Cyclists – you’re not welcome in Faversham

Boy do some elected members in @SwaleCouncil & #Faversham Town Council not like cyclists! All sorts of insult & scaremongery was manifest at yesterday evening’s Local Engagement Forum. 

Here’s a selection of their views: Cyclists kill. Cyclists are anti social. Not just the young ones but the old ones too.

I intervened to point out:

– towns and cities throughout the UK are positively encouraging greater levels of cycling because they see cycling as part of their sustainability strategy, part of their economic regeneration strategy, part of their health strategy

– the UK’s population is changing with greater levels of younger people and young families who want to cycle if they are given the option

– if Faversham is seeking to ban cyclists then it is going backwards

– cars kill, injure and intimidate much more than cyclists yet we don’t talk about them in these pejorative ways

– rather than victimise people who choose to cycle we should be encouraging a culture of civilised behaviour throughout the town

– the 20s Plenty campaign is key to this 

– and, by the way, on the point that Faversham isn’t the Netherlands, Bristol has the UK’s highest levels of cycling. Bristol has hills. Faversham has slopes. 

The senior police officer there, speaking in a personal capacity said that if it was up to him he would deregulate rather than regulate. Remove signs not add more of them. He quoted the case of Ashford where the urban design approach there has led to lower levels of injuries and fatalities. He thanked me for intervening. 

It makes me wonder – if we left it to experts like this officer, how much better, more civilised, convivial and economically successful could Faversham be?

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6 thoughts on “Cyclists – you’re not welcome in Faversham”

  1. I’m very much in favour of cyclists, even though there are some -generally teenagers who appear to be under the illusion that pedestrians should get out of the way when they tear through the market square and down West St !
    I think we should favour cyclist over and above motor vehicles, but it should be made absolutley clear that cyclists should ALWAYS give way to pedestrians and take the least line of resistance when thye meet them.
    There should be much stronger penalties for trade vehicles who stop in the square, leaving engines running while they go about their business, and their vehicles pump out fumes all over those people sitting outside trying to enjoy and cup coffee Many of the trade vehicles are huge and could easily accomodate a smaller vehicle or trolly, to enable them to park in the car park and do their deliveries on foot. It’s obviously easier for them not to, but it doesn’t help the situation. IF we had this sorted there would be no need for yellow lines!

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  2. I try and cycle every where and am frustrated that KCC don’t not seem to take notice when cyclists complain about road surfaces I have reported Crescent road on a number of occasions and the linare cracks which are capable of catching cycle tyres are still present. Also the National Cycle route along the creek has A frame gates at either end that are too narrow for a the handle bars to pass through I have reported this and the call has been closed with no reference to me and each time I e-mail KCC to query it I get a message back saying I should use the on line reporting tool! The on line reporting tool has no system for reporting problems with calls that have been closed!!!!
    Lift the ban on cycling in Gatefield Lane Back lane and Solomon passage!

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    1. I think perhaps Stephen we’re all just a little too willing to treat some of these issues seriously when in fact we should be ignoring them! I bike where ever I choose, Gatefield Lane,Back Lane and Solomon passage. We live here, this is our town,the idiots at Swale and our local Tory council don’t live here and consistantly let us down in favour of kow kowing to Swale. My attitude, if you haven’t already read my comments on the biking issue, are simple — we ALWAYS give way to pedestrians, and bike where ever we want ! Who can complain about that?!

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  3. Re: “Cyclists kill. Cyclists are anti social.”
    Sadly some cyclists do kill. Some cyclists are anti-social. Speaking as a person who walk, cycles and drives, I see bad behaviour among all. And the number of motorists who kill and injure members of the Public vastly outnumber those who do so whilst riding bicycles. As for antisocial driving, it’s everywhere, whether it’s speeding, loudly revving engines, phone-driving, hooting, blaring stereos, screeching tyres. And the evidence of incompetent driving is also widespread. Flattened fences, smashed street furniture, toppled lamp-posts, mangled railings, damaged buildings broken brick walls.
    But then there’s the estimated 3% of motorists who are variously uninsured or unlicenced or likely both, and who also don’t bother with MoT, vehicle maintenance, the rules about drink-driving or drug-driving, speed-limits & etc.

    The questions that have to be asked of those who make such deliberately inflammatory and misleading claims:
    What evidence do they have for the relative danger presented to the Public by bad cycling, when compared with bad motorists?
    Do they realise the disparity in power between a bicycle and a motor-vehicle? A typical car has an engine output of 50 to ~200+ horsepower [~37 kWatts to ~150 kWatts] For clarification, that’s between ~370 and ~1,500 times the maximum sustained power output of a typical human-being who can produce only <0.1 kWatt for extended periods. Then there's the mass: A bicycle has a mass of ~10-20kg (racing bicycle to sit-up-and-beg roadster), aven a small car weighs around a tonne. A Fiat 500 has a mass of 980 kg and can have an engine up to 150 kW.

    If thses disingenuous individuals were ever to encounter a homicidal maniac and given the choice would they prefer this lunatic to be riding a bicycle, or would they prefer that he would be driving a car. I know that given such a choice, I would choose the maniac on a bicycle every time over the maniac driving a car, and so would anyone who was being honest and possessing with a shred of common-sense and a desire for self preservation.

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  4. Swale are, without doubt, the enemy of Faversham – they don’t like this town and are one of the most retrogressive councils in Kent. Being that we’ve a population of over 19,000 people it’s a great shame that we cannot lobby for our own budget and be free of the idiocy we endure from Swale. The roads are a disgrace and ignored,– okay to
    create more cars as an excuse for more yellow lines, more parking wardens and more pollution! Swale are the absolute pits when it comes to common sense where ‘green’ is concerned and it enfuriates me that
    local people have to give their time and energy having to constantly fight ludicrous ideas which Swale foist upon us which are seldom designed to enhance the town, and which our own town council appear to have no control over. I sometime wonder who they represent.. Who do Swale think they are? This is our town, not theirs and as far as they’re concerned I’m all for disobedience!

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