Thursday, 6 December 2012

After the War Comes Peace?

Last night saw The War on Britain's Roads take to the small screen. There had been plenty of discussion before was it aired about how terrible it would be, and we would all be knocked off our bikes by angry drivers as a result. I suspect the truth is a little less sensational, and that it has been business as usual, although I had the day off, so no cycling for me.

I think some of the suggestions about how terrible it would be were a little over the top. That's not to say that the programme didn't have any problems. I think some of the editing was a bit harsh (not of me but of others), the programme lacked balance in some of the comments made, there was no need for the Allecat races (do we show illegal car racing in car safety documentaries?), and there was no discussion of any solutions to the issues.

We at Pedal on Parliament have come up with a possible solution to the incident that I had with the HGV at the roundabout in Milngavie. It's worth a look.

I'm still recovering from seeing my ugly mug in TV and trying to catch up with everything that has been written about it (the documentary, not my ugly mug). I'll take a day or two to take stock before I write about the experience in detail. However, one outcome from last night is worth sharing.

As anyone who reads this blog will know and as was mentioned in the documentary, I get lots of abuse on my YouTube channel. Some of it can be very nasty. However, a short while after the programme finished I recieved a message. Rob, wrote the following to me in a message via my contact page on this blog:

Good evening,

I am contacting you after seeing you on The War On Britain's Roads tonight. I have previously viewed your videos on YouTube and I have left you abusive comments. However, after seeing this programme, I feel that I owe you an apology.

The programme made me stop and think carefully. I have only once knowingly driven dangerously close to a cyclist and it is now something that I deeply regret.

As you acknowledged in the programme, there are bad cyclists just as there are bad drivers. However, in both cases the good far outweighs the bad.

Very best regards, and all the best for the festive period,


I've since contacted Rob to say thanks for his words, and I've told him how much they were appreciated, and he has agreed to write a guest blog here in the not too distant future.

I think we can all learn from my experiences on the road (I am still learning), I also think Rob can teach us a lesson or two as well. Let's forget our prejudices, and remember that every car, every bike, every truck has a person on or in it, and we all deserve respect on the roads. Yes the the design of the roads certainly needs a major overhaul and needs it as soon as possible, and I will continue to work towards that, but with a bit more tolerance and consideration from everyone we can save lives now.

Let's make Britain's roads a safe and enjoyable place to be for all.


  1. It's very heartening to hear that the documentary has made at least one motorist re-think their attitude towards cyclists. If the programme reached millions, how many other "Rob's" are out there?

  2. The programme was certainly thought-provoking, but where were the female cyclists and the non-lycra-wearing people who cycle day-to-day?