Was on bus home past Waterman's after school this week when one of the students sitting near me spotted Guy L cycling to Waterman's. I was impressed when he told me 'miss, that one of our councillors' but couldn't answer when he said 'he's not wearing a helmet so why are we always being told to?' Didn't have an answer - is there a reason I can give him, Guy?
Sarah Boulding ● 79d38 Comments
Its always an education when reading Simon Hayes posts. I made a point of looking at cyclists this week and vast majority do not see fit to wear a lid! Very few sensible responsible cyclists around! But there again majority of them are law breaking and do not obey the rules of the road. Amount jumping red lights riding on the pavements and speeding is outrageous and they get away with it.
David Cook ● 57d
It does make me laugh when cyclists argue that wearing a helmet infringes their freedom of choice, when they spend the rest of the time trying to reduce freedom of choice for others.As has been stated before, a head injury can occur for any reason, not just a collision with a motor vehicle. The result of such an injury can be life changing, and not necessarily paralysis or similar. A concussion can have many unseen consequences, although there’s no direct link between brain injury and being a Labour Party member.But all you cyclists should read this from Headway, the head injury charity: https://www.headway.org.uk/news-and-campaigns/campaigns/cycle-safety/
Simon Hayes ● 58d
True but I don't see it as a huge cost to my personal liberty when, as an adult, I choose to model safe road behaviour in front of children. It's just like many of us would wait for the green man at a crossing when there are young children crossing too, rather than hurrying across when the red man is still showing (even when it's probably perfectly safe for us to do so). That was all I was thinking of, really, in my original post.
Sarah Boulding ● 59d
The argument that a cyclist whilst moving at 15-20 miles an hour is as or less likely to die or be seriously injured,particularly on the head,in a road accident than a pedestrian is daft.I would have thought minimising the chances you have of dying or of eating your fish and chips through a straw for the rest of your life quite appealing,but aparently that's trumped by the nuance of choice.
Keith Iddon ● 60d
Agree it should be personal choice. Why should anyone, including Councillors or public servants or officers of the State, be expected to wear helmets when it isn’t a legal requirement? We are enough of a nanny state as it is so allow us this one little freedom.
Steve Taylor ● 60d
Registration and identification plates are only required for the faster 40km/h e-bikes. Normal bikes need neither.
N V Brooks ● 71d
I agree about it being a personal choice, I remember the debates about seat belts back in the 70s,I do not know anyone who doesn’t belt up nowadays.I cannot see the law being changed because there are so many low speed 20 mph zones. It becomes second nature when you get into a car nowadays.The more cyclists that are tempted to cycle will mean an increase in injuries. Its also about time that cyclists paid to use the roads and bikes be registered just as they have to in Switzerland.
David Cook ● 72d
Have to agree with last couple of posts, i have been riding a Bike on the road for 55 plus years and you do develop a sense of survival. Its all about education and as the thread started out about the Teacher and Pupil it sends the wrong message to the youngsters by not being responsible and not wearing a helmet.Just as many cyclists and Motorists break the law by jumping red lights and speeding. Surprised Guy feels he doesn't need to wear a lid especially after his recent head injury.
David Cook ● 73d
Guy has made a reference to being killed.In both instances getting killed as either pedestrian or cyclist on a road in the UK is amongst the lowest on the planet.Getting injured either moderately or badly is far more likely.And all people ought to be responsible for their own actions.If you knowingly step out into the road either glued to a phone, or wearing headphones and don't take extra care or simply without looking or expecting anything moving to stop immediately, then it's who's fault?TfL sought to kill off the open platform bus. They put a load of press releases out claiming how dangerous and how many were being killed. ( again, like another statistic they have more recently used, untrue.)Of course, over 100 years and billions of passengers, there is likely to be accidents and fatalities, but most were actually misuse by passengers own action. i.e. jumping off the bus whilst it's moving, larking around or being too drunk. TfL ommitted to add that a large number of passengers have been maimed or killed having been dragged along by doored buses having had something trapped in the doors, nor the large amount of falls by less able from the lack of a conductor, particularly or earlier driver only buses. - similar happens on the Tube but not much mentioned about that either.If you are not a fully competent cyclist, not able to ride one or no handed, can't look over your shoulder without losing your balance and prefer not to obey traffic lights and junction markings then It is rather prudent to wear a helmet.Just like in any sport if you go the extra mile in serious competition then you have more protective kit than if you just have a knockabout in a park - if it's not cordoned off for events all season.
Raymond Havelock ● 73d
You won’t get any sensible answers from Lambert when it comes to cycling. He’s fully indoctrinated into the LCC (even passing off their car policies as just some random ‘musings’ of his own a few weeks back).The giveaway in this thread is his stupid suggestion (tongue in cheek no doubt) that pedestrians should wear helmets too as they are as likely to be killed as cyclists. Classic deflection there.Most pedestrians aren’t careering down roads at 20+ mph or weaving in and out of large vehicles.The LCC line on helmets is don’t wear them as they ‘cause drivers to be more reckless around cyclists’. Utter poppycock of course. Personal opinion passed off as statistical fact.
Simon Hayes ● 73d
Ha ha,what sort of answer is that? I remember Steve Curran telling me the same thing a few years ago and that really shows how badly LBH have performed in the last ten years. The Roads and footpaths are the worse they have ever been. Reporting so many hundreds of potholes alone would be an absolute marathon task. Never mind the cracks,uneven surfaces and other damage. Its on your watch and you have failed miserably.
David Cook ● 73d
I suppose it's boring to remind you that the Roads and Footpaths in Hounslow are repeatedly assessed as the best of any borough in London, though I haven't seen the report in the last couple of years.If you see something dangerous report it on FixMyStreet - it's dead easy and if dangerous it's dealt with very quickly. https://fms.hounslowhighways.org/Takes about a minute to report - I just did one for next to the Beehive
Guy Lambert ● 74d
I rode down to Hounslow earlier and the London Road is even worse than I mentioned a few posts back, so many dips and potholes especially around drain and man hole covers, it will take £millions to fix just in our borough. I was shocked to see around half dozen other cyclists and none of them wearing helmets. No surprise that so many cyclists suffer severe and life threatening head injuries.
David Cook ● 74d
I would be very surprised indeed if the LCC and HCC both of which the councillor is a prominent local member do not strongly encourage the use of cycling helmetsYou must be getting bored of being the local apologist for him and Hounslow Council by now surely?
Paul Fisher ● 74d
No I dont,! Well with the state of the Pavements and footpaths in the Borough Im not surprised at your reply.
David Cook ● 74d
You are equally likely to be killed for every mile you walk as a pedestrian as you are to be killed on a bicycle. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/447674/pedal-cyclists-2013-data.pdfData is old but nothing newer.Do you advocate helmets should be worn by all pedestrians?
Guy Lambert ● 74d
A bell and working lights and mudguard to prevent other cyclists getting sprayed would be a good start.
Raymond Havelock ● 74d
Imposing the wearing of helmets on bicycles?Don't be silly(although completely reasonable and logical as in motorcycle helmets),it infringes on the personal rights of cyclists.Can't have that, can we?
Keith Iddon ● 74d
Potholes. Ruts and Cracks make safe cycling in this district an utter joke.And just who at TfL or Hounslow Highways specified razor sharp kerbstones that are also higher than standard bike pedals? The very basics are what is needed to make it easy to safe cycle in particular after dark.Wasting money and utter incompetence on expensive projects and even that cannot be designed and built properly.
Raymond Havelock ● 75d
Considering head injuries are the most commonest form of death in cyclists, i think it is very irresponsible not to wear a helmet. I would never ever ride my bike without one. I think the law should be changed to make it compulsory like it is for moped riders. The state of the roads are so bad in the borough I have nearly come a “cropper” twice in recent weeks due to cracks,uneven surfaces and the dreaded potholes.
David Cook ● 76d
But there are alternatives via quiet roads all along. I never use Syon Lane to Busch Corner but turn off via the estate towards Brentford Town or via the next turning off the GW rd to West Middx and an assortment of quiet routes to Isleworth, Spring Grove and Hounslow all easy routes and it's possible to traverse the inclines on the reverse journey.Done it for decades and still hardly see any other cyclists or problem traffic hazards.Just wish the G W Rd route was swept properly and clearly lit and marked at junctions.Knowing good safe and easier routes makes it so much better and safer and far more pleasant away from spray and heavy traffic and pedestrians
Raymond Havelock ● 76d
Yes, I agree the cycle path along the A4 is a very much underused option in our area. It's just when I would have to turn off it and carry on south down Syon Lane/Spur Road to Busch Corner that I would be back in a very narrow and/or traffic-filled road. No easy, cheap solution...
Sarah Boulding ● 76d
There is already a cycleway, once completely segregated and easily resegregated that goes all the way to Heathrow and beyond.Yet it remains neglected in pretty much the same state for the last 35 years.Yet it links almost every community in the Borough easily. But most of all does not screw up the commerce and public transport and parks in areas where trying to fit a pint into a quart simply does not work and ends up as exclusively for a small group of over fast cycling fanatics who are as intimidating to local slower cyclists as tailgaters in overpowered cars are to other vehicle users.An opportunity lost purely for showboating political trendiness over practicality.As for no helmet. Well if you are prone to falling off or hopeless at spacial awareness, jump lights and never signal or acknowledge other road users. It's probably a good idea to wear one.
Raymond Havelock ● 76d
The 'current' phase goes as far as Morrisons or maybe Half Acre. This was consulted upon when Harold McMillan was still PM ( perhaps I'm exaggerating) but then COVID came along and then the government decided to punish TfL so everything got delayed. The next bit is supposed to start as soon as the Kew Bridge to Watermans bit is finished. There was an initial consultation a couple of years ago to cover Brentford to Hounslow bus station. I think there's a plan to run a second consultation later this year, though everything will depend on funding.The original plan was to take it to Heathrow but I wouldn't recommend holding your breath.
Guy Lambert ● 77d
Thanks Guy for the honest reply. I also don't like wearing a helmet - flattens the hair and too hot - but I force myself to by reminding myself of the dangers of being knocked off and banging my unprotected brain against the kerb. As a regular bus-user I'm not 100% keen on the cycleworks on Brentford High Street which are contributing to the traffic delays at the moment, but I will give cycling to work a try (on dry days at least!) when everything's in place. Will the cycle lane west-bound just stop at the car park or will it continue to and over Brentford Bridge?
Sarah Boulding ● 77d
What a strange attitude. Coming off your bike twice and injured other parts of your body means you were just lucky.You don’t have to collide with another vehicle to fall off your bike. Zooming downhill at speed and encountering one of the many potholes littering the road will do the trick.Why, some experienced cyclists have been known to fall off when their bikes aren’t even moving.By all means don’t wear a helmet, but every time someone suffers a head trauma as a result it’s perhaps best not to bleat about safety, eh?
Simon Hayes ● 77d
I was hit twice on a bike - once on Kew Bridge Road when I was a new cyclist - I didn't fall off but I had a cut on my right arm caused by the sliding door mechanism on a Transit. Driver didn't stop, perhaps didn't know. It healed in a few days and stopped me cycling in the gutter, but a helmet wouldn't have helped.Then I was knocked off in Hammersmith which broke both my arms. Driver was a psychiatrist but he didn't suggest I was mad - was actually very apologetic, though subsequently prosecuted and get a hefty fine. So there I was with badly bruised legs and broken arms and I lost count of people who looked censorious and asked me if I was wearing a helmet. I observed that it didn't help my arms.I wonder about a helmet. One of the things stopped me was when I looked at injury statistics - turned out you were more likely to be injured walking than cycling for each Km covered walking than cycling. But in truth it's a fag, and it makes me too hot when I wear one.SOme info on the use of helmets internationally : https://velco.tech/en/safety-bike-helmet/#:~:text=About%201%20in%205%20cyclists,Germany%20and%205.9%25%20in%20Zagreb.And Chris Boardman talking about cycling in the Netherlands https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDLb6biq39A
Guy Lambert ● 77d
I've been knocked off my bike just once, maybe 25 years ago across from the Fountain Leisure Centre. The driver drove far too close and hit my handlebar with his wing mirror. I fought to stay upright, despite the impact, but crashed to the ground, hitting my head quite hard on the road. My assailant did stop, but as I groggily raised my head I saw a wave of panic cross his face. Presumably he had just realised he had no insurance or MOT. So he decide to be a hit and run criminal. Luckily 3 guys having a coffee on the pavement had taken his number and the police had him in a cell shortly after, soon to plead guilty. They said I had done an amazing wreckage job on his car. I had metal ends to my straight handlebars and in my efforts to stay upright had smashed into at least three panels on his car. So he was convicted, had a big increase in insurance costs, expensive reapirs and I hope was banned from driving for a while. The police never told me the outcome. The point of this old story? I was wearing a cycle helmet and it definitely saved me from a significant head injury. I would never get on a bike without one.
Eric Baker ● 77d
I wouldn't cycle without a helmet but then there is no law requiring one to do so. In the end, therefore, it comes down to personal choice whatever anyone thinks.
Anne England ● 77d