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Insight into an anti-cycling campaigner

deptfordmarmosetdeptfordmarmoset Posts: 3,118
edited August 2010 in Campaign
I apologise if this is not the right thread for this subject but anyone interested in promoting cycling might be interested in what the opposition is doing.

Last week, I had a look on Westminster Council's website trying to get a little background on Angela Harvey, a person who has made a few recent tar-them-all-with-the-same-brush style comments in the press about cyclists.

I came across this PDF on my searches.http://www3.westminster.gov.uk/newcsu/Policy_and_Scrutiny_Committees/Current_P_and_S_Committees_and_Task_Groups/Built_Environment_PandS/2009/1%20December%202009/Item%204%20-%20Late%20representation%20-%20Cyclists%20conduct.pdf It was a late submission to the council meeting that led directly to the chairperson, Angela Harvey, making her statements about ''We're always getting little old ladies who are knocked down and abused by a cyclist, who leave them on the ground as they ride away.''

I found the contents of this submission fascinating, not just for its entirely anti-cyclist tone but also for the pressure groups this person, Doreen McNelly considers to be her allies. (AA, RAC, Addison Lee and, of course, Westminster Council). It looks very much to me like an anti-cyclist campaign to me and, while I think she's probably completely barking, her submission seems to have been effective in helping to form WCC's present cycling policy.

Posts

  • Very tempted to send an email to Ms McNelly ([email protected])
    Who are Elizabeth Bunn and Rowena ?
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    Didn't Westminster Council, after a FoI request, admit that indeed no old ladies were knocked down in Westminster.

    If I lived or commuted through Westminster I might be interested in asking their "Cycling Team" (http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/ ... s/cycling/) to have a look and to bring to attention of the appropriote people in the council just why they should ignore it.
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,558
    The same old ladies being run over by cyclists routine was trotted out regulalry when i was on Bromley council's pedestrian and cycling committee - where cyclists were outnumbered 2 to 1 by a bunch mad old bats who hated us.

    The argument that allowing cyclists to use shared use paths legally would make them safer for the elderly never cut ice with them. Kids would bomb around on footpaths making old people feel safe. With these paths open for shared use I always reckoned that the kids would probably censored off elsewhere - and the responsible cyclists would not be running the elderly over.

    I blame the Mail and Express for making old people scared of cyclists and young people.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,457
    Porgy wrote:
    ................

    I blame the Mail and Express for making old people scared of cyclists and young people.

    I agree. Stories like that sell papers better than stories about how nice things are in the area. And it's been my experience that older people tend to take whatever they read
    or see on the Internet fairly seriously. Especially if it's something about them. My parents are still around at 85 & 87 and occasional they tell me about this or that and how concerned they are, yet it turns out to be pretty much just hype, complete bullsh*t, and or bad jouralism.
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,558
    dennisn wrote:
    Porgy wrote:
    ................

    I blame the Mail and Express for making old people scared of cyclists and young people.

    I agree. Stories like that sell papers better than stories about how nice things are in the area. And it's been my experience that older people tend to take whatever they read
    or see on the Internet fairly seriously. Especially if it's something about them. My parents are still around at 85 & 87 and occasional they tell me about this or that and how concerned they are, yet it turns out to be pretty much just hype, complete bullsh*t, and or bad jouralism.

    I should also mention that local papers pretty much like to whip up people into a frenzy about petty anti-social behaviour - or what kids have always got up to.
  • Eau Rouge wrote:
    Didn't Westminster Council, after a FoI request, admit that indeed no old ladies were knocked down in Westminster.

    If I lived or commuted through Westminster I might be interested in asking their "Cycling Team" (http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/ ... s/cycling/) to have a look and to bring to attention of the appropriote people in the council just why they should ignore it.

    This is exactly what I heard too but I don't have any further confirmation beyond a comment on a blog. I did note that Angela Harvey had changed tack in a later BBC Radio 5 programme and bunny-hopped her rant onto canal tow-paths. The change in line of attack suggests that the FoI request story was accurate. Here's her words:

    ''..cyclists are rushing through and we may end up with a pram in the canal. That's what we're very worried about.''
  • shouldbeinbedshouldbeinbed Posts: 2,732
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    Didn't Westminster Council, after a FoI request, admit that indeed no old ladies were knocked down in Westminster.

    If I lived or commuted through Westminster I might be interested in asking their "Cycling Team" (http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/ ... s/cycling/) to have a look and to bring to attention of the appropriote people in the council just why they should ignore it.

    This is exactly what I heard too but I don't have any further confirmation beyond a comment on a blog. I did note that Angela Harvey had changed tack in a later BBC Radio 5 programme and bunny-hopped her rant onto canal tow-paths. The change in line of attack suggests that the FoI request story was accurate. Here's her words:

    ''..cyclists are rushing through and we may end up with a pram in the canal. That's what we're very worried about.''

    has there been a FoI request on the occurrence of cyclists barging prams into canals in Westminster.

    I bet she's losing sleep over being abducted by aliens on bikes too :roll:
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    Didn't Westminster Council, after a FoI request, admit that indeed no old ladies were knocked down in Westminster.

    If I lived or commuted through Westminster I might be interested in asking their "Cycling Team" (http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/ ... s/cycling/) to have a look and to bring to attention of the appropriote people in the council just why they should ignore it.

    This is exactly what I heard too but I don't have any further confirmation beyond a comment on a blog. I did note that Angela Harvey had changed tack in a later BBC Radio 5 programme and bunny-hopped her rant onto canal tow-paths. The change in line of attack suggests that the FoI request story was accurate. Here's her words:

    ''..cyclists are rushing through and we may end up with a pram in the canal. That's what we're very worried about.''

    has there been a FoI request on the occurrence of cyclists barging prams into canals in Westminster.

    I bet she's losing sleep over being abducted by aliens on bikes too :roll:

    The woman sounds like she lives in a fantasy world. Why doesnt she just blame us for the 30 dead at the hands of a suicide bomber on the news today - as he was on a bike. :roll:
  • sirmysirmy Posts: 67
    Interesting. In point 1 f) of her rant it sounds very much her taxi driver had parked n a corner with limited visibility - bit stupid that really, she could have been hit by a car forced to go past without being able to see whats ahead and was she getting out on the offside of the cab into the traffic (would have expected her to make a point of stating that the cyclists were on the pavement)?

    As for her point about bike parking, cities like York seem to funtion perfectly well with the number of bikes parked on their streets and lets face it, a bike parked up on the avement takes up a lot less space than a car parked on the pavement, and that seem s to be the prefered place to park in most towns and cities.

    An MOT for bikes! Dear, oh dear oh dear.

    Licence plates for bike, they've been dropped by almost every place that introduced them, an expensive waste of money.
    Perhaps someone should send her a copy of the TRL research on road crashes involving cyclists
  • SplottboySplottboy Posts: 4,208
    I never leave little old ladies lying on the floor when I've hit them.
    I make them get up and wipe their blood off my frame...

    This woman is clearly mad.
  • Stewie GriffinStewie Griffin Posts: 4,374
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    Didn't Westminster Council, after a FoI request, admit that indeed no old ladies were knocked down in Westminster.

    If I lived or commuted through Westminster I might be interested in asking their "Cycling Team" (http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/ ... s/cycling/) to have a look and to bring to attention of the appropriote people in the council just why they should ignore it.

    This is exactly what I heard too but I don't have any further confirmation beyond a comment on a blog. I did note that Angela Harvey had changed tack in a later BBC Radio 5 programme and bunny-hopped her rant onto canal tow-paths. The change in line of attack suggests that the FoI request story was accurate. Here's her words:

    ''..cyclists are rushing through and we may end up with a pram in the canal. That's what we're very worried about.''

    has there been a FoI request on the occurrence of cyclists barging prams into canals in Westminster.

    I bet she's losing sleep over being abducted by aliens on bikes too :roll:

    Its the Grand Union Canal and therefore anything barged into it will merely sit on top of all of the other prams, tyres, Sainsburys shopping trolleys, bicycle shaped objects, heroin addicts and the rest of London's jetsam.

    Lay off the biddies anyway, it keeps them busy :D
  • EsinemEsinem Posts: 24
    These minutes from the meeting chaired by Ms Harvey make for some interesting reading on what's to come: http://www3.westminster.gov.uk/newcsu/Policy_and_Scrutiny_Committees/Current_P_and_S_Committees_and_Task_Groups/Built_Environment_PandS/2010/17%20March%202010/Item%203%20-%20Minutes%20of%201%20Dec%202009%20Meeting.doc :roll:

    See this thread also: http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=16286656#16286656

    You only have to Google to find much talk of a clamp down on cyclists who break the law, of greater restrictions and enforcement by the like of CEOs. Now they have squeezed motorists to the limits, they are looking for fresh blood. Make no mistake, cylists are next unless you nip it in the bud.

    PS I hate to tell you but I can personally vouch for one story of an old lady being run over by a cyclist and suffering a broken hip, my flat mate's mother. No, I hasten to add, was she NOT left in a pool of blood.
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    If cyclists break the law fine them. I've got no problem with that. If you don't see the Policeman or PCO standing at the lights then you are not paying enough attention. And you shouldn't be breaking the Highway Code anyway.
  • EsinemEsinem Posts: 24
    Indeed and I have no argument with the law being properly upheld but enforcement will no doubt be subbed out to profit orientated private contractors. Profit hungry councils will use this as the next cash cow as dubious tickets are issued by poorly trained target driven civil enforcers.
  • binlinusbinlinus Posts: 305
    Porgy wrote:
    dennisn wrote:
    Porgy wrote:
    ................

    I should also mention that local papers pretty much like to whip up people into a frenzy about petty anti-social behaviour - or what kids have always got up to.

    Mmm... not so sure about that. I write for my local paper, which recently ran this piece: http://news.fitzrovia.org.uk/2010/07/28/cycling-is-not-dangerous-it-is-the-motorised-stupid/

    We ran another story that voiced residents concerns about the placement of London Cycle Hire Docking Stations and we tried to make our reporting balanced http://news.fitzrovia.org.uk/2010/07/07/cycle-hire-stations-arrive-in-fitzrovia/

    I agree that many local and national papers do behave irresponsibly. And so does Matt Seaton in the Guardian, who should know better. But some of us are trying to do better.

    http://news.fitzrovia.org.uk/category/cycling/
  • hstileshstiles Posts: 414
    Esinem wrote:
    Indeed and I have no argument with the law being properly upheld but enforcement will no doubt be subbed out to profit orientated private contractors. Profit hungry councils will use this as the next cash cow as dubious tickets are issued by poorly trained target driven civil enforcers.

    That's OK. It's easier to appeal a fixed penalty issued by a poorly trained target driven civil enforcer.
  • EsinemEsinem Posts: 24
    This typifies the way private enforcement works:

    Locally, Apcoa do our enforcement. They have a CCTV Smart Car, which the manufactures claim is designed as a deterrent, carefully hidden in Valmar Rd to catch as many people as possible stopping on a 'No Loading at any time' section of yellow lines. The justification is that they present a hazard by doing so. Probably valid enough. However, rather than prevent such hazards occuring, they hide. That makes perfect sense to a business out to maximise profit but very little if the purpose is road safety and preventing obstructions as the council claim.

    Hypocritically, the car parks within 3m of the corner on a double yellow line. Seemingly, if you have an enforcers parking permit, you don't cause any hazard or obstruction when you park for hours on yellow lines or too near a corner :roll: If you are a private individual going about your business who does the same for a couple of minutes, it costs £120!

    I honestly believe cyclists will become the next cash cow. After all, there have been significant decreases in demand for parking in central London as anti-congetsion measures bite and it is becoming increasingly hard to keep increasing revenue. I sincerely hope it doesn't, but if it does, I do hope it will be vigorously resisted.
  • hstileshstiles Posts: 414
    I don't see how private companies can successfully enforce traffic penalties against cyclists unless they physically stop them.

    Unless a bike is very distinctive, there's no obvious identification marks and a cyclist only has to wear a helmet, hooded top and anti pollution mask to be nigh on unidentifiable.

    Cars are easy prey. Pull up in an unmarked CCTV vehicle or one of those Smart Cars with a camera on the top, take a few photos and bingo, your letter for the local enforcement office and fine for £30/£60/£120 is on it's way to you before you even complete your journey.
  • EsinemEsinem Posts: 24
    Here's the technology: http://www.iienet.org/uploadedFiles/IIE ... es/464.pdf You can see it here used for parking in the US. CCTV enforcement will become redundant I suspect as RDLI technology grows. There is already a campaign to fit these as anti-theft devices to bicycles. It is also policy to encourage registration and marking together with much more secure bike parking to discourage the high rates of theft. Fair enough to pay for the extra security. However, I can see it will come at the expense of the loss of free 'fly-parking' as this is perceived as a 'problem' due to obstruction, safety etc. 'Problems' bring solutions, like parking enforcement. Once bicycles are chipped, automated readers can easily detect offences, e.g. parking, red lights, riding on pavements etc. But by the time anyone realises what is happening they will have already fitted these fantastic 'anti-theft' devices and they will be compulsory anyway ;-)

    "Bike security is a major cause of concern on large university campuses. We propose using RFID technology to solve this problem. The system proposed in this paper is unique as it seeks to implement intelligent object tracking and identification in an open space with no closed boundaries."

    "In our system, we have adopted the open space approach, which is less restrictive in that controlled egress is not required. By optimizing and enhancing the RFID and firmware technology implemented, we have tried to achieve cost feasibility by not modifying existing facilities, as well as providing ease of use, ability to handle multiple transactions simultaneously as well as improved aesthetics. The open space system is
    convenient for users because they don’t need to access specific entry and exit points and they can come in and go out of the area of coverage from any point. The main advantage of this implementation type is that it needs very minor modification of the existing facilities and equipment."

    Of course, meanwhile, there's the lo-tech option:

    "Reducing flyparking. Flyparking (e.g., locking cycles to trees or street furniture) is common and can contribute to your local crime problem simply because flyparked bicycles are generally less secure than those locked to purpose-built facilities. Reducing flyparking can be achieved by adding additional appropriate facilities (see next section), but in some cases other effort may be required.

    At the University of Minnesota, flyparking was identified as an issue, and a "booting" intervention was implemented to tackle the problem. Coordinated by the UMPD, during the first two weeks of May, police and two student security monitors issue warnings to cyclists who flypark bicycles. Thereafter, they fine owners of flyparked bicycles $34. Then they "boot"-lock with a bright orange U-lock-flyparked bicycles, and instruct their owners to contact a student monitor so that they can pay a fine to have the lock removed. The UMPD suggests that bicycle theft has fallen from around 350 incidents per year before intervention to fewer than 150 per year for the two-year period afterward.67"

    What happens in the States, often comes here, sadly.
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