Cleaner, greener, safer future temporarily spoils Greenwich cycle path

Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.
- Jurassic Park

The driverless car future moved up a gear this week with the start of autonomous vehicle trials on Greenwich Peninsula, one of three sites in the country to host pilot schemes.

The technology promises to radically improve road safety, cut pollution and reduce parking requirements. The UK's expertise in automotive technology and computing means that it's well placed to profit from the emerging industry, estimated to be worth £900 billion in ten years, and the government is placing a big bet on autonomous systems as a driver for the country's future economic growth. As host borough, Greenwich is getting a cool £8 million grant for the privilege. Behold the white heat of technology in action:


But this future comes at a terrible price. Those maniac scientists have become death, destroyer of cycle paths. 853blog will not be placated by the promise of a future where robots save thousands of cyclists' lives - not if the cost is the temporary loss of 500 metres of cycle path, especially if the alternative is to cycle down the quiet road that runs adjacent. They say:

There was no consultation about the decision, instead there’s just a tiny notice on a lamp post and cycle markings scrubbed out and replaced with the word “SHUTTLE”. The notice cites “danger to the public” for the decision. 

But if the trial’s organisers think they can avoid danger by closing off a length of cycle path, they’ve chosen the wrong place. I cycle along this stretch regularly, and most days there are pedestrians wandering into the cycle track – often glued to tablets with headphones plugged in.

Click here for the full article.


Anon said...

I'd rather have a driverless car fitted with safety devices than a brainless cyclist who thinks a red light at a traffic light doesn't mean them and will look in anger at pedestrians in their path.
Or the brainless cyclists who think the sloped kerb at junctions is so they can cycle on the pavement at junctions without having to slow down or stop.

Anon said...

Well at least we agree on that.
When I was young I had the idea of people would get into a pod enter a destination and pod would join a conveyor and be automatically transported where they wished to go, thus allowing vehicles to travel at a steady pace and evenly spaced, then I thought it could be done by laying magnetic tracks under the road.

Ed said...

Or the brainless pedestrians who step out onto the road into the path of cyclists without looking?

Max Calò said...

Get a bike and work out all this bile mate, it's not good for you.

Headhunter said...

Isn't it funny how as soon as an article about cycling appears on the net, idiots pop up saying things like bloody cyclists they ALL jump red lights and hit little old ladies whilst riding on the pavement... Good that the unproven stereotypes still persist....

terrencetrentderby said...

There is a certain type of Lewisham gent that likes to cruise along the pavement cycling on their heels and never using the the road, these people are very annoying.
And what's with people taking fold up bikes on packed trains?

Headhunter said...

Yes, irresponsible cyclists like that are annoying and dangerous but it amuses me that whenever anything about cyclists pops up on the net, there's a deluge of people demanding that cyclists be strung up for riding through red lights or on the pavement yet whenever (if ever) it is reported that someone runs over a pedestrian (or a cyclist) in their car or van it's just one of those sad occurences.

No demand for the driver to be strung up, no comments that these "brainless" drivers who speed/text/make phone calls whilst driving should be banned from the roads.

Motorists kill and injure around 4000 people on the roads every year in the UK, more than are killed by many major diseases, yet somehow it's "acceptable"....

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