This could get me into trouble, but my hatred of cyclists knows no bounds and I don’t care.
Never mind that, at the set of traffic lights just fifty yards from my home, my conservative estimate is that 40% of those pedalling on two wheels completely ignore red lights and simply keep going, at considerable risk of harm to any pedestrians who, simply wishing to buy our morning newspapers, dutifully wait for the ‘walking green man’ to appear opposite before setting off to cross the road.
Yesterday was practically the final straw.
At about 11.00am, I took to the wheel of my car in order to drive to a shopping estate not far from the National Archives complex at Kew and then, on my way back, stop in the centre of Richmond to buy some food at the Waitrose store.
The first indication that something was amiss came in the centre of Richmond. It was beset by a traffic grid-lock in every direction.
Having thereby been delayed by nearly quarter of an hour, I made it to the Richmond roundabout on the A316. In the direction of central London, I found this to be subject to yellow signs imposing a ‘diversion’, administered by jobsworths in high-visibility jackets.
Another ten minute delay followed. There being no viable means of avoiding grid-lock in the direction I wished to proceed, I doubled-back down the A316 and thence up through Isleworth to Kew Bridge, finally reaching the shopping centre from the opposite direction to that from which I had set out. What should have been a ten minute journey had taken five times longer.
It began to dawn upon me that RideLondon-Surrey 100 (a cycling event being televised by the BBC), of which I had previously been vaguely aware, might be the cause.
Half an hour later, I drove off, back towards Richmond via the Mortlake crossing of the A316.
Two hundred yards short of the relevant traffic lights, there was another empasse and another gentleman in a high-visibility jacket indicating that the road ahead was blocked. By now I was in a bumper-to-bumper line of traffic perhaps a mile long, each vehicle of which was now going to have to attempt a three-point turn in the middle of the road in order to re-trace its steps.
What drives me crackers about situations like these is the glaring lack of intelligence and foresight on the part of the organisers.
Rather than allow traffic to proceed from Kew Green all the way (threequarters of a mile?) to the A316 junction and only then to stop it and advise it that it would have to re-trace its steps, why didn’t someone set up the diversion on Kew Green and prevent hundreds of motorists proceeding down towards the A316 … only then to have to turn round and go back again?
Next, having fought – via a series of back-doubles in the small streets of Kew – to get back onto the A316 and the Sheen route to Richmond, I was then foiled yet again from my goal by yet another temporary diversion.
It was a quiet Sunday morning. I was just one local resident who wanted to do nothing more than nip out for an hour, doing some shopping, go back home, pull up my drawbridge and enjoy the remainder of my weekend.
Instead, my neighbours and I (not to mention hundreds of thousands of others) were effectively subjected to an official blockade – courtesy of some well-meaning but poorly-advertised project presumably intended to promote the riding of bicycles.
People who ride bicycles are a menace, period.
They’re rude, inconsiderate, arrogant and totally self-regarding. They cause politicians and local councils to spend millions of pounds supposedly providing them safer passage – this against a background in which the only thing that would totally satisfy them would be the banning of all cars and other vehicles from the roads of Britain.
I’ve got an easier solution – a total ban on bicycles.
They cause more accidents and inconvenience to British citizens than any other single item ever invented.
All cyclists should be told to either buy cars or start walking.