Thursday, 2 February 2012

Murdoch is a jerk, but...

The Times today have taken an extraordinary step by leading with a story that is all about increasing cyclists' safety. If you read many cycling blogs, then you'd already know this. And no, I'm not jumping on any bandwagon here - I've always been on it!

Don't get me wrong, I don't like The Times. Like so many of Murdoch's media, their right-wing garbage that they spew forth as news offends me. In light of this, I consider their Cities Fit For Cycling campaign nothing short of mind-blowingly remarkable as it pretty much flies in the face of almost everything they have written before.

I won't re-hash all they wrote, but I will say my thoughts & prayers go out to Mary Bowers, a journalist at The Times who was run over by a truck while cycling to work. Mary remains unconscious in hospital, several months after the crash, and that crash is what sparked off the campaign. Please click the link to the right and go visit their site to read all about it.

I'll finish this post by pasting the 8-point maifesto:

The Times has launched a public campaign and 8-point manifesto calling for cities to be made fit for cyclists:
  1. Trucks entering a city centre should be required by law to fit sensors, audible truck-turning alarms, extra mirrors and safety bars to stop cyclists being thrown under the wheels.
  2. The 500 most dangerous road junctions must be identified, redesigned or fitted with priority traffic lights for cyclists and Trixi mirrors that allow lorry drivers to see cyclists on their near-side.
  3. A national audit of cycling to find out how many people cycle in Britain and how cyclists are killed or injured should be held to underpin effective cycle safety.
  4. Two per cent of the Highways Agency budget should be earmarked for next generation cycle routes, providing £100 million a year towards world-class cycling infrastructure. Each year cities should be graded on the quality of cycling provision.
  5. The training of cyclists and drivers must improve and cycle safety should become a core part of the driving test.
  6. 20mph should become the default speed limit in residential areas where there are no cycle lanes.
  7. Businesses should be invited to sponsor cycleways and cycling super-highways, mirroring the Barclays-backed bicycle hire scheme in London.
  8. Every city, even those without an elected mayor, should appoint a cycling commissioner to push home reforms.