Tuesday, 17 January 2012

TfL still don't "get it"

Update: TfL also sent a (different) email to drivers.
Update 2: TfL actually sent 3 different emails, confusing.

TfL has just sent the following "Travel information reminder" email:

I am writing to both cyclists and drivers to remind them to take care on London’s roads.

Cyclists are reminded to:

  • Be aware of blind spots all around large vehicles. It’s often safer to hang back
  • Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they have seen you
  • Not ride through red traffic lights. It’s dangerous and you can be fined £30
  • Allow space between you and parked vehicles. Doors may be opened suddenly
Cycle training courses are available in most London boroughs.
For more information, please visit tfl.gov.uk/cyclesafety
Yours sincerely,

Ben Plowden
Director, Surface Planning
This is missing the point. Cyclists can do all these things, be "very road aware", but it is not enough to keep them safe. 
It is not solely up to cyclists, or just cyclists and drivers, TfL have responsibility as well. For providing inadequate and dangerous provision for cyclists and pedestrians.

The above email also advises "drivers ... to take care on London's roads," but all the emphasis is on cyclists' responsibilities.

TfL could easily add:
Drivers are reminded to:
But instead they chose to focus on everything that cyclists do wrong. Perpetuating myths such as "all cyclists jump red lights," and creating more anti-cyclist sentiment rather than aiming for safer roads for everyone.

Edit: More info discussing TfL's responsibilities, and its failure to meet them.


  1. You are a cyclist so you got the cyclist version. Drivers got a different email reminding them of their responsibilities, and covering your points, which read...

    "Dear Mr Driver,

    I am writing to both drivers and cyclists reminding them to take care on London’s roads.

    If you drive in London, please remember to give space to cyclists when overtaking and at junctions. Please remember to look out for cyclists when turning left or right and check before you open your door as they can be hard to spot. For more information please click here [link to http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/21074.aspx]

    We are also writing to cyclists to remind them to be visible, be alert to other road users and ensure they follow the Highway Code when cycling. If you are interested to see what we are advising cyclists, please visit tfl.gov.uk/cyclesafety

    Yours sincerely,

    Ben Plowden Director, Surface Planning"

    I think TfL are to be appluaded for this. Seems fair and even-handed to me as a cyclist and non-driver.

    1. Thanks for that!

      It is fair and even-handed.

      TfL make it very clear in the Drivers' email about their advice to cyclists, but not in the Cyclists' email re. their advice for drivers.

      Although if they can differentiate at this level why do I still get emails asking me to turn my engine off at traffic lights?