Category Archives: Article

Items that are articles rather than just normal short blog posts and comments.

Does OpConsiderate need Bikeability training?

I have been a very strong advocate for Greater Manchester Police Traffic Division’s Operation Considerate online video submission process ever since the original team in the Serious Collision Investigation Unit started it just over a year ago. Traffic PCSOs Stephanie … Continue reading

My response to the CWIS Safety Consultation

11.45 PM today is the deadline for responses to the UK Government Department for Transport’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Safety Review call for evidence. Like a typical student, I left it until the last minute to do my assignment, … Continue reading

Bolton to Radcliffe off road route

Almost 3 years ago, I posted an article about an off road cycle route from the centre of Bolton to the boundary with Bury at Bradley Fold using a newly created shared path. A couple of days ago I followed … Continue reading

On when Boardman’s team met Bolton Council

In December of last year, Chris Boardman, who last summer took on the role of Walking and Cycling Commissioner in the office of the Greater Manchester Mayor, published his report, Made to Move, in which he sets out ambitious plans for … Continue reading

Video evidence: why we need a wide field of view.

This is just a quick blog article prompted by my seeing a post from a twitter user who had a close pass video knocked back after submitting it to one of the police online submission programmes. The video is here. … Continue reading

GM Police online submission results in its first conviction.

On Friday, I attended the magistrate’s court as a witness in a trial for driving without due care and attention. This was the first case to come to court as a result of Greater Manchester Roads Policing Unit’s online submission … Continue reading

Close pass initiatives – setting the standards.

A lot of articles in the past, including many of my own, have been quite disparaging about the way the police handled – or rather didn’t handle – incidents such as close passing and tailgating of cyclists, as well as … Continue reading

A (constructive) message to Arriva.

This morning, I was pleased to see this response from Arriva North-West to a message I sent to them via Twitter on Friday: Their second tweet gave an email address for me to write to. In fact, I’ve had far … Continue reading

Arriva North West, you’ve taught me so much over the years.

Indeed, you’ve been teaching me for years how to ride on Blackburn road when there are drivers such as yours who simply cannot be trusted with my safety. Here are some examples. Bridge Street, passing Topp Way In 2011 and … Continue reading

Concerning video evidence of close passes.

Many police forces are now accepting online submission of reports from cyclists (and motorists) of bad driving – particularly close passes – with video evidence. Although there have been online reporting systems for some time, such as the Metropolitan Police’s … Continue reading

Bolton Transport Interchange – an exercise in missed opportunities.

Last week, Bolton Council opened the new transport interchange, consolidating bus and rail transport on the same site. Apparently the project cost £48 Million. Further money will be spent on a multi-storey car park to allow people to drive to … Continue reading

Spoiling the ship for a ha’porth of tar: NCR55 again.

I have been generally pleased to see the work on National Cycle Route 55, especially the Bolton branch, which was upgraded a couple of years ago. (Notwithstanding the unfortunate stone chip surface that was added to the nice tarmac.) So, … Continue reading

A ride down Oxford Road, Manchester

The Friday before last, I had a bit of time to spare before the start of the World Naked Bike Ride in Manchester, so I decided to have a ride down Oxford Road and back to see what the new … Continue reading

Police action – the next step.

Back in March, I wrote an article about the work that the Traffic Division of Greater Manchester Police were/are doing to address the problem of dangerous driving around vulnerable road users such as cyclists. I mentioned in there that the … Continue reading

Road Injustice – revisiting the vicious circle.

Just over a year ago, I wrote an article called The Vicious Circle, about a self-reinforcing system that maintains a very unhealthy attitude in society and the justice system regarding what constitutes careless or dangerous driving. The general public form … Continue reading

Greater Manchester Police Action Starts Today

I have been extremely critical of Greater Manchester Police in this blog ever since I started it, as you can see from this set of articles. However, today is the start of a new dawn (to steal a phrase from … Continue reading

Getting the message across.

What does it means to “get the message across”? Is it sufficient to make sure that your language is grammatically correct, that you always ensure your statements are truthful and supported by evidence, and that you always say precisely what … Continue reading

Safety and Numbers: the sad case of Bolton.

There has been a report circulating recently about the relationship between cycling safety and the number of people cycling, which uses available data to show the rather unsurprising negative correlation between the rates of injuries and deaths of people riding … Continue reading

What expertise do Greater Manchester police divisions need?

Well, probably lots of things, but I’m referring specifically here to cyclists’ reports about dangerous motorists. After I posted my last article, a discussion ensued, in response to a comment from a Twitter user, in which GMP Traffic division participated. … Continue reading

Yet more police inaction – time for another formal compaint.

This post follows on from one that I did on 29th November in which I wrote about four recent cases in which I felt the Greater Manchester Police failed to address dangerous and aggressive actions of drivers. I’m writing this one to … Continue reading

A shameful lack of interest from Greater Manchester Police

There has been a lot of praise in recent months for the actions of the Traffic Division of West Midlands Police in dealing with driving that puts people on cycles at risk. The initiative, know as Operation Close Pass, is particularly … Continue reading

Some Spanish cycle infrastructure: not perfect, but decades ahead of the UK

We recently enjoyed a 3 week holiday in Spain and I was surprised by the quality of the cycle infrastructure that we encountered there. Whilst they had the advantage, in the area we stayed, of a lot of fairly new … Continue reading

Great Britain – so adept at getting it wrong.

There are two pieces of off-road cycle way that have been created recently (in their current form) not too far from where I live. One of these is the shared path that runs alongside the 4.5 miles long Leigh Guided … Continue reading

Side road treatments – do most British designs miss the point?

One of the things that I liked to see in Amsterdam was the quite common use of continuous footways  across side roads: This design makes it very clear to motorists (and cyclists for that matter) that, on entering or leaving … Continue reading

Back to crappy, lawless England.

I rode my bike for about two and a half hours today. Much of that time was spent practising the key skills of Sustrans cycleway use: dismounting and mounting; lifting my bike over obstacles; dodging glass, potholes and dog muck; … Continue reading

An Outsider in Amsterdam

Last week, I was lucky to have the opportunity to visit Amsterdam for a few days with some friends. Of course, I insisted that we hire bicycles as our main form of transport for the period, so we experienced something … Continue reading

The vicious circle

(Caveat: I Am Not A Lawyer) We see time after time failures of justice at all levels when it comes to dealing with incidents that happen on our roads. We have a poisonous road culture and a uncaring society when … Continue reading

The myth of incrementalism.

A discussion was kicked off yesterday on Twitter as a result of a tweet by a prominent cycle author and campaigner about a cycle facility that has been installed in Corbridge, Northumberland, pictured here: The original tweet was not about … Continue reading

Why do you … hog the lane at the bottom of Blackburn Rd in Bolton?

There is a place that I have to go through pretty much every time I approach home from the south, where I have a lot of trouble from drivers – especially bus drivers – who disagree with my choice of … Continue reading

Government by ignorant prejudice.

Today I actually feel ashamed of my home town. I discovered yesterday that my elected representatives, the members of Bolton Council, have voted almost unanimously to “urge the [national] Government to bring in legislation to make it compulsory for bike … Continue reading