Local Rag Influence

Ste T.

Veteran
Has anybody else noticed the influence a letter to a local rag can have.
I have been doing the same route for over six months part of which is a 4 mile stretch of dual carriageway with a half decent cycletrack I use when the hawthorne hasn't been cut leaving it unusable( suprisingly often ).
There are two busy roundabouts where I rejoin the carriageway 100m before and take nearside secondary, then go primary to go round the roundabout, avoiding a highspeed left hook, and rejoin the path again on the otherside. This has never caused any bad reactions from a driver.
Then two weeks ago there was a letter in the local rag that complained about cyclists not using the path that his taxes have been used to build.
It was all the usual stuff, selfish people holding up the traffic, we should get off the road ect. Then last week I was beeped twice and given the finger once at these roundabouts. A coincidence? Or are there peanuts out there who manage to act civil until given a lead and then just can't help themselves.
 
Coincidence; I doubt some of the A'holes out there can even read.
 

dondare

Über Member
Location
London
Write to the paper. Say that cyclists also pay taxes and that the people who aren't using the facility that you've helped pay for are the selfish motorists who continue to take up far too much road and pump toxic waste into the air that everyone breathes.
Tell them if they want to see the cycle lane used then they should get themselves bikes and use it.
 

downfader

extimus uero philosophus
Location
'ampsheeeer
swee said:
I read it from time to time.How else would I know about town planning, local issues etc.They have their benefits.

Write to the paper. Say that cyclists also pay taxes and that the people who aren't using the facility that you've helped pay for are the selfish motorists who continue to take up far too much road and pump toxic waste into the air that everyone breathes.
Tell them if they want to see the cycle lane used then they should get themselves bikes and use it.
I agree to an extent but you have to show yourself and cyclists to be more magnanimous.
 

CotterPin

Senior Member
Location
London
The letters page of your local rag is the frontline of cycle campaigning. Your local councillors and MP take note of what appears and if all they see are letters decrying cyclists and bemoaning the fact that there is no car parking then they will assume that these are the issues that concern their constituents. So all you'll get is more car parking and clampdowns on cyclists.

So I would suggest writing letters to your local newpaper is a good thing (even if you never actually buy a copy of the paper!)
 

brokenbetty

Über Member
Location
London
Write in and explain concisely and clearly why cyclists don't use the path around the roundabout. Don't get sidetracked with the tax issue or anything else, just make the one point and make it so clear anyone reading it gets it injected straight into their brain.

"Dear Sir. Cyclists do not use the cycle path at XYZ roundabout to go straight on because this crosses the path of cars turning left. Generally at junctions it is safer for cyclists and clearer for drivers if bikes use the same road positioning as cars."

If the paper can influence people in the wrong direction, it can influence them the right way as well.
 
I always find the DfT Guidelines useful...

THe writer of the original letter seems to be unaware of the Department for Transport's "Code of Conduct for Cyclists"

This clearly states that cyclists travelling at the speed those on this stretch of road are achieving should NOT be on mixed cycleways, but on the road. These cyclists are following a published code of conduct and acting responsibly by respecting the rights of pedestrians to use this mixed use path.

I wonder if the original writer was actually aware of these guidelines and the speed limits for these facilities?
 

jonesy

Legendary Member
brokenbetty said:
Write in and explain concisely and clearly why cyclists don't use the path around the roundabout. Don't get sidetracked with the tax issue or anything else, just make the one point and make it so clear anyone reading it gets it injected straight into their brain.

"Dear Sir. Cyclists do not use the cycle path at XYZ roundabout to go straight on because this crosses the path of cars turning left. Generally at junctions it is safer for cyclists and clearer for drivers if bikes use the same road positioning as cars."

If the paper can influence people in the wrong direction, it can influence them the right way as well.
I agree completely. There is no point trying to make a clever point, or having a dig. The letter isn't aimed at the idiots, it is aimed at the much larger number of normal drivers who never cycle, probably find the idea of cycling in traffic scary, and simply can't comprehend why any cyclist would ride on the road if a 'safe' cycle path is available. So the reasons why you don't want to use the path have to be explained clearly and factually, without a hint of pizz taking, even if responding to a sarky piss taking letter, because a fair number of readers won't have read the offending one, or won't remember the details, so there's no point hitting back against it too vehemently.
 

400bhp

Guru
brokenbetty said:
Write in and explain concisely and clearly why cyclists don't use the path around the roundabout. Don't get sidetracked with the tax issue or anything else, just make the one point and make it so clear anyone reading it gets it injected straight into their brain.

"Dear Sir. Cyclists do not use the cycle path at XYZ roundabout to go straight on because this crosses the path of cars turning left. Generally at junctions it is safer for cyclists and clearer for drivers if bikes use the same road positioning as cars."

If the paper can influence people in the wrong direction, it can influence them the right way as well.
Agree with that:smile:
 
Cunobelin said:
I always find the DfT Guidelines useful...

THe writer of the original letter seems to be unaware of the Department for Transport's "Code of Conduct for Cyclists"

This clearly states that cyclists travelling at the speed those on this stretch of road are achieving should NOT be on mixed cycleways, but on the road. These cyclists are following a published code of conduct and acting responsibly by respecting the rights of pedestrians to use this mixed use path.

I wonder if the original writer was actually aware of these guidelines and the speed limits for these facilities?
My local council says the DfT guidelines are "just a guide, and only an ideal", and that they don't need to build to their standards.
 

zimzum42

Legendary Member
The letters page is the best bit of any local rag - it's where the funny stuff is. I guess it may well be quite popular
 

Jezston

Über Member
Location
London
drsquirrel said:
My local council says the DfT guidelines are "just a guide, and only an ideal", and that they don't need to build to their standards.
The DfT may be interested to hear that.
 

downfader

extimus uero philosophus
Location
'ampsheeeer
Someone left an Express at work today. Oh how I laughed at the letter that "we should build prisons abroad to save us from the foreign scum" :blush: Not sure if they mean helping other nations deal with their localised crime or to just lock up "jonny foreigner"
 
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