PARRABUDDY.BLOGSPOT was started to help find a way for “Adaptive / Physically Challenged / Paralympic Cyclists ” to enjoy riding their bikes on the Daily Route of the famous Pro Tour Race Routes such as the “ Giro d’Italia " and the " Tour de France " !

Through lack of support i have been unable to achieve that goal and unless people decide to assist there is little chance that my 19th season will be any more successful !

London 2012 Paralympics was amazing for ALL , not just those participating but those who followed via the Media !

Since 2009 several other Blogs have been created to cover various other subjects !

Below is a guide to their separate purposes :

In the main Parrabuddy is about “Adaptive / Physically Challenged Sport” and Health Issues.

Skippi-cyclist is about personal issues and Road Safety Issues.

SkippyAus is about matters relating to Oz and some personal memories from my life there.

Tourdafarce & Tourdafrance are about matters relating to the Pro Tour , Racers and some personal experiences during my various visits to ride the Pro Tour routes .

Skippy (blogging) is about a variety of issues on the Internet .

NOT ALL postings arrive in their correct area but I will generally try to separate my views on Doping and Sporting Fraud from Road Safety Issues .

Comments ARE WELCOMED since this shows that those reading are interested in the subject matter ! Enjoy comments made to other blogs so wonder why only " anonymous " posts here !

Over the period of these "Blogs" I have had visibility on Twitter as “Skippydetour” and on Facebook as “Skippy Mc Carthy” where Google usually advise postings on the Blogs as they occur .

When any of you visit these Blogs I hope I am able to add value to your day and provide a source of information if not inspiration . Please consider asking your friends and contacts to add their support as many of the Para Athletes are struggling to find the resources to compete in Events at regional Levels let alone National Levels .

You the reader have the possibility to help these Amazing Athletes in your own way and contacting your National Paralympic Internet Site for relevant info is a good start !

Aug 28, 2018

TV Stations MISS Opportunity to HELP CYCLIST SAFETY

Not arriving at the Memorial Ride today , meant that i watched the TV Reports , to see HOW they reported the Event !

This RIDE was brought about by the UNTIMELY DEATH/MURDER of Gitta Scheenhouwer , a Dutch Lady , recently moved to Melbourne and about to start work as a Graduate Architect .

My email to a variety of TV Stations follows :

Congrats on your TV Reporters getting out & about so early on Tuesday 28th Aug 2018 , so as to cover the Bike Ride (   ) Event !

Whilst that Ride was about the PEOPLE that have been KILLED , when riding a BIKE , MISSED was the opportunity to SOLVE some of the associated Myths , surrounding every day Cycling ?

Those watching TV Footage shown , will have noted that there were a few " Posties " , amongst the many People on their Bikes , in ORDINARY CLOTHING ! YES , there were a few #LycraClad Cyclists , BUT , the majority were EVERYDAY People that use BIKES for TRANSPORT !

Most People are under the impression that People on BIKES , are generally the #LycraLouts , that the #ClickBaitingMedia seek to DENIGRATE , each & Every time that they have an opportunityy to mention the word BIKE !

YES , there are many that choose to ride in Lycra , i ONLY RIDE my Bike in Lycra , BUT , that is MY CHOICE ! Regardless of Clothing , I and other Bike Riders , are HUMAN BEINGS !  Each of us use the BIKE for OUR OWN Purposes , be it Sport , Commuting , OR , to go to the neighbourhood Shops !

With the TOXIC atmosphere CREATED by the #ClickBaiting Minority & those that run off at the mouth in the Media , as they seek to build their #Ratings , it is NO JOY for ANY Age Group or Sex to leave their Abode , knowing that they RISK a visit to A & E , during that Bike Ride , even if it is ONLY around the corner !

WHAT is it about a Person on a BIKE , that even when , the other vehicle is across the road , travelling in the other direction , causes SO MANY Vehicle Drivers to hurl   Comment/Abuse , AND , even objects ! THIS , is not restricted to Oz ! I have seen the same behaviour in Europe , principally in the UK !  Days before the Tour de France , i was visiting in the Manchester region of the UK , and by chance , found myself ridingg with 3 Men , that due to their achievements at Rio2016 , were PRESENTED to the Queeen ! As we rodee the area known as " The Lanes " , we heard several comments cLEARLY ABUSIVE , as well as saw as soft drink bottle pass nearby ! Probably those people were #CouchPotatoes , that were CHEERING as a Cyling Medal was WON by a Man in the GB Uniform ?  BUT it goes even further , when you hear Ladies speaking of the same behaviours !

Whilst the bulk of my riding is with #LycraClad People , THEY have a life outside of Cycling . Many off these People speak of the FEAR for their Young Families !

Most of the Lady Cyclists speak about the FEAR that they have for their Children when using a BIKE !  FAR TOO MANY , rely on their Vehicle , to drive their Child to SCHOOL ! WHEN they ride a Bike , their  concern is for their Family being DISADVANTAGED , if an RTI occurs whilst they indulge in ensuring their Fitness & Health , by taking a Bike Ride on the City Roads !

WHAT is so different about Australian City Roads ?

Nothing !

It is the DRIVERS that Use them !

Not ALL European Drivers are " Angels " , BUT , the Situation in Australia , is so PATHETIC , that it is ALMOST 100% certain , that the only time that they CONCENTRATE & OBEY THE RULES of the ROAD , was when they presented for THEIR DRIVING TEST ! NOBODY PASSES the Driving Test without 100% concentration ? SO , having DEMONSTRATED that Ability , WHY , is it IMPOSSIBLE to do this Each & Every time that they get into a vehicle and behind the Wheel ?


The sense of ENTITLEMENT ?

Every so often , we hear of a CHILD being KILLED in their OWN HOME Premises ! It demonstrates , that even the Family is AT RISK , when a Person gets into that Box on Wheels !  Surely , NOBODY , expects to be able to DRIVE A VHICLE , with LESS than 100% Concentration ?

Road Statistics PROVE OTHERWISE !

Whilst The Road Killed & Seriously Injured Statistics , have been REDUCED over the Decades , through a variety of methods , the RECENT Cycling DEATH Stats have INCREASED Dramatically ! Y/e 30 June 2017 saw 25 Cycling Deaths , BUT , the same period to 30th June 2018 , saw 45 Families with LOST Family Members ! This DRAMATIC INCREASE has passed without very much MEDIA Attention , indeed , even most ProRacers are UNAWARE of this SERIOUS DANGER to their Career and well being !

Cycling Australia are responsible for the Well Being of Most of OUR Professional Cycle Racers , and , as such are a menber of the UCI , based in Aigle , Switzerland . Union Cyclist International are the Governing Body of Cycle Racing of ALL Varieties , and as such has 190+National Cycling Federations attend their Annual Congress during the World Road Race Championships , which will take place this year in Innsbruck , Austria , towards the end of September 2018 .

Distracted Driving is a WORLD WIDE Problem , which could be EASILY Solved , if this petition is CORRECT ...

As a Minority of ONE , i have visited Aigle on many occasions to raise the #CyclistSafetyIssues , even had @briancooksonobe ( Past President of UCI ),  tell me that they will run a Campaign similar to the " RESPECT " Campaign of FIFA ! May 2014 was when i sar down with him , then i reinforced this at Ponferrado World Congress in Sept. 2014 , then at the Giro d'ITALIA & Tour de FRANCE , each Year since ! This year 70+ Male Racers & 30+ Lady Racers have posed with Placards & the Eire Gillet , demonstrating their Desire for SAFETY , whilst training on the WorldWide roads ! Most of these Photoss can be found on and on . Whilst taking these Photos , i rarely had the opportunity to note ALL the Names of those Racers , so asked the Readers of those webPages to HELP with Naming those appearing in those photos ! So far NOBODY has assisted !

My personal opinion of this mornings ride , is that a HUGE Opportunity was SQUANDERED ! I failed to arrive , as i punctured near my home , so went back to change Bikes !

WHEN in February 2016 , there was an Italian Visitor , Alberto Paulon  , KILLED by #Dooring , nearly 10000+ People on BIKES took to the roads to demonstrate their CONCERN for THEIR WELFARE ! This was a WEEKEND Event , NOT , at an inconvenient time for ALL but those that set aside their OTHER DAILY EVENTS !

Early 2017 , there was the trauma of the Indian Pacific Race , being Terminated , due to the Unlawful KILLING of Mike Hall , who was leading the race , near Canberra ! Within DAYS , on the Sunday , there was a Memorial Ride , involving nigh on 1000 People on BIKES !

IT IS CLEAR that there are Thousands that are WILLING to give up there Valuable Free Time , to mark the Passing of a STRANGER , albeit a member of the Cycling Community ! Every Capital City in Australia , had their Own Gathering that numbered into the Thousands , in manyy Cities 1

Clearly , the ONLY TIME that a Memorial Event , should be called , is at the Weekend When the WHOLE FAMILY are able to attend ?

Even when before Christmas Break 2017 , a Member of the Qatar2016 , Under 23 Cycling Australia Squad , Jason Lowndes , was KILLED by a Distracted driver ( Charges in Progress ) near Bendigo , there were MANY More attending the Funeral at a weekend , than were at the EARLY MORNING RIDE around the course of the National Road Race at Bunninyong ! Unless a person was Staying in Ballarat area , then 0730 of a weekday , was TOO DIFFICULT , certainly for myself coming from the Mornington Peninsula for the day !

London Cyclists have solved the Problem of Cyclist Deaths , by running #DieIN Events ! This involves mostly Monday Evening Visits to the DEATH SITE , then amongst other Eveents , LYING IN THE STREET  , thus CLosing the area for Minutes ! THIS is done in Cooperation with the Policing Authorities , AND , though Several Prominent Members of the Queen's Household , have been amongst those KILLED , Whilst Riding to their Work Premises , the ANNUAL CYCLIS DEATH TOLL has tumbled ! With this success , brought about by cOPYING the tactics used in the Mid 1970s , by the People of the Netherlands , MORE Cities in Europe are NOW following this path , to HIGHLIGHT the Dangers to People on BIKES in their Localities !

DOES AUSTRALIAN CYCLISTS have to adopt these TACTICS to have the Motoring Public UNDERSTAND ?

HOW HARD is it for the POLICING AUTHORITIES to do their JOB ? This photo shows HOW the Met Police in London , are NOW EDUCATING Vehicle Drivers with the SAFE PASS MAT , used by the West Midlands Police , since Sept. 2016 ,and at the same time Cyclists , willing to under pass a truck , near a junction , using their #ExchangingPlaces Program . I had been calling for this Combo for several years , no doubt , there were others with the same idea ? .

Every State has a LAW , which REQUIRES Vehicles to pass BIKES , WITH THE SAME SPACE THEY GIVE OTHER VEHICLES !  Does ANY Driver pass a Metal Vehicle within a few MilliMetres ?  Yet this is a DAILY Occurence , for the Majority of People on BIKES , wearing Lycra or Even Day to Day Clothes !

ASK People to STOP getting out of Bed in Auto Pilot Mode , THEN , getting into a Vehicle with the SAME ATTITUDE !

DEMAND that they treat EACH Driving occasion , as IF , THEY ARE DOING THEIR DRIVING TEST !

Starting with the Emergency Services , ALL of these People are TRAINED to a HIGHER LEVEL than Jo Public , then , the Armed Forces , then those working in Federal Government Jobs , using a work Vehicle , THEN , continue onto the State & Local Authorities Personnel !

With ALL THESE PEOPLE setting an example , NO MEMBER of the General Public , will have ANY EXCUSE for NOT COMPLYING with the Current Road Rules & Regulations ! FAILING to drive in the manner required to PASS the Driving Test DESERVES the Points & Monetary Penalties that will follow !

Since those Media Personalities that i have seen at the Various Cycling Grand Tours , FAIL to drive in an Exemplery manner whilst in Europe , i doubt that  they remember WHAT Good Driving Skills HELPED them PASS their Driving Test ?

Having been the VICTIM of several RTI s , even received compensation EVENTUALLY , i hope that this article will SAVE at LEAST ONE LIFE !

 Even my OWN ?


Additional Info from a report on the Memorial Ride :

Selected comments made by those attending :


Bicycle Network chief executive Craig Richards comment :

“This has hit the community so hard. Cycling is a fun, healthy activity and to lose a life in such terrible circumstances is horrible,” he said.

“It’s not good enough … Chapel Street really needs to see a change.”


Mayor of Stonnington Steven Stefanopoulos

"This luxury that we have to park on the High Street is a bygone era and you guys are most important."


Greens MP Sam Hibbins, the member for Prahan,

"The death of Gitta was a tragedy and I really think it hit hard not just because it happened in our backyard but because it could have been any of us or our loved ones,"


Martin Wells, 48, Hampton

"I’m gutted at every tragedy. It strikes at the heart every single time because it's so unnecessary. I’m out here every day and one day I don’t want it to be me," Mr Wells said.

"I have a 14-year-old son and he rides every day as well ... It's such a great way to get around but it’s just so unsafe, sadly.

"Today's memorial service is a testament to that."


Areej Weyman with her husband Steve and son Ramih, 6

“I had a small connection to Gitta. We interviewed her for a job at our architecture firm.

"She had the biggest smile ever, she was bubbly and alive. It was like a shot of caffeine talking to her.

“[Cyclist safety] is very important. We have an office team that cycles as well and so do my children.

People not fit to be on the road should not be there.”


Ingrid Piepereit, 44, Prahan

"I would avoid Chapel Street at all costs actually, because I think anything built up like this is too dangerous, with all the trams and doors,"

"It’s really sad. It’s just awful. It’s so close to home. "There should be no parked cars and a bike lane instead."


Glen Allure, Gitta's housemate

“[On Chapel Street] you’ve got the tram, you've got the cars. The cyclists are in and out of the traffic. Getting rid of all these car spots would be perfect and having it free for cyclists. If cars hadn’t been parked here maybe it would have been different."


Dec 13, 2015


Following are photos of many Cycling Clubs , in diverse parts of Australia , marking the passing of a Fellow Cyclist !  Social Media has reported little of the events that led to the demise of Nicholas Ruygrok. 

Any keen Cyclists living in the Larger Cities throughout the World , will know that there are       opportunities to get out on an early morning ride with other like minded enthusiasts .                          Nicholas Ruygrok, pictured with his fiancee 

Earlier visits to Oz has allowed me an opportunity to ride in various Capital Cities on the Eastern Seabord of Oz . It may well be that there are couple of young guys reading this , that will recall an occasion near Marrickville Station when i shouted " DOOR " thus saving a DHCC Member from being spilled by a car door being flung open .  

        A normal DHCC Saturday ride ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   DHCC mark the passing of Nicholas on Sunday
                                                                                             with a period of contemplation 

Regardless of in which City , the groups that i have joined over the years , there is an effort to maintain a high level of discipline within the group . Generally there have been plenty of hand signals as well as the calls/shouts to alert the pack , to any hazard , either from in front or behind
 the group .                                                                 

  RIP from the Milano Gators Cycling Club, Adelaide.   

 Yes , i have been in some situations in Italy , where the pack was less than satisfactory . Bank Medilianum runs a daily Peloton at the Giro d'Italia , consisting of the Bank's Clients . Many of these Clients , although keen Cyclists appeared to be unused to riding in group formation . These riders arrive several hours before the Racers depart and get to ride with some of the Famous Ancient / Retired Racers of Italy .  Most mornings involve Gianni Motto and the afternoons Francesco Moser and Maurizio Fondriest .
                                                                                                               Lidcombe Auburn Cycling Club Minute of Silen

When London had a month of bad news for Cyclists , a group called " Stop Killing Cyclists " formed and decided to bring to the notice of the Authorities the lack of facilities/infrastructure , that existed for Cyclists . This past November , the group held their 3rd " Die IN "!  Each of the annual events required hundreds of people lying in the street , thus gaining Media attention . This demonstration of People Power , was an emulation 
of the Dutch Behaviours in the mid 1970s .                  

During the 1970s , there was a problem on
 Dutch Roads that led to the Death of
After several actions such as the Photo on the right shows , the authorities heard the message   "LOUD and CLEAR " !
These days the country is the leading exponent of " SAFE CYCLING " and is followed closely by Denmark !

Both these countries take " ROAD SAFETY " seriously !  
You will NOT SEE the  situation portrayed in the item


 This pictorial shows that some US States                                                                                           believe that CYCLISTS are PEOPLE that                                                                                              CHOOSE a BIKE as their TRANSPORT so       
 as to ENJOY a Healthy LIFE STYLE .

When in Utrecht Suburbs , you will see signs such as these !  It is telling the Driver , that they are GUESTS on these roads !

Having been hit by a TFL Sub Contractor's  Bus,Tom Kearney on recovery from the Physical Injuries, set out to discover why    Transport for London is ALLOWED to operate    a Transport System , that is so broken that , IF ,  it was ANY Other , would be in the sights of the " H & SE " and before the courts for Multiple  Charges of CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER!

May 9, 2015


Those that were regular followers of this Blog , must be wondering about the lack of recent input ?

This was brought about by the Traffic Violence visited upon me on the 10th August 2014 ! What was a rear end collision by a White Van Man became not just superficial injuries , but also a legal nightmare !

Having driven away from the Incident scene , it appears that on reflection , the driver arrived at the Polizei station minutes before me . There he located a person that he appears to have good contact with and " Fabricated a tissue of lies " that caused that Polizei Officer to shout at me " You have broken that vehicle , go inside until i come back to you "!

All photos of the " Broken Wing Mirror " show that it was scraped/gouged " by contact with a hard surface such as brickwork . With no apparent difference to a NEW Vehicle in every Polizei Photo , the Polizei Case Summary was sent through the Prosecution Procedures . By mid September , whilst i was in Espana for the Vuelta & Worlds , there was a decision that the driver had no case to answer .

Before going to Spain i had visited a Lawyer , that having received my  instructions , failed to perform their duties to me ,as their client . They did however send a demand for several hundred Euros , typical Lawyer attitude ?

On return to Austria in early October 2014 , i found a demand from the driver's Lawyer in the amount of Eu370 for repacement of the complete Wing Mirror Assembly !  Farcical , considering that my skin nor bibshorts , were able to even scratch that hardened material ?  Additional Lawyer Expenses took the sum to over Eu500 and having notified a defence the matter was set for hearing in Rattenberg Gericht on 10th december 2014 .

Because the original Lawyers had not performed their duty to me  , i made complaint to the Tirol Law Society  !  What a laugh that turned out to be ! Having emailed twice to their Published Email portal , i visited the Office in Innsbruck and discovered that THEIR Spam filter had decided to treat the matter as irrelevant . It was later discovered in February 2015 that " No Action could be Taken " , due to the receiving Officer on downloading the  " Spammed item " , had NOT advised me that , they required the submission to be in the "  National Language "!  This gem i discovered when speaking in English to the President of the Tirol Law society , during that visit to their Offices in February 2015 .  Subsequent delivery of the document in Deutsch elicited a " NO Case to Answer " response . How could they do anything different to the rest of the Legal World ? Lawsyers stealing from each other , would be an actionable matter ?

With the " Stop Killing Cyclist Movement of London " having an event on the 15th November 2014 , i decided to visit with a 2nd Lawyer on 8th November  to give instructions to recover my Costs for the Medical , Equipment & Clothing expenses created by the apparent attempted Murder/Manslaughter Incident of 10th August .  Instead of London i subsequently arrived in Australia and there received advice from the 2nd Lawyers , that MY Insurance policy for 3rd Party Legal Events was NOT BEING HONOURED by Zurich Insurance ! Quelle surprise ! An Insurance Company splitting hairs , as disclosed in February 2015 , when i visited their issuing office in Innsbruck . Seems they wanted to accept premiums for my need to SUE , but not to DEFEND ! ANY Cyclist needs assistance in order to deal with a Cycling Incident , thus 3rd Party Liability Insurance , RIGHT ?  So as a conscientious cyclist i would need help to SUE someone that caused me injury , but i wouldn't NEED HELP to defend myself  ?  Anyone with a white stick would know that the principle NEED would be to defend ?  Of course the Insurance Agency denied that they " Misled " , when collecting 18 months of premiums .

Whilst in Australia , i had need to have the Civil Matter adjourned twice , thanks to the compliance of the Gericht .  On return to Austria i received by post an invitation to appear in the Gericht , to answer CRIMINAL Charges for " Criminal Damage " to the wing mirror !  This hearing on the 19th March resulted in the " Richter " visiting the Car park to view the wing mirror . On return to the Court Room , there was an " Acquittal "?  Whether the Richter was able to determine that this was a " Stitchup " , was not voiced !  In my dealings with him outside the court room on several occasions , this "Intelligent/articulate individual " refuses to even attempt to speak English . Such is his right , but in an Area reliant on the Tourism Industry , i doubt that he is not aware , if not fluent when  using English outside his official duties ?

Having disposed of the Criminal Matter , the Civil Claim was again set down for hearing on the 8th May 2015 .  On visiting my Lawyers on Thursday 7th May to ensure that ALL Photos had FINALLY been obtained , i discovered that the 2 photos of the Wing Mirror , that CLEARLY showed the Scraping/gouging , had still NOT been supplied by the Polizei . My Lawyers then advised the relevant authorities of this NEED ! Seems that this provoked some matters that i only discovered on Friday ?

On arriving at the Gericht on Friday morning , i went to the offices where they receive the emails . I had sent a request by email  the night before , for court dates that did not clash with the times i would be away from Austria with the Giro d'Italia & Tour de France . On obtaining this Email copy , i went down to the Court Room where i showed it to the Richter !  He was not really interested and handed it back as he went into the Court Room to deal with another matter . When he came out , he told me in Deutsch , that my matter was no longer listed and that i should see my Lawyer for information .

When i arrived in their Schwaz Offices , i was advised that the driver's Case had been withdrawn , seemingly because they had become aware that the 2 Photos had been required for the hearing ?  The secretary of my Lawyer advised that they now were seeking recovery of " Costs "?  No doubt that means " Lawyers Costs " , not Defendants Costs , Pain & Suffering and inconveniences associated therewith ?

With this hullaballoo in progress , there were so many occasions when i wanted to post my irritation about the " INJUSTICE " being inflicted !  Even though i had photoed a NEW Vehicle of the Same model , from a similar same viewpoint , so as to demonstrate to the RICHTER , that there was NO DAMAGE , these items were not allowed as " Evidence " during the Criminal Case !  Laws of Evidence?  My RIGHTS as a Human Being were submurged by the " APPARENT BLINDNESS or lack of diligence " , of ALL that viewed the documents and attached photos  that led to EACH of the Court matters !  Even though the Polizei officer , that took the Original Photos acknowledged that he could see the Scraping / Gouging he had to do as instructed by his Superior Officer !  Had my Camera & Cell Phone not been damaged by the impact with the pavement , i could have taken my independent photos , thus NOT relying , on the Polizei to deliver rather than to hide the relevant photos?

ANY of YOU out there , that are the VICTIMS of Traffic Violence , that rely on others to assist YOU , UNLESS the person is KNOWN to you , DO NOT RELY on them to take Witness details or Photos !  I should have known BETTER  with this Incident , since in 2013 , on the 1st day of 100th  Le Tour , i allowed a Danish Lady Tour Guide , to collect details from her " Client Tourists " , that NEVER eventuated , despite several email pleas for cooperation !  As to the BULLYING Gendarmerie in attendence , when i subsequently visited the Nominated Gendarme Office that night , i discovered that they had given the paperwork to another Office . My emails to obtain assistance proved useless . RAI TV personnel had Videoed and then broadcast the Impact , but did not give me a copy to assist in the persuance of a claim against the Driver whom the Gendarmes had subsequently located . Even when in the " Wrong Gendarme Station " they would not provide the Gendarmerie copy of the Driver details , even though that officer had stated he had seen the incident on the French TV ?

As to how far further i have to go to get JUSTICE and reimbursement for damages of Equipment , Clothing & Medical remains to be seen ?

Those of you that wish to assist me with the following Websites , by supplying the translations of the 4 most recent German Placards , use the English as the Guidelines to supply :

French , Polish , Russian , Japanese , Mandarin , Spanish , Portugese  & Italian

With these languages i will be able to create the Placards needed to pass to the Pro Racers to use on thir Social Media .

Visit   & LIKE   :


Oct 13, 2014

CYCLING SOLUTION from "Girodilento "!


Transport is a key challenge for healthy, happy, prosperous & more liveable towns and cities. It’s something that almost everyone in most UK urban environments agrees doesn’t work well anymore for anyone.
We’ve had the answer to this problem hidden in plain sight for over 100 years.
It’s the bicycle.
In this post I’ll attempt to explain why I believe it’s the solution to make our towns and cities work better and our citizens (of all ages) healthier and happier.
Britain invented the bicycle as we know it today. Britain pioneered the use of the bicycle for transport and led the world until the 1950s. In the early 1950’s the British made as many trips by bicycle as the Dutch do today – over 30% of all journeys, all over the country.
Our geography hasn’t changed, our approach to transport did.
In our towns across the country we cannot continue to have the private motor car as the primary way people make their journeys – it’s not sustainable and it’s not working any more.
We simply don’t have enough physical room in our towns and cities for everyone to have a car, drive it around and park it. This doesn’t work, not anywhere in the world.
The good news is that it’s fixable – if we put the bicycle back to the centre of urban transport.
It’s time to remind ourselves of why the bicycle is the best transport solution for moving people in towns & cities.
The sum of 100 years of traffic engineering is if you build more space for traffic, more traffic will come to fill it. Fortunately the reverse is also true. We’ve spent the last 65 years designing out cycling in the UK but it’s time to turn this around for the sake of our health and the future prosperity of our communities.
Cycling is enormously space efficient, it has no pollution, eliminates congestion, has virtually no wear on the roads, increases health and can be a quick, easy and pleasurable way to get around town and to do your shopping – but only if we design it properly into our streetscape.
To do this requires leadership and it means taking a step back and thinking about how we can best move people for the benefit of everyone in our towns and cities. We should be aiming to make cycling the default choice for the majority of urban journeys.
In many towns, the vast majority of car traffic is local journeys that start and stop within a few miles. We should be aiming for 50%+ of all local journeys by bike and this is easily and cost effectively achievable.
40 years ago the Dutch made a choice to prioritise cycling over motor traffic – we (in the UK but also almost all English speaking countries) carried on designing only for motor traffic. The Dutch are now healthier, less obese, more active, have less congestion, less pollution and have the best children’s well-being in the world. They also have road injuries of less than 1/3 of we do and easily manageable health system as people’s health continues to improve across all ages.
We’ve become one of the most obese, most sedentary nations in the world with terrible congestion that costs us billions a year, road design that put us all into conflict with each other, rising deaths and injuries for the vulnerable on our roads, falling quality of life, 10’s of thousands of deaths each year either directly or indirectly as a result of our transport system and a high cost for personal travel. We designed cycling, walking and active health out of our transport system, whereas the Dutch made active travel the core principle.

This film available via :

Some notes to consider from the film above:
–           People think the Dutch have always planned and designed for cycling – it’s simply not true
–           Also notice the speed people were riding. Transport or utility cycling is low speed at 10-15mph, so people ride in normal clothes and don’t get into a sweat (they don’t have showers at work as they don’t need them). People of all ages can ride comfortably and safely at this speed with the right road design. Road design is absolutely key and we’re decades behind in the UK right now as we can see outside our windows or windscreens.
Some of the specific UK problems the bicycle can help solve include the following
o   We simply don’t have the room for everyone to drive a car as their main method of getting about. Cities and towns all over the world have tried and failed to make this work.
o   The car based transport monoculture is stuck in the 1960’s and it’s created the same problems everywhere in the world. Congestion, pollution, road deaths, obesity etc, etc, which have never been fixed. It’s a system that can only work with much lower numbers of cars. Building more roads only brings more traffic – Google induced demand to find out more.
o   In 1970 the population of the UK was 48m and we had 12m cars. By 2010 we had only increased the population to 56m but we had 30m cars.
o   A single road traffic lane can at best accommodate around 2,000 cars per hour. The same space can allow 14,000 bicycles an hour. We can move 7x the people using bikes where space is limited (most towns and cities).
o   It’s not just roads we don’t have the space for cars to dominate it’s parking them too.
  • The Institute for Transportation and Development (USA) calculated the space required to park 2,000 people.
    • By car: 7.2 football fields
    • By bike 0.15 footballs fields – 2% of the space needed to park cars!
o   The solution to congestion is counter intuitive – the Dutch cut their streets in half to increase safety & reduce congestion. Reduce road space available to cars and re-think where we let them go. We need to put people first not cars because that’s our challenge:moving people not cars
o   Most UK car journeys are short: Of all trips made in 2012, 20% were less than one mile in length, 66% less than 5 miles and 95% were less than 25 miles. All eminently cycle-able distances. The average length of a journey in the UK is 7m and in the town where I live 60-80% of local journeys start and finish in the town.
Cars don’t just produce congestion, there are other consequences too:
o   Our road transport system in the UK kills 29,000 people per year from traffic pollution. Road Transport accounts for 50% of total emissions and has a cost of $1.7trillion across the EU
o   Pollution also has other health impacts, such as asthma and allergies for many people and is deeply unpleasant to live with
Traffic noise
o   Dutch towns are quiet – traffic noise reduces liveability for residents near busy roads (including lowering property values)
o   Studies in Scandinavia have shown that traffic noise significantly heightens the risk of strokes
Road safety
  • 5 people die every day on UK roads and this is positioned as a good result! 5 families destroyed everyday.
  • 30,000 people are KSI on UK roads and 195,000 injured each year.
  • 200 Children a month are killed or seriously injured on UK roads
  • Sweden set a target for 0 road deaths – Vision Zero – why haven’t we? Perhaps because it requires a complete rethink on all parts of our road network. Whilst there are still road deaths in Sweden today – they’ve cut the toll by over a 1/3 already. Saving lives and saving cost to society.
  • Sustainable Safety – mistakes that don’t kill. The Dutch principle of Sustainable Safety says that regardless of transport mode people make mistakes and that when people make mistakes, they shouldn’t have to pay with their lives. As a result they design their roads knowing people will make mistakes but working to ensure no one is killed as result. When someone is killed, a full investigation takes place and road is redesigned and rebuilt within months. Let’s do that here too.
  • For every 1 cyclist death there are 4 pedestrians killed on UK roads and the UK has one of the highest rates of pedestrian deaths in Europe. It’s shameful that we kill so many vulnerable road users, especially as it needn’t be this way.
  • When road deaths amongst vulnerable users falls it’s more likely that it’s because they’ve been scared away altogether rather than the roads are working better. People stay out of dangerous places wherever possible.
  • Today 5 people will die on our roads, 63 will be seriously injured and 534 will be injured. We could design our transport system to significantly reduce this – if we decided to.
Cycling Safety
  • Cycling is statistically safer than gardening. You’re more likely to get injured in an hour of gardening that an hour of cycling but to many, it doesn’t feel safe.
  • If you cycled 1 hr per day for 40 years, you’d cover 180,000km. You’d still only have a 1 in 150 chance of being killed. If you lived in the Netherlands, your risk of danger would be 2/3 less than this.
Obesity (in both adults & children) & health
  • 67% of men & 57% of UK adults are overweight or obese. Transport policies are a key reason that needs to be acknowledged. The Dutch level of obesity for adults is 10%
  • 60,000 people die every year from inactivity related heart disease – the Dutch level of risk is half that of the UK
  • A minimum of 5,000 people die from obesity each year
  • Health report after health report and experts continue to argue that active travel must be prioritised to improve UK health – cycling as transport can be a game changer like it has been for the Dutch
  • A recent UK govt report said that we are less physically active than at any time in the history of this country
All told about 100,000 people a year die because of our transport system as it’s currently configured.

Once again visit the original blog :

Some points to note from this second film:
  • As well as benefitting a wide range of people this video also shows some important points about the design of the paths:
  • They are continuous and focus on helping cyclists maintain momentum (ie. Not stopping) which means people can & do ride slowly but still cover distances highly efficiently and easily with minimal effort
  • They are wide, smooth and separated from heavy traffic
  • Routes are direct and shorter than travelling by car because bikes are prioritised over cars
  • They are well maintained and of a very high quality – think A-Roads for bikes
  • They make the journey and progress easy and pleasurable
I’ve spoken to a number of mobility scooter users in the last few months and they tell me our roads are a terrifying place for them to travel in even using our “best” cycle paths.
Our car dominated society has contributed to creating social barriers
  • Having people “locked” away in cars has increased social isolation and busy roads split communities. We all behave differently behind the wheel and behind glass.
  • Bikes get people connecting with each other, with their neighbourhood and with nature. Neighbours can chat with each other on bikes and ride side by side.
  • 40% of the UK population don’t have a drivers licence including 28% of adults over the age of 17. Let’s build a bike transport system everybody from 8-80 can use
  • Whilst motoring has brought us advantages – it has brought unintended social consequences too
Eliminating the school run
  • 50% of Dutch primary school children ride to school – over 90% of secondary school children. After 8 years old most children do this unaccompanied and completely safely. This also eliminates after school car journeys to clubs and activities and is key to childhood freedom, health and happiness. 38% of Dutch children ride between 6-15km each way to get to school – it’s not just those who live close.
  • In 2010 the average distance for a child to travel to their primary school was 1.5m 43% of children were driven there! The National Transport Survey in 2011 said 64% of primary school children live within 1-2miles of school but only 2% of UK children cycle to school.
  • The former Mayor of Bogota said “A great city isn’t one that has highways but where a child on a bicycle can ride safely everywhere”.  He also said “If children had as much public space as cars most cities in the world would become marvellous”
  • This is simply an engineering problem
  • Let’s gives back some childhood freedom & independence to our children that’s been almost totally lost thanks to motor traffic
  • If we want our children to be safe in our town – we need to redesign our roads but we’d all benefit.
Let’s reduce transport costs for our citizens
Running a car is expensive. Figures from London say the costs of running a car is £458 per month, travelling by public transport is £225 per month and a bike £9 per month. Start multiplying that for multi car families and we are talking a large amount of money per household. All of this expense on cars represents money not spent in our local shops and businesses. Money spent at the petrol pump typically leaves the local community.
Let’s help our local businesses
  • All over the world retailers overestimate how many people shop by car. They also think that more cars mean more customers – it does not & I haven’t managed to find a study yet that says this.
  • Pedestrians spend 65% more than motorists – TfL data
  • For every car parking space we can fit 10+ bikes – would we rather retailers had 1 customer visit or up to 10?
  • If we think about car parking outside shops – is it better to have parking spaces for say 20 cars or a bike lane that can safely bring 1000 people a day?
  • Out of town shopping malls work not because of parking – once someone gets out of their car they’re in a completely safe, car free, pedestrianized environment where they focus on the retail experience.
  • Bikes can easily carry shopping and cargo bikes can easily carry large loads
  • Shopping habits are changing in a way that is perfect for bikes: People are now shopping little and often.
  • 10 years ago we didn’t have a café culture – in 10 years time let’s be a city bike society – our health, happiness and international competitiveness may well depend on it. If we don’t other countries will.
Free-ing up road capacity for essential trips
  • If we can move 50%+ of local journeys to bikes we would free up road space for people who really do need to use a car.
  • Cars still have a place for longer trips but once we’ve made our towns around the bicycle we can then start joining up towns with high speed cycle paths and motor traffic will continue to fall as will congestion.
Where this takes us too is that I want a better quality of life for everyone in urban Britain regardless of age and I believe that only the bicycle can deliver this magic bullet.
It’s people and places that make towns great, not cars and traffic. If you plan for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.
Cycling infrastructure only works if it’s of sufficient quality to attract people to use it – it has to be direct, safe, convenient and a pleasure to use. There has to be a network that goes everywhere designed to be accessible for those from 8-80 who have not ridden bikes but want to. It’s for people that don’t ride a bike now
Currently our roads are noisy, dangerous and hostile. Let’s give them back to people.
Let’s give the UK public a true choice in transport modes whilst remembering that a significant number are either unable or would rather not have to drive
  • 60% plus UK citizens when asked say they’d like to be able to use a bike and that more should be done for cycling.
  • Around 70% of people say they simply will not ride with motor traffic of any kind.
  • Many people now resent the money and time they spend in their cars
The car is a 20th century solution that doesn’t work in the 21stCentury.
People are driving less
  • Young people are choosing not to get drivers licenses
  • We don’t have the space for everyone to drive anyway and the side effects are literally killing us or making us miserable
  • We need to work out the most efficient ways to move the most people in our urban environments – not use traffic modelling to force a few more cars in at the expense of everything else.
  • Mileage driver per person has continued to fall every year since early this century (DfT stats)
  • We don’t have a choice but to fix this
So why don’t 98% of the population cycle now?
  • Our road designs
  • Appallingly poor cycling provision & repellent conditions
  • We’ve not built for cycling but you don’t build doors based on how many people are walking through walls, nor do you build bridges based on how many people are swimming across rivers.
What it’s not:
  • Because of hills – San Francisco is one of the fastest growing bicycle cities in the USA. The Swiss make 5-10 times more journeys by bike that the UK do. Our bodies are amazing – they’re designed to move and they adapt rapidly. Today’s daunting hill is next months, no problems. Our hills will give our residents greater & faster health benefits.
  • Because of getting sweaty – transport cycling is about riding slowly and just using a more efficient model – 10-15mph does not get your sweaty especially when we design so that cyclists don’t need to stop. The Dutch and Danes ride in ordinary clothing on comfortable bikes that are easy to ride
  • Of not wanting to – we’ve removed the choice – we’ve made our roads too hostile.
So what is: it?
  • It’s that we’ve tried to “encourage” or “educate” drivers & cyclists for 40 years to share the road rather than build high quality cycling infrastructure so only 2% of people cycle. The Dutch redesigned their road system with cycling at the centre and 40% of journeys are made by bike.
  • The vast majority of people will not ride with motor traffic. It’s these people we need to design for – not people who already cycle. Again the Dutch have solved this and perfected it over 40 years – if you build it well, people will come
  • 23% of Journeys by people aged over 65 in NL are by bike. Less than 1% in the UK
  • 40% of all trips by people aged under 17 in NL are by bike. Less than 2% in the UK
How to fix this:
  • Look at the world’s best – we’re very lucky that it’s only 200 miles from here
  • Take the world’s best and improve it – don’t re-invent the wheel
  • To reduce congestion we have to reduce the road space and access for cars – it’s worked in the Netherlands, Sweden and more recently in New York City. Nothing else works.
  • Realise that bikes have different needs than cars or pedestrians & design for them.
  • Design for Cargo bike traffic – let’s make it easy for people to not have a second car – we don’t have the room for them – let’s build dual carriageways for bikes
  • Allow bikes to keep moving from one side of the town to the other without stopping.
  • Engineer out the school run – make it safe for children to ride across town in safety on their own. Remove the need for parental taxi services.
  • It only took the Dutch 10 years to transform their transport system.
  • In 1970 bicycles only made up 10% of Copenhagen traffic – now it’s 50%.
  • They decided to make it happen, overruling complainers– many of whom now ride instead, permanently eliminating congestion.
  • Recognise there is currently little best practice at all in the UK but British engineers are some of the best on the planet – let’s allow them to fix this for us and make us a world leader – not to mention healthier, happier, richer and less stressed.
  • Try things – trial to see what works before we do it permanently – it also gives people a chance to get used to it.
  • Let’s make bold changes – tinkering around the edges will mean failure. We need to open up to new ways of transport planning. What we’ve been doing isn’t and won’t work.
That’s my magic bullet – it’s the only proven and cost effective way that I’ve been able to find to deliver all of these benefits
It will make Britain more liveable, healthier, prosperous and welcoming.
So what is it going to cost?
The Dutch spend €30 per person per year as the world’s best. To keep it simple, let’s just use £30 per head per year. That works out to around £2bn per year. It would take 10 years to transform our country, if we do it properly, so say £20bn. According to the government’s own estimates, for every £1 spent on cycling infrastructure, £4 is saved in the NHS. £20bn to eliminate congestion permanently and save the NHS £80bn – not to mention save 10’s of thousands of lives per year. It’s so much cheaper to build high quality bike infrastructure compared to roads for motor traffic.
This government has allocated around £40bn for HS2 and nearly £50bn for new roads – so the money is there. To transform the entire country we need £2bn a year for 10 years – half the price of the lowest estimate for the HS2 project and we’d transform the lives of everyone in the country.
Two quotes for you before my final video:
“Adding more cars in urban environments is not going to work” Alan Mullaly, CEO Ford Motor Co, 2014.
“If access by road is the key to economic prosperity, Birmingham should be the wealthiest city in Britain. It is not.” Oliver Tickell, 1993.
Here’s my final video and it’s one to inspire us all….

Again visit the originating blog :


There are some powerful messages in there … not least notice how big the applause was for the improvements to cycling! Everyone benefits from fixing this and bikes are a key tool. It’s a fantastic video.
We can’t make our towns or cities work now or in the future the way it is – as the UK continues to grow we need a different paradigm for us to keep up – let alone to prosper.
Other countries and cities are already doing this – we will be left behind if we don’t and jobs will leave, house prices will fall, sickness and obesity will continue to rise.
Let’s choose to make Britain a model for embracing the bicycle and make this country a truly wonderful place to live. Let’s turn transport from being a burden to a blessing.
Thanks for reading
For those who’d like to know more about how cycling can fix our towns and cities, please visit the following sites for a much better explanation than I’ve given. These are where I’ve gone to learn:
The last post I wrote about why we need to embrace the bicycle in Britain is here, in case you’d like to read it:
One last extremely good video that explains what’s possible and how to do this: