I am currently working in the centre of Oxford.
Because it is the middle of summer, Oxford is full of tourists. And, naturally enough, many of the tourists are looking to get around the city and see the sights.
Some of the tourists are choosing to use bicycles to meet this requirement.
On Wednesday, last week, I was walking through the city centre, and passed a shop that hires bicycles out.
Three people were mounting their just-hired bicycles.
I watched as they wobbled their way in to the path of an oncoming bus.
I watched as the bus was forced to stop, disrupting traffic (and other cyclists!), whilst the wobbly tourists attempted to make their way down the street.
I watched as one of them fell off, in the road.
I watched as the third cyclist stopped to help the fallen friend – but first she dismounted her bicycle, and placed it on its side in the bus lane.
I watched as all three remounted, and cycled through a pedestrian-only precinct.
I watched as another bicycle hirer mounted his bike and cycled the wrong way up a one-way street.
So here are some facts about cyclists:
- They use the road free of charge
- They mix with cars, lorries, buses, motorbikes (and other cyclists)
- They need take no tests
- They are not even required to demonstrate they know the basics of the Highway Code
- They are uninsured
How can it be right for uninsured, untested, road-users to mix and mingle with heavy traffic?
Where is the sense in this?