Friday, August 18, 2006

Cyclist criminalised

Curly is now cautious!

25 year old Daniel Cadden was found guilty earlier this month by magistrates in Telford of "inconsiderate cycling" for riding on the road rather than on a cycle path. The court case sets a new legal precedent which could scupper David Miliband's plans to get more of us out of cars and onto our feet or cycles. At a time when the South Shields MP and Environment Secretary is doing all that he can to achieve carbon emission reduction targets it will do no good at all criminalising those who wish to take to the road on two wheels (leg driven).

When I consider the trouble that I have gone to this week to take advantage of an aging old cycle, I wonder if I too could be found guilty of breaching laws written into the 1988 Road Traffic Act? Suppose I stray 6 or 9 inches outside of the green painted cycling lanes in South Shields, if the traffic slows down, will I be prosecuted too?

If a pedestrian strays into the cycle lane while trying to cross a road, I must move out of it to avoid colliding with them, I will break the law again I imagine.

When Labour came to power a 1998 transport white paper led to a 10-year transport plan in 2000, which set a target of trebling cycling by 2010. That target was then dropped in 2004. It's probably a good idea to remove the cycle lanes now if we are all going to become targets for the law.


The Guardian

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