our voice heard.

A few thousand cyclists arriving at parliament square demanding money is something that can be dismissed in the press, waved away by the politicians with fatuous words.

But imagine tens of thousands of cyclists, holding mass protests outside the DfT? At rush hour? Imagine cyclists blocking every bridge across the thames. We'd get heard.

And we need to get our voices heard —as if we don't, things won't get better: they will get worse.

1 comment:

  1. Let's establish which companies are planning to use these HGVs and organise a boycott of their goods and services. Also of downstream companies in the supply chain.