Tuesday 25 June 2013

Cycling Casualty Conundrum

Oh poppycock, fiddlesticks and poop!

(Apologies for the strong language)

Just when it seems safe to write a fairly positive blog piece, along comes another example of the attitude that the Scottish Government has towards cycling.

Cycling's getting safer! Yippee! So say Keith Brown. Don't take my word for it though. I'm a bit biased. Take Keith's words for it. It's in the report. What do you mean you haven't got time to go through the report!?! Oh well, here is a nice summary.

I'll even summarise further:

No need for strict liability as Scotland's Roads are getting safer anyway. Another wee campaign telling everyone to be nice should sort it out nicely.

Ummm...errrr....excuse me minister.....excuse me.....ummmm...have you actually seen the latest road traffic statistics produced by your very own Transport Scotland? Again, I'm sorry, but it's in the linked document somewhere. As I'm nice I'll summarise again.

Cycling casualties are up 9%.

It would appear that things have in fact gone a bit awry. Overall, yes, the roads are getting safer. That's good. Not though, if you are a cyclist (or a pedestrian or a motor cyclist!).

But wait a minute....Keith is using the 'improved statistics for cyclists' to justify dropping strict liability, he is probably using this to (more importantly in my opinion) spend only pennies on cycle infrastructure, and as a justification that warm cuddly adverts work.


So there we have it. Not only is CAPS a complete disaster (those that say it isn't have vested interests in not knocking CAPS too much), not only is our government ignoring all the evidence in favour of investing (INVESTING!!) in cycling, but it is also basing its decisions on incorrect data.

Today I was down in London as part of my day job. I used a Boris (rental) bike to get between the places I had to be. I got lost. I ended up cycling on some very busy roads. I also felt safer cycling there than I did in Glasgow. Yet there are ambitious plans to make cycling safer in London.

What do we have in our towns and cities? Another poster telling us to respect each other and a government that doesn't care.

Oh dear.


It's even worse than I suggested above. It's a 19% increase in killed or seriously injured (KSI) over 5 years. How can the government possibly ignore that.....


  1. Speaking as someone in the English 'provinces' I don't think this is a "Scotland problem", it's more an "anywhere that isn't central London problem".

    1. I'm sure that's the case Mark. I'm just focusing on Scotland as that is what I know and where my campaigning is focusing. There do seem to be pockets of good work in England with little happening elsewhere. You need a POP type campaign that isn't just focused on London.

    2. Sorry, that wasn't a dig at you in any way, I just didn't want you thinking that everyone South of the border is living the London dream!

    3. :-) It wasn't taken that way. It's a good point. London makes so much noise it is easy to forget what is happening elsewhere.

  2. Last week I was cycling in Edinburgh, a lady gave way to 4 cars, then floored out in front of me, clearly aware of the give-way-to-the-right rule, yet oblivious to, or more likely didn't WANT to extend that courtesy to cyclists.

    2 days ago I witnessed another cyclist penned into the curb by a Lothian bus. She was shouting out that it was a nightmare.

    Adds don't work. Fines & revoking driver's licenses might.

    On a happier note, I know the guy in the bottom left of your photo. He's laughing!