Every cyclist who owns a car and goes round being smug, "I pay my road tax", is missing the point. The car they've paid the road tax for is on the road somewhere, that's the rectangle of tarmac they have rented, and by not using it they are inconveniencing not just the vehicles they hold up on their crawl round town, but those commuters who rely on the spaces they create.Returning to the double parking problem, the BBC have an article calling it anti-social, an article that includes this road as an example:
We don't normally cover double parking, and when we do we never name the roads. Those streets where you can get away with it are secrets we do not dare share, as then we will have nowhere to park. Certainly this road looked familiar.
The buildings look Cliftony, possibly university area, the road is wide and quiet with an RV on the left, opposite a smartcar. Time to send a query off to our petabyte scale datacentre to see what shows up -and yes, we know this road. It's Belgrave Road, BS8.
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What's interesting about this road is why was it chosen? Did the council have to tip off the journalists that this road was trouble? Was in in fact staged purely to push out new CPZ/RPZ restrictions, our very own WMD-for-iraq claim?
We have a theory there. Belgrave road is right next to the BBC. The journalists just popped out for 30 seconds to get a couple of pics and then went back in, job done. Of course, that does not mean that the photo was not staged. More research is needed.
This is where our new experiment to instrument cyclists and pedestrians in the city has begun to pay off. By having them filming themselves, we can review exactly what they've done wrong, from their own position. This is a lot easier than filming them ourselves, as it is really hard to hold a camcorder steady while driving through Montpelier, especially when you are trying to text someone. We just let the bikes do the work, then later get the pics. Up until now most bike filming has been written by the cyclists, always whining about something or other, such as this Glaswegian Magnatom, who has taken up the classic sport of that city -starting fights with strangers- out of the bars, and onto the roads. We aren't like that. We will criticise the cyclists and any other tax-dodging subversives we see.
Here then, is our ride-by of this road, where we can say that yes, it looks like a good place to double park. Nobody seems to mind, and it's handy for the BBC. This is important if you are Noel Edmonds, on a visit to the competition to see if your latest idea for a Saturday evening show has got any interest. The video was taken ten days ago, in term time, so if the council staged the entire double parking scene, they kept it up outside the BBC for a long time -it probably is genuine.
Analysing this video, we see a number of events which concern us
- At 0:06 a tax-dodging cyclist -correctly dressed in hi-viz and helmet- sticks her arm out to force a Mercedes to stop its manoeuvre, a turn into the bus lane. This was a premium car, and clearly belongs to someone important -possibly Noel Edmonds himself. All the cyclists should have given way, and not held up this car by being in front of them in the bus lane.
- At 0:13 we see a skateboarder on the road. Again, another form of tax-dodging
- At 0:31 we see a Vauxhall Zafira being forced to brake hard after overtaking the bicycle.
- Throughout the sequence, we see pedestrians crossing the road -only one of them is wearing hi-viz clothing.
We can see then, in 46 seconds, how a couple of bicycles can hold up the journey time of cars, be they important cars who need to use the Bus Lane, or merely someone who needs to double park outside the BBC offices. It is bad enough that these cyclists are allowed to do this, that they do not pay any tax, let alone compensate us for our lost time -now we see that the council is trying to take away our right to double park. Furthermore, the video showed how pedestrians, cyclists and even skateboarders are trying to take our roads away from us. We must resist!
When will this anti-car oppression end!