This is a title I didn’t want to have to write. But I don’t think it can be avoided. Today the Bournemouth Echo published some pretty scary statistics on their website.
In the last year there were 139 cycling casualties in the Bournemouth borough, with 15 of them being children. Within that total 18 adults and 3 children suffered serious injuries. In neighbouring Poole there were a further 61 casualties, including 2 children, with 13 adults seriously hurt.
Read the article here – CLICK
This makes for some pretty depressing reading, and it comes days after a 21 year old was killed on his bike in Christchurch. Bournemouth council claim to be doing something about it, and it can’t come soon enough.
I drive a lot as its part of my job, 130k miles in the last 4 years in a job unsuited to cycling, and from the areas I cover I can wholeheartedly say that the road infrastructure and driving standards are worse in Bournemouth than any place I have driven in the UK. Even London. In Bournemouth the car is king, but the ability to use one is a fallacy. It can take me near an hour to drive from Christchurch to Poole in rush hour, a distance of 12 miles. I can get to Southampton, 25 miles away, in Half that at the same time of the day. This is down to poor road design and too many needless journeys. I see countless SOVs (single occupancy vehicles) during rush hour. This leads to gridlock, frustration, and rushed decisions from all road users with the knock on effect being accidents.
Something needs to be done in Bournemouth, the roads are above capacity. What I don’t get though is why the support for this cause is so weak. In Bournemouth we have a plethora of cycling businesses, enough to rival any location in the UK (Check out my directory if you don’t believe me – HERE), that don’t seem to be willing to keep their own back yard safe. Come on guys! If you all got together some serious noise could be made. This is what your industry is built on!
A subject that frustrates me greatly and one that will continue to rumble on in Bournemouth until the attitudes in the town change. Bournemouth has the potential to do something great for its infrastructure but it needs to push for greater cycling acceptance.
A frustrated but hopeful Jon.