A letter to London Road users.
I'm a London pedestrian, London Cyclist and London motorist... Due to the recent deaths of six cyclists in two weeks I have felt it necessary to write this letter. I'm not proposing I have the answer on how to bubble wrap our roads to make it safer for all, or to take side of any user, from the frustration of red light runners, puller outers, engineer revvers or finger flippers.
What I do know is that none of us want this. Nobody wants to deal with the death of someone, just on their way to work, on their hands. These events presented in the paper each morning on our commute are real life. These people are relatives, friends, parents, children of someone. The people involved in the accidents have to live with this for the rest of their lives, forever doubting, forever wondering if something they did, or could of done could've prevented it. The officers and paramedics who arrive on the scene and have to treat, and battle in vain to help in whatever way they can.
Regrettably accidents will always happen, but something that can change right now, as of today... and that is our attitude to each other on the road.
Rather than this incessant mentality of us versus them, let us stop and appreciate that we're all trying to make our way around London. Yes undoubtedly we must all start to adhere to the rules of the road, from running lights, U turning into each other, to stepping out whilst texting a mate, we can all do better to earn the respect of each other on the road. Let's get some perspective, we're not looking at a bike, or a car... but a person!
The fact remains that our roads have changed, and in my six years of living London it is easily evident to take note of the uprise of the cyclist. Blame this on Boris, blame this on rising tube fares, or blame it on the Olympic effect that we all set out with the passion to strive to be the next Chris Hoy.... We can't pretend that motorists are the sole users of the road anymore.
Whilst the powers that be work to find a resolution and solution to preventing these tragic deaths from becoming a too common read in the papers, and a quick google will show the many opinions and possible options - let's start right now on changing the warring attitude that all road users are the enemy and take a moment that next time you rev your engine, weave down the side at the car or rage into a storm of words to make a sailor weep...
Nobody wants to be dealing with a situation where our actions and decisions result in a gold plaque at the side of the roads.
Stay safe and look out for each other x.