My recent journey into the West End was turned into a nightmare road raging incident. It was not with another motorist but a female cyclist who fearlessly cut into my lane with no lights or helmet. I challenged her to question why she had failed to signal. My nightmare worsened as her response, tone and manner was aggressive and rude. She jumped a set of red lights at the next junction. It got my blood boiling. Was there any police in sight to help or caution the woman for her bad behaviour and not adhering to the Highway Code?! No! Hence why cyclists tend to think they are godly. Boris has given her and other cyclists the power and freedom to explore the streets of London but this freedom has come at a costly price with no rules and regulation applied to cyclists. Unless they are caught on the spot no fines or criminal action can be taken. I'm not alone as other London drivers and pedestrians have voiced their concern and dismay at how cyclists have created a war on our roads. The anger seems to be echoed across the board.
The cycling debate couldn't have come at a worse time, which has put the debate on everyone's lips and cycling in the spotlight. It has been a traumatic month for Boris, TFL and the deceased families but there are plans to still expand the superhighway, introduce more cycling initiatives, electric Boris bikes. As I type this another cyclist has died in a collision in Camberwell. Am I missing something? Surely before any of those schemes are put in place shouldn't Boris and his mayoral team be looking at other ways to prevent collisions and deaths increasing? Or is the Cycle Superhighway another of Boris' fancy vanity projects to publicise the fact we all love cycling?
I regularly see cyclists in Shoreditch who end up paying to use Boris bikes instead of jumping on a night bus or cab to get home. The "Boris Bike" phenomenon has enabled Londoners to think of using different types of transport to get across town especially after a night of raving and it's a cheaper alternative. But it's a challenging time for the Met Police as they can't be expected to be everywhere to enforce on the spot fines for jumping red lights. So don't expect to see on the spot fines taking place on a Saturday or Sunday morning - possibly on a Monday if we're lucky. I'm sure if that ever happened the cyclist in question would do everything in the power to sweet talk their way out of the situation by blaming the motorist or pedestrian. The six deaths have highlighted there are fundamental issues which need to be addressed sooner rather than later before it gets worse.
Prior to the deaths nothing has been done to challenge Boris, TFL and GLA on what steps will be taken to ensure everyone is safe. Superhighways and Boris bikes are not the answer. Until safety issues are addressed it will continue to get worse with more deaths. The leader of Southwark Council has suggested banning HGV vehicles during peak times. First of all, that would be catastrophic and result in businesses severely suffering as they are unable to service their clients efficiently and complete jobs on time. The problem is it's nothing to do with bus or lorry drivers but the cyclist themselves. A few months ago I was driving across Vauxhall Bridge - there were three cyclists ahead of me. One of the cyclists decided to move into the middle lane preventing me from moving lanes or going above 15 mph. I beeped at him and soon afterwards he stopped and told me to "F*** off". He was clearly in the wrong. I had no record of taking his details, phone number, and address to notify the police. It seems we are living in two worlds on the roads - one law for cyclists which allows them to get away with pretty much anything and for the law abiding citizens we must face continual abuse and insults. The whole scenario has turned me against cyclists. I have stopped sympathising with them and think their excuses are inappropriate, weak and out of context. Don't get me wrong not all cyclists are the devil but just a hardcore minority who manage to represent the majority. I'm fed up of the blame being swayed on to the other side. The bottom line, cyclists need to learn how to respect other motorists and not do idiotic things such as riding without a helmet or protected gear. It has to stop and I think a cycle registration or tax scheme would ensure first and foremost, that deaths are reduced.