Facts prove that bikers and accidents do go together

Tory Councillor Chris Knight, self-styled uber-biker suggests I have biker-phobia, after my comments on the use of bus lanes by motorcyclists (H&H Letters, 12 June). I don t, I was simply referring to the basic facts: motorcyclists suffer and cause th

Tory Councillor Chris Knight, self-styled "uber-biker" suggests I have biker-phobia, after my comments on the use of bus lanes by motorcyclists (H&H Letters, 12 June).

I don't, I was simply referring to the basic facts: motorcyclists suffer and cause the highest accident and death rates of any road users.

I'll use just one source for this: BikeSafe-London, a group led by the Metropolitan Police in conjunction with the City of London Police and Transport for London, and aiming to improve safety of bike users.

This simply states that PTWs (powered two-wheelers) make up less than 2 percent of vehicular traffic in London, but account for 24 percent of all fatalities and 18 percent of the people killed and seriously injured combined. Similar data applies on a national and even international basis.


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His second point, asking where the pedestrians are coming from when there is fencing all the way through the area, again has a simple answer: they are using the legitimate crossings but, as I said in my original letter, get fed up of waiting alongside stationary traffic jams until the pedestrian lights eventually change! So they dart across the empty bus lanes, "now with added, speeding motorcycles, for extra safety," as the advertisements don't say!

Cllr Knight's third point rightly says the Finchley Road bus lanes have been used by motorcycles for the last five years, but the report on this experiment supposedly "buried" by Ken Livingstone was far from conclusive (I presume he was referring to the "P2Ws in bus lanes study," issued March 2008?).

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Despite the fact that the authors considered the study to offer "more information about the impact of allowing P2W access to bus lanes than any study to date," it did not show any great benefit from the use of bus lanes by motorcycles.

Though it did point out that average motorcycle speeds rose - to an illegal 32 or 33mph - and that there were localised increases in pedestrian casualties on the A41 ((Finchley Road)!

The report concluded that "none of the figures produced are statistically significant," but I couldn't find anything amounting to an actual answer to the original basic question: Will allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes give greater safety to all road users, without impacting bus journey times?!

I would have more respect for councillors such as Mr Knight if they would recognise that traffic though Swiss Cottage is frequently going too fast, and that bikers are a leading part of this group (with uber-bikers going even faster?).

If he would also try to make our crossings safer, by allowing enough time for more elderly or less mobile people to cross these far-too busy roads, it might benefit the majority of road users.

Still, I am pleased Cllr Knight has given me the chance to tell a Tory to get off his bike, or should that be off his high-horse-power

machine!?

David Reed

Swiss Cottage

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