Short cut if you're pressed for time: Sign this petition now.
This week I have been teaching on-road cycling to Year 5 and Year 6 pupils from a primary school off the Elephant & Castle. Some were going on afterwards to an SE1 Safe Roads Campaign, furious that almost 300 people have been killed and injured on the roads in and around the Elephant and Castle, including four fatalities since last Christmas.
As my little contribution to today's event I'd like to highlight three motorists who were inconsiderate to vulnerable road users today on the back-streets..
The first was the driver of a Metropolitan Police white van parked on double yellow lines at the junction of Brook Drive and Elliott's Row (part of Cycle Superhighway 7). It wasn't an emergency vehicle; it was used by two fingerprint dusters and I could see no reason for the van to park on the double yellows so close to the junction. I presume the double yellows are there to increase the safety of cyclists and other road users turning into and out of Elliott's Row through giving a clear sight-line. The van's location blocking the sight-line posed a real challenge to the children.
The second was the driver of a Dial-a-Ride bus. My co-instructor was demonstrating a right turn from Brook Drive into Dante Road. He was riding near the centre of the road ready to make the turn, had looked back, and had signalled that he intended to turn right to the bus driver behind him, who it turned out also intended to turn right. In accordance with our teaching my co-instructor did a last look over the right shoulder just before making the turn (the lifesaver) in time to see the bus driver attempting to overtake him on the turn by cutting fully across the oncoming lane of Dante Road - a major and dangerous slicing of the corner.
The third was the elderly driver of a car who quite simply turned right off Brook Drive into the oncoming lane of Dante Road and continued to drive on the wrong side of the road for some considerable distance.
As you would expect, the children, being novice road users and children, also did things wrong.
So long as vulnerable adults and children on bicycles are expected to share the road with big, heavy and fast vehicles, surely it is up to the the fully trained and examined adult drivers of the vans, buses and lorries to drive with grown-up thought and full consideration for the easily squashable road users
And now read this, and don't forget to sign the petition.