Daily Archives: November 12, 2008

Death Valley – In London


Check out a typical day’s in London. Posted by a Youtuber.

Bendy Buses.. and PR at work


Further to Moving Target’s website and that the post about Bendy Buses are ‘supposedly safe’. I am glad Moving Target highlighted the story.

As a reminder on how dangerous bendy buses are, here is an article by Andrew Gilligan, written last October:- (this was about a man dragged under a bendy bus).

“According to one witness, the road surface was covered in a trail of blood. The victim’s boots and pieces of his clothing were scattered along the carriageway. Another account said he was screaming.

It is hard to imagine what it must have been like to be Lee Beckwith, the 21-year-old from Brentwood who got trapped under a bendy bus on Tuesday and was grated to death like a piece of cheese.

But it is all too easy for any bendy bus user to understand what was, for me, the even greater horror. The driver and passengers on that bus had a man dying under their feet for nine minutes, dragged him for more than a mile, and they didn’t even know.

After it had finally ejected Mr Beckwith’s broken body on to the road, the bus went on its way. The driver didn’t find out what had happened until he was drinking his tea back at the depot.

That bus driver, God help him, may now be pulled apart in a kind of judicial version of what happened to Lee Beckwith. Perhaps he deserves to be; perhaps not. But the fact is that if he’d been driving any other kind of London bus, he simply couldn’t have failed to notice a trapped passenger. The broader responsibility for Beckwith’s death lies not with the hapless driver but with the rather better-paid people who put him at the wheel of a vehicle that many believe is unsafe.

Lee Beckwith’s mother, say relatives, is so upset that she has not said a single word since hearing the news. When she recovers the power of speech, she might consider sueing the Mayor, and his transport commissioner, Peter Hendy, because they have known for months the damning statistics that this newspaper reported in June.

According to figures slipped out to the London Assembly by TfL itself, bendy buses cause 5.6 pedestrian injuries per million miles operated, compared with

2.6 per million for all other buses. They are involved in 2.62 collisions with cyclists per million miles, compared with only 0.97 per million for all other buses. And they have 153 accidents per million miles, compared with only 87 per million on non-bendy routes.

Bendy buses had 1,751 accidents in the year to April. That is an average of nearly five a day – and more than five accidents a year for every single bendy in the fleet. They injured 90 people, some very seriously, such as a man at Victoria who lost both legs. They also catch fire.

Worst of all, Beckwith was the third Londoner to be killed by a bendy bus in 10 months. Although there are only 350 bendies in the whole of London – around five per cent of the bus fleet – they are responsible for nearly 20 per cent of bus-related deaths. (Even the old Routemasters, with their open platform from which people occasionally fell, were safer.++) ” (++Velochick: Noooooo, I would disagree with that, they’re are just as dangerous as each other)

++

As someone who has witnessed a person going under a ‘Routemaster’ bus’ wheels, near London Bridge, when I was commuting ages ago (I was on a bus at the time), I really cannot understand how the impression is that they’re safe. If a routemaster is unsafe, then, clearly a bendy bus isn’t either!

Going back to the story, about the driver who didn’t know that someone was under the bus, well, I don’t understand it. When I saw the accident in London Bridge, there were loads of people about who saw the accident and would have brought the matter to the driver’s attention.

Bendy Buses are not safe and I can’t believe they’re still here.

More from the BBC Re Joanne Good


This is another email they sent me re Freedom Information Act & Joanne Good BBC London Breakfast Show:-

“Dear XX

Thank you for your request of 10 November under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 seeking the following information with regard to BBC Breakfast screened on 3 November 2008:

“Why were these comments allowed on the show? Please can you tell me how many complaints about this were there from listeners under the Freedom of Information Act too?”

The BBC will not be providing you with the information you requested as we believe it is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”).

The BBC and the other public service broadcasters are covered by the Act only in respect of information held for purposes “other than those of journalism, art or literature” (see Schedule I, Part VI of the Act). This means that we are not obliged to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or is closely associated with these creative activities.

The BBC has chosen not to volunteer information relating to audience feedback for several very good reasons, chief amongst them being a desire to maintain our independence and impartiality.

You may not be aware that one of the main policy drivers behind the limited application of the Act to public service broadcasters was to protect freedom of expression and the rights of the media under Article 10 European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”). The BBC, as a media organisation, is under a duty to impart information and ideas on all matters of public interest and the importance of this function has been recognised by the European Court of Human Rights.

Maintaining our editorial independence is a crucial factor in enabling the media to fulfil this function.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has recognised the importance of Schedule 1 of the Act in protecting the independence of the media, stating that:

“It is the Commissioner’s view that the ultimate purpose of the derogation (Schedule 1) is to protect journalistic, artistic and literary integrity by carving out a creative and journalistic space for programme makers to produce programmes free from the interference and scrutiny of the public.”1

The BBC agrees that we have the right to protect our journalistic and editorial independence by maintaining just such a private space in which to produce our content. This extends to the sifting and review of praise and criticism from audiences, which is important part of the BBC’s process of creating and improving programmes. Despite the BBC’s obligation to be independent and impartial, many bodies, groups and individuals attempt to influence our output. This pressure takes many forms and has to be resisted by programme makers across the BBC.
If the BBC and other public broadcasters were obliged to disclose audience feedback, this would damage our independence by impeding the ability of the programme maker to weigh complaints, praise and other comments alongside other elements of feedback on a programme as would his/her ability to come to their own journalistic judgement without public scrutiny.

For your information, the ICO has agreed with the BBC’s interpretation that information pertaining to audience feedback falls outside the scope of the Act, stating that:
‘…fundamentally the complaints are about, and intended to influence, content. Despite other applications complaints information is intrinsically linked with the creative purposes for which the BBC was established.’

Appeal Rights
If you are not satisfied with this response you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner. The contact details are: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone 01625 545 700 or see http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk
Kind regards,
Adviser, Information Policy & Compliance”

Email from BBC today re Joanne Good


“Dear XXX (Spelt wrong)

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, about Joanne Good’s comments on the BBC Breakfast Show on 3rd November, which was received on 9th November. We shall deal with your request as promptly as possible….”

Email from Nite Ize re Spokelits


This was in response to the light only lasting a few seconds:

“Thank you for your interest in Nite Ize products. We hope you enjoyed viewing our website.

In regards to your email, your Nite Ize SpokeLit has a “Try Me” mode which allows customers to see the glow and flash modes for 30 seconds before turning off automatically. This feature allows the SpokeLit to be tested in stores without having the batteries drained from products being left on.

There should be a yellow sticker inside or attached to your SpokeLit with instructions. To deactivate, you simply press and hold down the switch. It will first go into the glow mode, then rapid flash, then wait for it to shut off on its own. (It is important to wait for the rapid flash to shut off on it’s own.)

If this doesn’t work, you can remove the batteries for at least a minute and put them back in. Your support of Nite Ize is greatly appreciated. Let me know if you have any further questions and I would be happy to assist you”

Update: Well I had a go.. and they seem to be working! I keep expecting them to disappear though. I will upload a video of them later.

Cycling Rant of the Day ‘Registration Number Plates’


I find these absurd.

For example, you cannot see them if you are cyclist and use cycle lanes on the left hand side of the road. So if someone throws something at you (assaults) or other illegal act, it will be a job to get the exact road vehicle. Also at nighttime, you can barely see the car let alone a speeding car, with it’s number plate in the distance. Reg Numbers at the front and back is mainly for Motorists! Yes, another Motorist Bias! They need to be put on the side!

Quite how Reg Numbers have only been put at the front and back, and never anywhere else is not surprising if cyclists don’t complain about it. Time and time again, I have talked to cyclists and they’ve complained that they didn’t get the reg number… and you know what, they didn’t do anything about it! That’s why nothing changes.

Ideas:

1) Make them much bigger
2) Put them on the sides of the vehicle so cyclists and pedestrians can see them, and horse riders for that matter.
3) Make cars more ‘distinctive’ and ‘original’, so if the Reg Card isn’t remembered, at least the pedestrian has something to go on.

I am going to write to my MP again! I may contact the cycling organisations about this and the Department of Transport.

One person against the Motorist!