Loughborough & District
Cycle Users' Campaign

Pedal Power January 2003

2002 ends with a Cycling Bang

The end of the year in Loughborough came with a sudden rise in the visibility of the Campaign and cycling in the local media, brought about largely by a letter published in the Echo on 29 November from John Fergus under the headline “Cyclists -we are living in year 2002”. This followed a report in the Echo of our press release supporting the CTC in challenging the Government’s Speed Camera regulations in the High Court. His basic premise is that “Cars are not a menace, but cyclists on roads are!” and that cyclists “are a selfish lot, and are very blinkered in your outlook”.

He made many points in no particular order, which I have tried to summarise below :

Speed Cameras and Road Casualties

  1. The Government has instructed that all speed cameras be painted yellow and not (deviously) hidden to trap motorists. This would mean that only motorists driving without due care and attention would be caught.
  2. Cyclists should put their own house in order before attacking motorists who have to pass a driving test to use the roads.

Roads and Cycle Paths

  1. Roads are built for cars, commercial traffic and public transport.
  2. Large sums of public money have been spent providing cycle paths and routes and still cyclists are not content with their lot.
  3. Many cyclists still blatantly ride in the road where cycle paths are provided. Cyclists, and Campaign Members in particular, should use the cycle routes provided.
  4. Tricycles take up a car space when riding on the road, causing congestion as a slow moving unit.

Progress and modern living

34 years ago Loughborough was called the “Bicycle Town” due to all the workers at the Brush and Morris factories cycling to and from work. Don’t we accept that now its the age of the motor car, commercial vehicles and public transport.? Live in 2002, accept the pace of progress.

Licensing & Tax

Cyclists pay neither tax and insurance nor have to have an MOT.

This generated (and continues to generate) many letters to the Editor and an entire page (13 December edition) was devoted to the issue. Many thanks to all the members who have contributed to the debate. I believe we have refuted all of his points. Keep the letters coming when the opportunity/inspiration arises.

John Catt

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