Common claims and canards

This page is an index and taxonomy for the common claims about cycling which continue to be made frequently despite having been rebutted many times. This section of the site allows us to gather those previous responses in the hope that we might be able to move beyond them in future discussions.

Disclaimer: these are wiki pages that many people can edit. They are not in their final form and you should not assume that they represent official Cycling Embassy policy.

Objections to cycling and cyclists

  1. Cycling is dangerous
  2. Cycling is not practical for the transportation or commuting needs of most people Tidy up
  3. Cycling is only for the young, fit, and able bodied Tidy up
  4. Cyclists are lawless and dangerous Not started
    1. Cyclists ignore red lights Not started
    2. Cyclists ride on pavements
      1. Cyclists are a danger to pedestrians Tidy up
    3. When cycle lanes are provided cyclists don’t use them Not started
    4. Cyclists hog the road Not started

General objections to cycling infrastructure

  1. We cannot afford to build cycle paths
  2. Our roads are too narrow for cycle paths
    1. We can not build cycle paths because people need the space to park cars and make deliveries Not started
  3. Cycle paths won’t bring about increased cycling rates
  4. There are not enough cyclists to justify spending money on them Tidy up
  5. People cycle in the Netherlands because it is flat

Objections from cyclists to cycling infrastructure

  1. Cyclists prefer to use the road and do not want special infrastructure
  2. Cycle paths are poor quality
  3. Cycle paths are unsafe
    1. Cycle paths are dangerous where they cross junctions
    2. The Milton Keynes cycle network is more dangerous than the road network
    3. Dutch cyclists are not competent to cycle in the UK
  4. Cycle paths create conflicts with pedestrians Not started
  5. Cycle paths create the impression that cycling is dangerous and needs safety measures Not started
  6. If you build cycle paths we will be banned from cycling on the roads
    1. The Dutch are banned from cycling on the road Not started
  7. Cycle paths can not accommodate all kinds of cyclist Not started
  8. Dedicated cycle paths can not ever realistically be door-to-door for every journey
  9. If you build it they will come doesn’t work – just look at the Millennium Dome Not started

Alternatives to cycling infrastructure

  1. We should be concentrating on reducing speed and volume of motor traffic
    1. The Hierarchy Of Provision is a good idea in principle Not started
  2. We should be concentrating on educating drivers and changing driving culture Tidy up
    1. We should be educating drivers about passing distances Not started
    2. The Dutch cycle because strict liability made everybody drive safely and play nice
    3. Recent uptake in recycling is an example that shows it is possible to persuade people to change their behaviour
  3. We should be creating networks of cycle routes on quiet back streets
  4. We should be correcting the mistaken belief that cycling is unsafe Not started