If you accept the views of some bloggers, there are many things that aren’t going to encourage mass uptake of cycling as a mode of transport.
One that seems to be coming up quite frequently at the moment is the argument that, if we talk about safety too much, then potential cyclists will infer that it’s an unsafe activity. Even though it is, statistically, a safe thing to do, we know from ample evidence that the majority of people are put off cycling because they perceive it to be dangerous.
Richmond’s local LCC branch has been trying to poke the council on safety and meaningful provision of segregated facilities, but sadly the council’s cycling champion takes the view that all this talk about safety is probably the main thing putting people off:
“We are the 3rd safest London Boroughout of 33. Obviously we should be the safest, but that’s a work in progress. [It’s not clear what that work is, mind]
Sometimes campaigning to improve safety is counter productive. It puts potential new cyclist off. Is that what you want to do?
Particularly when the fear of accidents is not backed up by statistics. Don’t you think?
Can we please have RCC encouraging people to cycle not putting them off. It would be better for everyone.”
So don’t worry, Richmond and Twickenham – your roads are the third safest in London, so we’ll probably just leave it like that, with our miserable modal share, and absence of any worthwhile facilities to actually get around without being terrifed by trucks or 4x4s.