InMIdtown BID think cyclists need therapy

binlinus Posts: 305
edited August 2011 in Campaign
My community paper received this press release which is being sent out today and asks cyclists to be "responsible" while saying nothing about motorists being responsible. It even suggests cyclists need "therapy".

I'm helping do put together a response for the paper. Clearly this business organisation are demonising cyclists. Comments please.


Name: Hannah Walsh

PRESS ENQUIRIES: Hannah Walsh or Emma Loraine-Smith at Rain UK
T: 020 7828 0118

Considerate Cyclist Code to Encourage Responsible Cycling
in Central London

London’s commercial centre today celebrates the launch of the Mayor of London’s new cycle hire scheme by announcing the development of an additional initiative to support responsible cycling behaviour. inmidtown, the business improvement district (BID) for Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles, is creating inmidtown’s Considerate Cyclist Code. The code will be handed out to cyclists in the area, which has seven cycle hire docking stations, by the area’s dedicated on-street support team, the inmidtown Rangers.

With 200,000 visitors into the area every day and highly congested roads, inmidtown’s Considerate Cyclist Code will encourage best practice cycling behaviour. The code, which will be availble from the inmidtown kiosk (outside Holborn station), directly from the Midtown Rangers and downloadable from from September, will set out ten straightforward steps for cyclists.

The code will also detail where and how workers and visitors to the area can report cyclists who aren’t following the rules. Bad cyclist behaviour can then be reported to an inmidtown Ranger, visible in their distinctive orange uniforms, or uploaded at a dedicated forum on the inmidtown website.

Comments Tass Mavrogordato, CEO of inmidtown, “As a thriving commerical district with an aim to cut carbon emissions by 10%, we encourage cycling in the district and welcome the Mayor’s much-anticipated new bike hire scheme. However, whilst more cyclists help ease traffic and reduce the amount of polluting vehicles in the area, we need to ensure responsible cycling, for the cyclists’ own safety, as well as that of pedestrians.”

Comments Raj Thurairajah, “As well as handing out the Considerate Cyclist Code around the district, with a particular eye on cyclists who are breaking the rules, we’ll be addressing the issue at source. We plan do this by going into the head offices of companies who have a lot of cyclists, for example couriers, talking to representatives there about responsible cycling practice and handing out copies of the code.”

inmidtown’s Considerate Cyclist Code – an extract
• As tempting as it is, don’t hop onto pavements on your bicycle. Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles have up to 200,000 pedestrians heading into the area every day who need all the space on offer!
• Do use our back streets – they’re much quieter and will often offer a quicker route to your destination.
• The area has hundreds of great bars and restaurants but however tempting it is to jump back on your bike after a few, it’s really not worth it. Don’t drink and ride!

In a further cyclist education initiative to go live later this year, inmidtown is looking to host a live simulation of the view of the roads of Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles from a lorry’s cab. The aim is to highlight how cyclists can take responsible measures to ensure their own safety by staying in view of the lorry’s mirrors and not weaving in and out of traffic.

inmidtown is also looking into the logistics of implementing a Cyclist Therapy programme where cyclists identified as having broken the Code are sent out with the driver of a large vehicle to observe how dangerous it is for cyclists to not follow the rules of the road.

The launch of the Good City Cyclist Code builds on inmidtown’s 2009 Operation Responsible Cycling initiative, which saw the inmidtown Rangers, Holborn Police and PCSOs work together to stop 200 cyclists in the district over a four day period for anti-social cycling.

- ENDS –


Notes to Editors

Information about inmidtown:

Established in 2005, inmidtown is a Business Improvement District which represents the interests of businesses in the areas of Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles, in order to deliver a quality working environment and a place that is desirable amongst businesses.

On 1st November 2009, inmidtown launched a five year business plan [2010-15] seeking to renew the mandate in Holborn and extend the BID to Bloomsbury and St Giles in February 2010. The mandate was successful and the major regeneration of the area has commenced, with inmidtown now the second largest BID in the UK.

For more information:

A business improvement district (BID) is a public-private partnership in which businesses in a defined area pay an additional tax or fee in order to fund improvements within the district's boundaries.

The area of Holborn, St Giles and Bloomsbury is located between the West End and the City of London as the geographic centre of London and a major business, commercial and employment centre which welcomes over 200,000 employees each day.


  • Mike Healey
    Mike Healey Posts: 1,023
    Why not mention, re pavements, that, in the last 5 years, no pedestrian has been killed in collision with a cyclist, on or off-road in London.

    On the other hand, 17 pedestrians have been killed on pavements in collisions with motor vehicles over the same period. So why no Code for Responsible Drivers?
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
  • binlinus
    binlinus Posts: 305
    Why not mention, re pavements, that, in the last 5 years, no pedestrian has been killed in collision with a cyclist, on or off-road in London.

    On the other hand, 17 pedestrians have been killed on pavements in collisions with motor vehicles over the same period. So why no Code for Responsible Drivers?

    Good point. The whole tone of this press release has a presumption of guilt on any potential cyclists and existing cyclists.

    The other thing of concern is that this business organisation, which is a public-private partnership with Camden Council, is making up its own rules of cycling conduct and not based on recognised authorities. Not only is this organisation allowed to part-privatise public space, it is also creating its own private rules of conduct.

    In effect, they are making up their own rules, enforcing them with the use of a private quasi-police force.
  • Bunneh
    Bunneh Posts: 1,329
    * Use back streets to avoid traffic....

    Um, no. More chance of being mugged in a back street. I will stay in plain view thank you!
  • This is classic scapegoating - where the biggest perceived menace on the roads conveniently turns out to be the most vulnerable road user. You know those drivers who see a bike momentarily in front of them and blame the cyclist for preventing them from getting to the next red light 2.46 seconds earlier - it's the same symptom. And one of the saddest things is that blaming the cyclist deprives driving-centred inmidtowners of one of the best solutions to dangerous, overcrowded roads. Neither is the bullying impatient driver likely to realise that if the cyclist were just another car, he'd take even longer to get where he wants to get to.
  • Cressers
    Cressers Posts: 1,329
    So what became of this story? Was the plan implemented or dropped?