NOW that the threat of a cycling war with the Highways Agency over their stupid proposal to ban cyclists from the A63 at Hull has been averted, there comes a daft suggestion that the Prudential Ride London should be charged for using Surrey’s roads!
Not just this huge charity ride – billed as the biggest in the world and which donates £thousands to local causes - but Britain’s biggest pro road race on the same day, which has UCI World Tour status; plus every other cycling event, the smaller challenge rides, road races and time trials.
Councillor Claire Malcolmson has put forward this idea to the Mole Valley Local Committee, which was the lead story in my local paper recently.
Mole Valley and Dorking figure on the route of the Prudential Ride London, and the pro races passes through the town four times – a grand sight.
In her view this will help introduce stricter regulation of races and rides in the county, and generate funds which would “contribute to dealing with local congestion and road infrastructure”!
Crackpot idea, of course.
Whatever the local committee may say, Surrey County Council won’t wear it. They are partners with London in hosting this event, introduced as part of the 2012 Olympic legacy.
A spokesman for Surrey said charging had been considered but “has not been taken forward”.
She told the local newspaper that since the Olympic road races came through Surrey, the area has “witnessed a huge influx of cyclists” which brought “more chances of mishaps on the roads to pedestrians, drivers and cyclists.”
Aha. If truth be known the councillor is probably a driver irritated by the road closures for the Pru events. She may also have been held up behind lines of cyclists and wants to get her own back. Here’s some advice: drop into third gear and just potter along until the riders turn off.
As regards solving congestion on the roads, the Pru already contributes to that by closing over 100s of miles of them for their events!
The councillor might like to consider that the obvious way to reduce congestion is for people not to drive as often as they do.
This has become a vital health issue if the pollution from diesel engines is to be reduced.
Britain is among one of the worst polluted lands in the world, it has been reported. Thousands of people are dying from illnesses caused by traffic pollution.
Instead of charging pollution-free cycling events from using the roads, charge the polluters.
Here’s an idea that for tech wizards to develop. Every time a driver switches on the ignition, it activates an app linked straight to his bank account which haemorrhages money direct to a fund to pay for the funeral services of all those dying from illnesses caused by the shit spewing from her/his exhaust.