Campaign rhetoric

Chicane on Martin Way, Merton
Dangerous bends

Merton Cyclists’ report on the failings of their council’s safety audits is magisterial.

While dry, the report repays study for its rhetoric alone. (Printed copies were distributed at the LCC AGM last month.) Instead of moaning about poor facilities for cyclists, the author describes how inadequate safety audit procedures, laxly applied, have created “a diseased road network”. (Remember that phrase.) He points to the £½-million cost of remedying faults on just one road.

The highway engineers responsible for this are not charged with being unsympathetic to cyclists, but being incompetent and negligent in their own profession, with taxpayers picking up the bill for their failings.

This sort of criticism lands hard on professionals. It can ruin careers.

It is a quite separate line from mustering political support for cycle facilities. Enough of it might even yield a push from below at TfL, with engineers insisting on observing their own rules.

Let’s see more of this!