Cycling/Transport for London-related stories were unfolding in quick succession yesterday. Just as TfL was giving the green light to the Cycle Superhighway — what will be the longest urban segregated cycle path in Europe — one of TfL's board members, Sir John Armitt, was reiterating his feelings about London's cyclists, to wit:
"I've said it before and I’ll say it again — I would say the biggest danger to cyclists on the roads in London are actually themselves."
Armitt went on to bemoan:
"The way in which many, many, many of them ride [a bike] is surprised that in fact the number of accidents is not far larger. Because it is an entirely different way of cycling to that which you see [elsewhere].”
Ignoring the fact Sir John's words make little grammatical sense, it also turns out he's the chairman of the National Express coach group. Which seem ill-timed considering there was a collision between a National Express coach and a cyclist in central London, a few hours earlier.
No doubt Armitt's comments were a bitter pill to swallow for London's cyclists, on a day that should have been all about sweet news for them. Many, many, many of them will disagree with Armitt, including Rosie Downes, campaigns manager for the London Cycling Campaign, who said:
"The comments made by Sir John are inaccurate and undermine the strong case for increasing investment in safer cycling infrastructure."
We'd also suggest that Londoners' "entirely different way of cycling" may have something to do with the city's entirely unique cycling infrastructure.