Last week I posted a letter that I had written in response to a letter that appeared in the Halifax Courier regarding cyclists. Before you continue reading, I suggest that you read this.
Done that? Good. Tomorrow the weekly newspaper is published and it will be interesting to see if anyone has contacted the paper in response of what I wrote. On the Courier’s website however, there has been a response – from Rickie – and I print it here in full:
“Cyclists should be allowed all the courtesy on roads as any other road user I agree. If you also drive however I’m sure you’ve also came across the ‘cyclists’ that get on motorists thruppeny bits!
Are you proud to be one of these – cyclist for 2-3 miles weaves in and out of traffic to get as far ahead without concern or observation, this cyclist was riding an expensive bike and was kitted out apart from anything hi-vis.
Overtaking and undertaking, causing vehicles to brake sharply due to weaving in and out, ending for me in a cut into a bus lane and run a red light directly into an other lane of traffic proceeding lawfully through a green light. Causing him to almost collide with the nearside of my vehicle and forcing me to swerve into another lane of oncoming traffic to avoid hitting the more ‘vulnerable’ party, fortunately oncoming vehicles seen him too so accident averted. His response to asking if he knew what a red light was for, was a response of “F**K OFF!”
I give way and allow space for all road users, a full car width when passing if possible, and at a lower speed again if possible especially for cyclists and horses.
Please also bear in mind the objection to cyclists being pretty much given free reign on roads for many motor vehicle drivers, no training, no insurance, no ongoing taxation/VAT, no MOT, and (if I had hit the previously mentioned reckless cyclist I would have been the one held at fault regardless) lack of accountability for any offences/incidents caused.
In personal experience I’d say 70/30 to 60/40 in favour of motor vehicles being considerate, on the other side it’s (unfortunately) the opposite way round for cyclists (and some motorcyclists). I have friends who are both cyclists and motorcyclists who agree that there are a large number of people who just don’t know how to use a road safely for themselves and others, but the most vulnerable are the ones who would come of worst (idiot car/van/lorry drivers are protected to some extent) and seem to care less than they should.
Personal opinion to finish off is a training course for road using cyclists (lets face it, it’s neither going to be expensive if it was to cost at all, especially for kids, nor be more difficult than the old cycling proficiency test which if you can’t pass stay off the roads), and some sort of insurance cover for cyclists (never seen a private prosecution yet against a negligent cyclist who caused an accident, and not because there aren’t any), an annual, at least, check on bikes could be something on offer from many places to ensure it’s condition is safe to use in all weathers and conditions.
Hope this has been constructive criticism, but I fully expect the usual responses from those that think they have a god given right to be a prat.”