I just watched this on BBC iplayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00r0tbd/Inside_Out_London_22_02_2010/
This was just short 10 minute clip so it didn’t really give readers much information.
It was a typical form of sensationalist low budget tabloid story’: short video coverage with ‘basic captions’ that a 9-year-old could follow and the usual anti-cyclist drivel.
If the programme was longer, then it could have been better. For example, if it was made into a Panorama programme. But,no, this was on a Yawn-m-meter 9/10 ‘Lycra Louts-in-a-Nutshell’ format, after all, the programme needs ratings so they go for ‘variety’, if the Lycra Lout story doesn’t get ratings, let’s find something in our programme that will get the ratings – the BBC is ‘hedging its bets’. Something bad about cyclists would be a superb idea, not stuff about good cyclists, cyclists raising money for charity or doing something useful road safety wise. They don’t exist according to the BBC.
It did say that most cyclists don’t cycle on pavements/run through traffic lights, that’s something. It never said a single thing about motorists driving on pavements, and parking there all day and night, occasionally knocking them over. Nah, that doesn’t exist on the BBC either! I think all of us could have written a better report than they did. I suppose they just get their researchers out of university and just plonk them on a desk and ask them to ‘get on with it by tomorrow 12pm) with a few rudimentary pointers).
It also said there was some ‘aggressive cycling’ and yes, I have experienced that myself, having been almost knocked down trying to cross the road and the cyclist should have waited at red. Another cyclist yelled at me walking across the road on green ‘Get out of my way’. Aggression and selfishness is everywhere, it is people’s environment, their personal values and how they have been brought up. Some cyclists hate pedestrians. There are aggressive horse riders but they don’t get a mention by the BBC although aggressive politicans get a mention because it is ‘election time’.
I think pedestrians should take priority and polite tactics work better than aggressive ones. When they use the cycle path, it is annoying but I go slowly behind them and say ‘excuse me’ and often they look embarrassed and say sorry but there is little aggression if cyclists handle them properly. Sometimes the pedestrians don’t say sorry and just look at you blankly. I really cannot stand aggressive cyclists and something has to be done about them.
The programme failed to list any comparisons, such as how many motorists go through red lights and kill people. Maybe that would have made the programme petty in comparison to their rush hour massacres. I mean cyclists don’t kill whole famillies. Even the BBC’s ex Director General crashed into a family in his car. Why don’t the BBC just look at their own sort, but they won’t even mention BBC motorist louts on their own website.The BBC don’t understand the meaning of the word ‘balance’, most of their tripe is probably just cobbled together from recycled news stories particularly the Daily Mail and short press releases from councils, and tfl.
Of course perhaps people moan about cyclists – that’s because most people are lazy motorists.
The clip also mentioned that going through red lights can be a way of ‘survival’. Despite the man at Critical Mass stating this, the BBC failed to provide any red light survival stats which could have showed just many people died AT traffic lights. and are unable to find this information. The stats are easy to be found at RoSPA.
If the BBC contacted bicycle advocacy bloggers, they could use their clips of motorists on ASLs, with the cyclists are being pushed out of the way by motorists. Then when the lights turn green, the aggressive and impatient motorist turns and knocking the cyclist over. That happened to me. I would agree with Freewheel that the elderly and children were not mentioned. The clip failed to say that cycling proficiency tests are not compulsory by law. They say cyclists have to be educated, but why isn’t the Government making it compulsory then? Typical blame-it-on-the-cyclist culture, but the Government has to set the foundations of good education.
And, and…. what about red lights that are faulty? Do they want cyclists to stay there forever, with the motorist hooting at them? Faulty lights, nope, not mentioned. Traffic lights never are faulty are they? Ahh, this programme just has an agenda to titilate Middle England:-)
There was no talk on cyclist’s safety as to why they used the pavements too. I mean, for example, the roads are too dangerous, not many 20mph roads, not many off-road cycle paths, motorbikes in bus lanes, lorry drivers mowing into us and drivers being unable to see us despite our Hi-Viz. There was no information about alternatives to traffic lights so that cyclists can avoid them. Oh no, we have to stop at red light because ‘that’s the law’, yes, but we are getting killed when we do the right thing.
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