Dutch scenes in a British context

5TH OF DECEMBER 2012 · 15:40

Source: Department for Transport

Boy and Dog on Euston Road
© The Alternative : Department for Transport

I’m sure you’ve all read my guest blog post for the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain by now (and if not, why not?), and most people seem to agree with most or all of the message.

But one comment by ‘DonM’ – a perfectly nice, well-written comment, by the way, I’m not having a go at the writer here! – suggested that more encouragement is required, as it’s cheaper than tarmac and concrete. (These ‘encouragement’ campaigns may be cheap, but as they have all failed to achieve anything, the millions spent on them over the years has been wasted.) But Don’s comment got me thinking, as I keep seeing this sort of thing time and time again.

There are people who haven’t seen Dutch conditions, who don’t understand the scale of it. (Most of the UK has no concept of it whatsoever, of course. I’m talking about people interested in promoting cycling, here.)

Anybody who has studied cycling in the Netherlands and then suggests that the UK can achieve the same results without proper infrastructure is barmy. The idea of all those children and grandmas riding on the roads sounds as sensible as saying people should have free access to the rail network to use their own handcar.

So with the intention of demonstrating why riding on the roads is not an option, I took some photos of Dutch cyclists and dropped them into London scenes. I hope they will help any infrastructure doubters to see why roadcraft is not the way forward for cycling.

(The final two are in a different style because I couldn’t be bothered cutting groups of people out.)