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DynamicSpirit

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In case anyone is interested... I noticed a quote in this BBC article about cycling:

BBC said:
Jonathan Morris, from Hatfield, said he feels more at risk from cyclists than cars and would not like to see the police dropping fines.

"Cyclists are everywhere, can ride very fast and cause injuries because they dart all over the place and seem to show a disregard to pedestrians," he said.

"Cars and other motorised vehicles stay in the road and are mostly predicable - even when it comes to rushing through amber traffic lights."
I thought I recognized the name - and it turns out it really is railforums member and regular contributor in these discussions jonmorris0844! Seems to me something of a minor achievement to be featured in a small way on BBC news! Although I gather that that what the BBC wrote is actually not exactly what he said so - before anyone jumps on the remarks - he has been slightly misquoted.
 
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yorkie

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I certainly hope that's not a true comment and is actually a mis-quote, as it is ridiculous. I would suggest jonmorris0844 contacts the BBC urgently and gets it corrected.

I've been nearly killed by cars on numerous occasions.
 

ExRes

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I certainly hope that's not a true comment and is actually a mis-quote, as it is ridiculous. I would suggest jonmorris0844 contacts the BBC urgently and gets it corrected.

I've been nearly killed by cars on numerous occasions.
Why is it ridiculous? I worked in London for 15 years and can assure you that I was far more at risk of being bowled over by cyclists on the pavement, riding the wrong way down one way streets and ignoring traffic lights than I ever was from motor vehicles, you should only speak from your own experiences
 

yorkie

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Far more deaths and injuries occur due to collisions with cars than cycles.

Members of all road user types (including pedestrians, to cyclists, to motor vehicle users) are guilty of disobeying rules of the road, but the consequences of a collision with a motor vehicle are likely to be far more serious. Pedestrians are probably the worst for disobeying the highway code, but that doesn't make them dangerous.
 

jon0844

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My comment to the BBC was this:

I actually feel more at risk from cyclists in London than from cars. Cyclists are everywhere, can ride very fast and cause injuries because they dart all over the place and seem to show a disregard to pedestrians.

Cars and other motorised vehicles (usually!) stay in the road and are mostly predicable - even when it comes to rushing through amber traffic lights.

If cyclists always gave way to pedestrians I wouldn't mind so much, but that's rarely the case. Plus pedestrians are also unpredictable.
 

Ianno87

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Why is it ridiculous? I worked in London for 15 years and can assure you that I was far more at risk of being bowled over by cyclists on the pavement, riding the wrong way down one way streets and ignoring traffic lights than I ever was from motor vehicles, you should only speak from your own experiences
From my personal observation, standards of cycling in London seem to have improved remarkably over the last couple of years. Disregarding of red lights and cycling on pavements in particular I see much less often than I saw a few years ago. Wish I could say the same about Cambridge...
 

ExRes

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Far more deaths and injuries occur due to collisions with cars than cycles.

Members of all road user types (including pedestrians, to cyclists, to motor vehicle users) are guilty of disobeying rules of the road, but the consequences of a collision with a motor vehicle are likely to be far more serious. Pedestrians are probably the worst for disobeying the highway code, but that doesn't make them dangerous.
Exactly, so why are you calling his comments ridiculous? no one form of transportation is safe from use by idiots, why then are cyclists so often claimed to be the innocent party regardless of their ludicrous actions?
 

jon0844

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Far more deaths and injuries occur due to collisions with cars than cycles.

Members of all road user types (including pedestrians, to cyclists, to motor vehicle users) are guilty of disobeying rules of the road, but the consequences of a collision with a motor vehicle are likely to be far more serious. Pedestrians are probably the worst for disobeying the highway code, but that doesn't make them dangerous.
Yes, pedestrians are going to come off worse if hit by a car or bus, but you should be able to avoid that happening to you by being alert (especially if under the influence) but I can control that.

I can't control walking along minding my own business and being clipped by a bike because I turned to put something in a bin, or to look at something. Or being hit when stepping out of a shop.

Hence, the risk to me is from a (bad) cyclist not a vehicle. Now it a car mounts the pavement, that's a different story but not common.

London is a nightmare and possibly unlike other cities. Certainly unlike many European cities where cycling is more common and cyclists seem to show more respect.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Exactly, so why are you calling his comments ridiculous? no one form of transportation is safe from use by idiots, why then are cyclists so often claimed to be the innocent party regardless of their ludicrous actions?
Plus the question was about cycling being allowed on normal pavements, so it was very much about pedestrian safety and their viewpoint. I choose not to cycle in London because I wouldn't feel safe, and wouldn't do so simply by riding on pavements.
 

43074

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London is a nightmare and possibly unlike other cities. Certainly unlike many European cities where cycling is more common and cyclists seem to show more respect.
Probably because in many European cities there is safe and adequate provision for cyclists, e.g. in Copenhagen there is an extensive network of cycle highways and super highways, London is only just catching up. If there was adequate (and safe) provision for cyclists - not only infrastructure based but also legislative - in this country it wouldn't be a problem, in some countries the legal system is geared in favour of cyclists. You are unlikely to die if you are a pedestrian and a cyclist collides with you, a cyclist colliding with a bus or HGV will probably die, which comes back to my point above - if there were more extensive networks of segregated cycle routes in UK cities the problem wouldn't exist, it's simply a matter of people feeling unsafe on the roads.

I'd rather have more cyclists than more cars on the roads, it makes a pleasanter and healthier city for everyone.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Probably because in many European cities there is safe and adequate provision for cyclists, e.g. in Copenhagen there is an extensive network of cycle highways and super highways, London is only just catching up. If there was adequate (and safe) provision for cyclists - not only infrastructure based but also legislative - in this country it wouldn't be a problem, in some countries the legal system is geared in favour of cyclists. You are unlikely to die if you are a pedestrian and a cyclist collides with you, a cyclist colliding with a bus or HGV will probably die, which comes back to my point above - if there were more extensive networks of segregated cycle routes in UK cities the problem wouldn't exist, it's simply a matter of people feeling unsafe on the roads.

I'd rather have more cyclists than more cars on the roads, it makes a pleasanter and healthier city for everyone.
I would agree with this if it wasn't for the word 'because' that I've bolded. I would suggest there are two problems in the UK (the first roughly corresponds to part of what you are saying):
  1. Provision for cyclists is grossly inadequate, and some parts of the Highway Code that apply to cyclists are bordering on ridiculous, resulting in cyclists being unnecessarily put in danger (or actually required to put themselves in danger). The blanket ban on cycling on pavements, despite that there are some locations where cycling on a pavement is the safest thing to do is one example of this.
  2. Many cyclists are very inconsiderate of others; there seems to be a culture amongst many (obviously not all) cyclists of just getting where they want to go as fast as possible, and all but ignoring not only the safety of pedestrians, but the Highway Code (even in those situations where the Highway Code is sensible and appropriate).
Now I suspect that there is some linkage between the two - to the extent that the first problem is frustrating to many cyclists, and people who feel frustrated are more likely to behave badly. However I would think they are two problems that need to be tackled separately. Personally I'd like to see cycling infrastructure prioritised far more in the roads budget, as well as a review of the Highway Code to ensure that it never requires cyclists to put themselves in danger, and also does not require cyclists to needlessly stop when it is clearly safe to proceed. At the same time, I'd like to see the police clamp down much more heavily on cyclists who cycle inconsiderately or dangerously (but NOT against cyclists who are breaking the Highway Code but not in a way that is dangerous or inconsiderate to others).
 
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Tetchytyke

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From my personal observation, standards of cycling in London seem to have improved remarkably over the last couple of years. Disregarding of red lights and cycling on pavements in particular I see much less often than I saw a few years ago. Wish I could say the same about Cambridge...
I'd agree, cycling standards in London tend to be pretty good, you really don't see that much cycling on pavements.

Up here, cycling standards are appalling. The main shopping street is clearly signed as no cycling but you get so many people- students, chavvy kids and the Lycra louts alike- cycling down it at full pelt. Of course the police just stand there and watch it happen. The number of times I've nearly been hit is beyond a joke. As someone who does cycle according to the law, it drives me mad.

As I don't make a habit of stepping in the road and playing with the traffic, it's fair to say that I feel more threatened by these cyclists than I do by car drivers. There's a lot of terrible car driving, and when I'm on the bike it scares me, but it doesn't normally involve bowling past me on a crowded pavement at 20mph.
 

fowler9

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Why is it ridiculous? I worked in London for 15 years and can assure you that I was far more at risk of being bowled over by cyclists on the pavement, riding the wrong way down one way streets and ignoring traffic lights than I ever was from motor vehicles, you should only speak from your own experiences
Indeed you should only speak from experience, how many people were killed by cyclists in 2016? By killed I mean killed, not nearly bowled over.

Don't get me wrong though, some cyclists are idiots. Outside the office I work in there is a dual carriageway, on the far side is a 2 lane cycleway, I can't understand why some cyclists insist on flying down the pavement on the office side pavement. I do understand why cyclists don't use the road though, you would have to be suicidal the way people drive.
 
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Darandio

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Around here it's not the cyclists that worry me the most, it's those on motability scooters. Some of them seem to be able to do a fair lick, and i'm not always convinced some of the riders are in control, or that they can even see you sometimes.

There seems to be a complete lack of regulation as well. My partners mother has never driven in her life, yet she has a rather large motability scooter that has to be registered with the DVLA, and gives her an entitlement to pootle around the highway.

It's probably worth a whole discussion thread in itself, but I thought i'd put it out there!
 

DynamicSpirit

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I'd agree, cycling standards in London tend to be pretty good, you really don't see that much cycling on pavements.
A couple of people have commented along those lines, but I'm surprised because, on the whole, that's not my experience at all. I agree that there's not much inappropriate cycling on pavements, and in outer London - many of many cyclists are fairly good (although there don't seem to be that many cyclists in outer London anyway). But I'd say that as you go into the centre, cycling standards deteriorate markedly. When I'm cycling in central London, I very frequently see things like:

  • Cyclists overtaking (or sometimes undertaking) at speed, leaving far too small a gap.
  • Cyclists going through red lights when it's clearly not safe to do so. (To be clear, I have no objection to cyclists checking, and going past red lights when it's obviously safe - I do so myself on occasions. But I often see cyclists zooming through when it's not safe.)
  • Cyclists making manoeuvres (such as turning) without looking behind them and without indicating.
  • Cyclists shooting past when I've stopped to allow a car or bus just ahead to make some manoeuvre.
  • On two-way cycle paths, cyclists overtaking when it's not at all safe to do so because there's another cyclist just ahead coming the other way.
  • And don't get me started on (a) cyclists at night who have no lights and are wearing entirely black or dark colours, making themselves all but invisible in places where there are no streetlights nearby, and (b) cyclists who have headlights so bright that they basically blind you (how that is supposed to be safe on a two-way cycle track is beyond me).
And my real bugbear - seems to happen at least once every time I cycle into central London:

  • I slow down and stop to let pedestrians cross the road. I position myself very clearly so it should be very obvious to everyone what I'm doing. (And often there's a red light anyway), and a few seconds later another cyclist hurtles past me, cutting up those pedestrians. Often, I also position myself away from the kerb, to make sure cars can't go past while the pedestrians are crossing. It's not uncommon in that situation for another cyclist to zoom past on my left!
Don't get me wrong, I want to see more people choosing to cycle instead of drive, and I want more infrastructure for cycles. I think far too many people in London choose to drive or use taxis, and that massively clogs up the road for everyone else - as well as causing terrible pollution. I want to see far more road space in London taken from cars/taxis/etc. and given over to cyclists (or made buses-only). But I also frequently see absolutely appalling behaviour by cyclists in London, which does need to be tackled (hopefully, in a way that doesn't discourage cycling).
 
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Gareth

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Far too many cyclists do think the rules of the road don't apply to them. I've had a few dodgy episodes as a pedestrian with cyclists over the last few years. This has included going at speed the wrong way down a one way street, whilst I was crossing on a green man. If I was one pace further, he'd have smashed me. I have no doubt.

Cycling is not as popular here as in London but it has still increased over the years quite noticeably. I do think this is a positive thing on the whole but it shouldn't mean cyclists should be exalted as above criticism. Citing their environmental credentials or how they're far less likely to kill a person than a car, whilst true, doesn't make an argument in itself. There may need to be an awareness campaign highlighting that cyclists doing stupid, illegal and/or unpredictable things puts others (particularly pedestrians) at risk, as well as themselves. It should also be clear that the rules of the road fully apply and traffic lights, one way systems etc apply to them just as much. We've got a way to go but if cycling in urban areas is to be nearly as popular here as it is in some other countries (again, I generally think this would be a positive thing), then this needs to be nipped in the bud.

I agree with Darandio about mobility scooters. I've had them almost mow me over as a pedestrian and pull out in front of me as a motorist, zig-zaging frantically like they don't know what they're doing. It's gone from something you hardly ever saw to not at all uncommon in just a handful of years. My worry about these, as well as how they use the road, is if the qualifying conditions for owning one are as tight as they should be and if they will be in the future. If you get one for just being overweight or just for being old then those are things that affect an awful lot of people; the former increasingly so and the latter inevitably so for most people. It's going to be mental if we have a large amount of these on our roads and sidewalks.
 
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fowler9

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Far too many cyclists do think the rules of the road don't apply to them. I've had a few dodgy episodes as a pedestrian with cyclists over the last few years. This has included going at speed the wrong way down a one way street, whilst I was crossing on a green man. If I was one pace further, he'd have smashed me. I have no doubt.

Cycling is not as popular here as in London but it has still increased over the years quite noticeably. I do think this is a positive thing on the whole but it shouldn't mean cyclists should be exalted as above criticism. Citing their environmental credentials or how they're far less likely to kill a person than a car, whilst true, doesn't make an argument in itself. There may need to be an awareness campaign highlighting that cyclists doing stupid, illegal and/or unpredictable things puts others (particularly pedestrians) at risk, as well as themselves. It should also be clear that the rules of the road fully apply and traffic lights, one way systems etc apply to them just as much. We've got a way to go but if cycling in urban areas is to be nearly as popular here as it is in some other countries (again, I generally think this would be a positive thing), then this needs to be nipped in the bud.

I agree with Darandio about mobility scooters. I've had them almost mow me over as a pedestrian and pull out in front of me as a motorist, zig-zaging frantically like they don't know what they're doing. It's gone from something you hardly ever saw to not at all uncommon in just a handful of years. My worry about these, as well as how they use the road, is if the qualifying conditions for owning one are as tight as they should be and if they will be in the future. If you get one for just being overweight or just for being old then those are things that affect an awful lot of people; the former increasingly so and the latter inevitably so for most people. It's going to be mental if we have a large amount of these on our roads and sidewalks.
Gareth in your first paragraph you could swap the word cyclists for motorists and the same would apply, just that the outcome could be (And sometimes is) a hell of a lot different. I crossed the bridge by West Allerton station on Friday and on opposing sides of a blind bridge crossing where people routinely break the speed limit there was a Range Rover and a BMW 5 series parked fully on the pavement because it is of course double yellow lines. Needless to say the pavements are chocka with kiddies leaving school. Nothing happened on this occasion but having lived here for a while I have heard the sickening crunch of a car running in to a none moving object after flying over the bridge many times. Never seen a cyclist do the same. I think we need to prioritise.
 

yorkie

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Far too many cyclists do think the rules of the road don't apply to them.
Correction: Far too many road users do think the rules of the road don't apply to them. This is hardly a problem consigned to cyclists. The original article was talking about cyclists who are not endangering people but were simply on the pavement, and people were said to be disagreeing with the policy of fining people who are not really doing any harm.

The worst examples I saw last week were chavs on obviously stolen ill-fitting bikes; no-one would have called them motorists if they were driving a car, so it's a stretch to call them cyclists. However they were actually on the road, rather than off it, and if anything they were more of a danger to themselves. Sadly cycle theft is a huge problem, and this does see many cycles getting into the hands of undesirable individuals (who would be anti-social whatever vehicle they were riding/driving).
If you get one for just being overweight or just for being old then those are things that affect an awful lot of people; the former increasingly so and the latter inevitably so for most people. It's going to be mental if we have a large amount of these on our roads and sidewalks.
People are going to be getting them for all sorts of reasons, yes we have an obesity problem in this country and yes it's going to be mental as we get more and more of them. Any mobility scooter that is not designed to be used on the road should have a speed limit of 3mph, in my opinion. And any that are capable of going much faster should be confined to the roads.

Too many mobility scooter users try to overtake pedestrians (who are walking at normal speed), and seem to use their mobility scooters as a way to get an advantage. That's taking things too far and isn't right.
 

Gareth

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Don't get me wrong though, some cyclists are idiots. Outside the office I work in there is a dual carriageway, on the far side is a 2 lane cycleway, I can't understand why some cyclists insist on flying down the pavement on the office side pavement. I do understand why cyclists don't use the road though, you would have to be suicidal the way people drive.
Not sure about the circumstances of the road you speak of but it would help if cycle lanes were designed properly and to go places were people might use them and where segregation from other traffic is highly beneficial to all concerned. Far too often, a lick of paint just off a kerb is classed as a cycle lane to tick some box.

You get things like this too...

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.4...qqJ8yXtEJ4fsTm96tzlw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

Totally separate two way cycle line that dies a sudden death just before a signal intersection. Where do the cyclists go from here? The crossing? Carry on, on the pavement? Are they meant to head to the road and queue up at the traffic light? Why no cycle lane at or beyond the intersection?

In all likely hood, the cycle lane was put in their because of the bags of space available. There's not much thought about how cyclists get on or off it or how it fits into any wider network.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Gareth in your first paragraph you could swap the word cyclists for motorists and the same would apply, just that the outcome could be (And sometimes is) a hell of a lot different. I crossed the bridge by West Allerton station on Friday and on opposing sides of a blind bridge crossing where people routinely break the speed limit there was a Range Rover and a BMW 5 series parked fully on the pavement because it is of course double yellow lines. Needless to say the pavements are chocka with kiddies leaving school. Nothing happened on this occasion but having lived here for a while I have heard the sickening crunch of a car running in to a none moving object after flying over the bridge many times. Never seen a cyclist do the same. I think we need to prioritise.
Again, it's not an argument. Idiot motorists don't make idiot cyclists mute.
 

yorkie

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Totally separate two way cycle line that dies a sudden death just before a signal intersection. Where do the cyclists go from here? The crossing? Carry on, on the pavement? Are they meant to head to the road and queue up at the traffic light? Why no cycle lane at or beyond the intersection?.
The answer to your question is: the pavement; from that point on it's signed as a shared use foot/cycle path.

I agree this is bad design. This sort of cycle path is presumably designed with motorists in mind: the intention appears to be to get cycles off the road and out of their way.

It probably ticks a box somewhere :|
 

SpacePhoenix

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It's quite common this way for cyclists to have very little or no lighting on their bikes at night. It's also very rare to see a cyclist stop at a red light, they tend to either go throgh them, or onto the pavement and then back onto the road on the other side.

Even when cycle lanes are provided they don't always use them. Viewed a local road on Streetview that has a long section of cycle lane and you can see a cyclist riding on the pavement instead
 

AlterEgo

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A minority of cyclists are a menace. In London, it is absolutely routine for cyclists to ignore red lights if they think the road ahead is clear. I see it several times a week.

Another problem is that many cyclists don't own a car and don't have the same anticipation or perception of hazards. There's a zebra crossing outside my workplace where, for example, a large vehicle like a bus will stop to allow me to pass. A cyclist whizzing up the inside cannot see me and doesn't wonder why the bus has stopped, so continues at full speed over the crossing. I've had a number of near misses where I have only seen the cyclist when I was 80% of the way across the crossing.

There are of course many drivers who are a menace to pedestrians, too. But we aren't discussing those here.
 

JohnR

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In my experience many cyclists who use pavements or shared pedestrian/cycle paths dont seem to use their bells when approaching pedestrians. Had a few near misses myself because I hadnt heard a bike approaching quickly and silently behind me.
 

Blamethrower

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Cycling will never properly work in this country because

a) There aren't any segregated cycle lanes like say...Holland
b) The country isn't flat.

The places where bikes work best are places without big gradients - Cambridge, Amsterdam, Duesseldorf

You cannot claim to support the bike if you don't provide somewhere to ride it. The best routes in hilly areas are of course, old railway lines which sustrans are doing an excellent job of restoring.

However, you can't be expected to commute on a bike in a hilly area without any cycle lanes
 

radamfi

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However, you can't be expected to commute on a bike in a hilly area without any cycle lanes
Obviously bikes have gears to get you up hills, and even if you walk up steep hills it is still quick enough because you get to freewheel down the other side. Cycling used to be big in Britain before people started getting cars. Britain hasn't got hillier since the 50s.

But now hills are irrelevant because of electric bikes.
 

Jordeh

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Cycling will never properly work in this country because

a) There aren't any segregated cycle lanes like say...Holland
b) The country isn't flat.
What a narrow-minded post.

A) That's why they are building segregated cycle lanes
B) Many parts of the UK are flat, central London for starters.
 

SpacePhoenix

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There's one cycle lane near to me where it's located between parking bays and the main carriageway. I've no idea how the hell it got approved, wider vehicles like buses have to overhang it otherwise they'd overhang into the opposing lane of traffic
 

Pumbaa

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It's an interesting debate. I cycle at both ends of my journey to work. I tend to cycle more aggressively in London when away from segregated cycle routes, because I feel less safe. I routinely take a longer route, as I perceive it to be safer.

In London, I find pedestrians and moped delivery drivers to be particularly high risk - I'll always pay more attention. Pedestrians in their routine, going to work with headphones in or just in their thoughts tend to be the ones who behave most predictably, and dangerously.

Bus drivers and taxi drivers on the whole are respectful, and cause no issues.

Outside of London, it tends to be the other way round. Road traffic tends to be less perceptive, pedestrians better behaved.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I agree there are a minority of cyclists who are awful, just as there are motorists.

I feel far more at risk on the bike in London than I do being a pedestrian.
 

Tetchytyke

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Running red lights is a tough one. I admit that I do run them when I can see the road is clear, mainly for safety reasons, but I slow right down to make sure there's nobody crossing the road. I actually do not think there is anything wrong with cyclists doing this, so long as they slow down. Having to stop at a red light on a deserted interesection is frustrating because it takes enerrgy to get back up to speed. On quiet roads, where the lights are triggered by sensors in the road, it can be a long wait too; the weight of a cyclist often isn't enough to trigger the lights. I had that issue where I used to live, with the junction from my estate never triggering unless a car was there, due to the road sensor.

Riding on the pavement is much more of a problem.
 
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