That's what I said to myself after my last post about the Nice Way Code. I'd said what I needed to say. I finished up recently with a video that demonstrated why the advice to 'ridicule' cyclists who cycle on the pavement was not only bad advice, but completely missed the point of why people often choose to cycle on the pavement.
I was literally gobsmacked, and said so on twitter.
This advert was in the Sunday Herald, a respectable Scottish Sunday paper.
So what is wrong with this advert (do I really need to write this!!). First off it contains an obscenity. OK, I'll admit, it's not the worst in the world, but it's not the sort of thing I'd want my 3 year old daughter coming across if she happened to look over my shoulder. (She does this surprisingly often for a 3 year old!)
What does that sign mean daddy?
But it's not really about the children, at least it's not about me trying to keep them sheltered from profanities that they will come across themselves soon enough. No, its the fact that this campaign is supposed to be encouraging us to respect each other more on the roads than we currently do. It's supposed to be teaching us all to live in harmony. Live and let live. Yet, here we have yet another advert from this campaign that is actively supporting the assertion that cyclists are angry. That cyclists are agressive. Cyclists are bad people.
Oh yes, I fully expect the NICE people to tell us that this advert, like every other advert, apparently, is not aimed at one group in particular. It's aimed at all road users.
NO IT ISN'T!!
It has hand signals in it, and I have never, ever seen a driver make any hand signals on the road...that is except signals similar to the third one. The only group that use signals like this are cyclists.....oh and wait a minute....horse riders as well....ah a connection......Hmmmm.
I'm going to hold my hand up and admit, yes, I have used rude signals when on the road, although I tend to use the much more refined coffee shaker hand signal. I try not to use them, and actually, I think I am pretty good at not using them. Why do I use then at all though? Am I just another bloody angry cyclist? Well.....let me write this in capitals just to make sure you don't miss it...
BECAUSE SOME W&NKER OF A DRIVER HAS JUST DRIVEN IN A WAY THAT NEARLY WIPED ME OFF THE ROAD AND POSSIBLY THE PLANET!!!!!
So yes, I felt compelled to put finger to keyboard just one more time.
I could not be more disgusted with this campaign. 'Give me Cycle Space' was misguided and a bit misleading. However, at least it didn't set the image of cycling and cycle campaigning in general back at least 5 years and possibly more.
So, I think it is time to make a personal plea to a few organisations....
Sustrans, CTC (UK), the AA, and all the other supporting organisations of this campaign, please, PLEASE withdraw your support from this mess. We need to send a clear message out to the general public that this isn't right and that the messages that this campaign sends out are wrong. Please put aside your political allegiances and agreements and think about the damage that this campaign is doing. You have to do the right thing.
Nice Way Code: Just stop. Now. You've done enough damage. Enough's enough.
Scottish Government: ........
I've been really biting my tongue over this one for a while, but I think it's time that someone took responsibility. I say the following as an individual and not as a member of any organisation.....
Many of us have been saying that leadership has to come from the top. For transport that means that we need leadership from the Scottish Government....from Keith Brown. We haven't got any.....until now. The government are the ones who asked for this campaign. The government are the ones that are paying for this campaign and the government are the ones who have lead this campaign. We now know what Keith Brown's leadership looks like and frankly, it stinks.
I've come to the conclusion that we will not have a safer cycling in Scotland with Keith Brown as minister for Transport.
I for one ask that Keith Brown steps down. Enough's enough.
What do you think?