Why not a cycle-free day for Bristol drivers?
I HAVE just read an opinion in this section relating to having a car-free day in Bristol. I personally think a Cyclist free week would be far more beneficial! All too often Bristol boasts how cycle friendly it is. Is this really a good thing? Myself, and many colleagues and friends disagree strongly.
Now before I go any further, I must point out that I am a part-time cyclist, and when cycling I aim to stay out of the way of proper road users by sticking to cycle paths and lanes wherever possible. I wish this was the case with all cyclists.
I commute by car daily from outside Bristol to Temple Meads station. I would catch the train, but lovely First Great Western do not run a train early enough, but that's a whole other issue! Everyday I experience horrendous behaviour from cyclists. Considering they are vulnerable, they often risk their lives jumping red lights, undertaking at junctions, hopping on and off of pavements at their convenience and generally getting in the way of the legitimate road user. I realise not all cyclists behave like this, just the vast majority, especially the Lycra ones who think they are as wide as cars! I also appreciate not all us car drivers are saints as the odd couple let us down.
I lay part of the blame with Bristol City Council for trying too hard to please cyclists and look trendy. All these advanced starting grids at traffic lights is the dumbest idea yet. Encouraging the roads slowest users to blatantly sit right in the way of the cars before the lights change, then get in the way of our desire to get somewhere quick. That is, when the cyclist obeys the lights!!! Another gripe is the fact that despite all the cycle lanes on pavements, cyclists still use our road. Coronation Road is a prime example. A few months back I was following a lorry along there, who was struggling to get past a dad and two young boys cycling along the road. The lorry eventually passed, narrowly missing the boys. I tried to tell the father this fact, but was met with typical cyclist arrogance. It should be law to stick to a cycle lane where provided, to protect the cyclist, and more importantly, improve the car drivers progress. I feel there needs to be more legislation to protect the proper road user from the menace cyclist. To start with, cyclists should have insurance. Can you imagine the damage they could do to a cars paintwork if they were to get in the way? Bodywork repair costs a lot these days. I find it harder by the day to avoid cyclists who flout the highway code. They should also be made to pay a small tax, and have a registration plate of some description. This would help to hold them accountable for the accidents they cause. The tax could pay for cycle wardens to fine them every time they break the law.
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I would also like to add, cyclists are also a menace on the pavement. I'm sure many readers would agree. Trying to walk near Temple Meads station is a gamble. If you think I am anti-cyclist you would be right. Years of trying to avoid their antics have made me this way. I am all for saving the environment, but please do it in a lawful, polite manner, and stay off the road where possible. Do not undertake where its dangerous, obey road signs and traffic lights and respect the car driver who funds the cycle lanes you fail to use!!! Do all this and we can all be friends!
Roy, the disgruntled motorist!