Friday, 7 December 2012


For the first ten minutes of this programme, I was shocked and wanted to turn it off. I mean the title in itself was antagonistic enough, but something made me watch the entire thing. I'm glad I did in the end.

Seeing the road from the camera of a cyclist is a view I see nearly every day, but not to that level. I cycle around London and I love to see the city from my bike. This programme did show drivers aggression at it's worst and it does concern me that if anyone was thinking about taking up cycling but was a little unsure - well, it's going to well and truly put them off. Can I say to those people - don't let it.

Cynthia, the woman who lost her daughter tragically in a cycling accident summed it up for me. Yes, all road users do ride/drive in a competitive space, but shouldn't it be a co-operative space?

We're all riding together, whether we like it or not and the number of cyclists is growing. It's cheaper, more economical and let's face it much more fun than being in an underground capsule smelling someone else's armpit or being sneezed on.

The London Cycle Campaign and The Times are pushing fantastic campaigns to improve the safety of cyclists - such as 'No More Lethal Lorries' and 'Love London, Go Dutch'. However, these changes aren't going to happen over night and in the meantime we all need to try and ride together and give each other respect when doing so. With so many different types of road users it's clear that we all need to understand the others road positions. Cyclists need to look out for other drivers and drivers need to look out for cyclists.

So was this programme irresponsible? On one level I thought this programme was sensationalising the issues on the roads. Of course it would, it makes good TV. It proved to me that having a camera on your helmet can help as evidence or show drivers how irresponsibly they're driving, but I feel so sad that it's come to that.

It also showed the devastating affect the death of a cyclist has on their family and the courage of a mother who made positive change for the safety of all cyclists in her daughter's memory. I hope this will make some drivers think twice before they do something dangerous.

For me though, you had to wait until near the end to pick up any real positive aspects of the programme. This is where I think the programme could have been much better. It needed to be clearer that there is the need to educate ALL road users. For example, for cyclists to sit in a cab of a HGV and see it from their angle and for ALL drivers to have cycle training. This includes bus drivers, cabbies, HGV drivers and cyclists themselves. Cycle training needs to be part of the driving test - either in a practical or theoretical way. We also need to do some creative campaigning and TV programming to make existing drivers aware of what is good and safe cycling practice so that we can start to eradicate these so called 'wars'.

As for the two idiotic courier racers, I abhor you. You're stupid and dangerous!
To people like Lewis, the traffic droid, I salute you. Here is a cyclist with respect.

So BBC – irresponsible in places with some good intentions that you had to dig deep for. Next time, can you make more positive programming about cycling? Make peace not war.


  1. Hi Mandy, I watched the programme this morning and it brought back some bad memories cycling in London, the worst was a black cab pulling in giving me literally centimeterss between it's wheels, me and the metal railings on the side of the road, it was the longest ten seconds of my life and if there'd been a pot hole I'd of been under. And it's amazing how many incidences come back to you when you see the cyclist's footage. Knave to admit I stopped cycling in London because I was too scared.
    I was left with the feeling that the programme was — perhaps because of it's attempt to be balanced — was actually unfair to cyclists. That courier footage didn't belong in a programme attempting to examine these issues, any more than teenage boy races in stolen cars did, they're an anomaly and the footage was irrelevant.
    I was fuming at the beginning too, getting ready to start a petition! There was a lot of bias to make a point. The cab driver who was arguing with the cyclist was way in the wrong, it's incidences like that that only become significant when the cyclist ends up injured or dead, and tapping on a car is the only way to ensure a driver who may not have seen you is aware of you, and my view is if they are angered by it it's because they were fully aware of you and were chancing it because they don't like cyclist's in their way and don't appreciate the fragility of a cyclist against a car or truck until it's too late. That Scottish guy's clip was terrifying but I bet every cyclust has a similarly if less dramatic incident they can relate. That's a point that should have been driven home ALL THE WAY through that programme, it's NOT a war, because the two sides are completely unequal and there'd be just one ‘winner' and all the confrontational and emotive language lost that in the programme, all the cyclist should have refused to have made comments on the courier footage because it was completely irrelevant. I must say 'though, I was always very careful and watchful as a cyclist in London, and as I said, what really scared me was a couple of incidences where control was taken out of your hands and you were left with chance and some idiot driver to determine your fate. But the most scared I've been was when I used to cycle to work to Penguin in Kensington, a friend of mine Karen invited me to hers for dinner that evening, and I followed her cycling to Tooting. She ignored red lights, was up and down pavements through heavy traffic, I was watching cars just skimming her or breaking when she was totally oblivious to them, weaving through pedestrians on pavements, and finally up the wrong way on her one way road, just a complete nightmare, broke every rule, I was shaking by the end of it!

    1. Hi Ken. Your comments just illustrated to me the irresponsible side to the programme – putting people off riding. I agree the courier footage shouldn't have been there. What's the point if only to make people gasp in horror and shun cyclists? All that you say is real, but not so terrifying as that every day I can assure you. That and the experience with your friend just re-iterates the need for all road users to have cycling lessons and cyclists to experience being in a HGV or car. Ken - if you ever want to get on a bike again in London - give me a shout and I'll give you a lesson or two. It is the best way to get round the city! :-)