When I have time, I want to write up some reflections on our 2 weeks cycling in Holland. In the meantime, there’s a great article in the Guardian about it. I think there are 3 key things that make a difference:
- Safe and largely separated cycle paths, which we are slowly making some progress on in London. However, even with massive political will and financial investment it would take decades to catch up.
- Strict liability laws – so if a car hits a bike, the car driver is assumed to be at fault unless they can prove otherwise. I think that would make the many motorists who overtake me too closely or try to bully their way out in front of me, think twice. As this article says, this also protects pedestrians from cyclists. The law protects the most vulnerable road user so it is not carte blanche for cyclists to be responsible. It simply enshrines what I think is basic common sense and a moral responsibility into law. I am always telling my children when we cycle on the pavement to school that they need to give priority to pedestrians.
- The above two, mean that so many more people cycle, so that motorists respect cyclists because most of them cycle too.
I am looking forward to 2 cycling experiences over half-term:
- Cycling along the Dollis Valley Greenwalk as a family. Trying to find out where you can cycle on this walking path has been an effort which I will write about another time.
- A free family lesson with a cycling instructor. Organising this has also been a saga.