The Great Pollution Myth: Unfair for Drivers

We recently read that drivers are exposed to more pollution than people on bikes or pedestrians due to the closeness of cars air intake to the exhaust emission of the vehicle in front and the limited exchange of air within cars.

We’ll show you the evidence and suggest 2 solutions.

We were dismayed to read research about this done by University of Roskilde, Department of Environment, Technology and Social Studies, Denmark. They state in their abstract:

It has frequently been claimed that cycling in heavy traffic is unhealthy, more so than driving a car. To test this hypothesis, teams of two cyclists and two car drivers in two cars were equipped with personal air samplers while driving for 4 h on 2 different days in the morning traffic of Copenhagen. The air sample charcoal tubes were analysed for their benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX) content and the air filters for particles (total dust). The concentrations of particles and BTEX in the cabin of the cars were 2-4 times greater than in the cyclists’ breathing zone, the greatest difference being for BTEX. Therefore, even after taking the increased respiration rate of cyclists into consideration, car drivers seem to be more exposed to airborne pollution than cyclists.

Not completely trusting research from the bike loving Danes we checked elsewhere. Further research confirmed our concerns. A team in the car loving New Zealand (Canterbury University, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and Auckland University) came up with similar findings

“The research found carbon monoxide levels in cars were more than 50 per cent higher than those experienced by cyclists, more than 80 per cent higher than bus passengers.”

Some people may conclude that driving less (and cycling/walking more) is a solution to this problem. We beg to differ we have 2 suggestion to equalise the the exposure to pollution between drivers and cyclists.

Solution 1: Driving Masks

It’s not bicyclists who should be expected to enjoy the freedom from pollution with a cycling mask. We drivers should wear one to keep the fumes at bay.

Solution 2: Promote low-down bicyclists

Get bicyclist to get closer to our exhaust emissions so they can help hoover up our noxious fumes

 What mask will you wear on when you drive to work on 11/12?

We’ll be wearing one of these:


5 Reasons To Use Your Horn

Based on close observation of drivers behaviour over many years we list the main reason why drivers beep their horn.

1. To tell the person in front to get a move on

We all know how annoying it is to be stuck behind another driver who does not move as soon as the lights turn green. Let them know how you feel with a loud long hoot. They’ll get the message, stop texting and move on… and next time will be ready on clutch and accelerator for a decent start

2. To let someone in a house know you are outside

Why get out your car and ring someone’s doorbell when you have a loud horn in your car. A series of hoots will ensure they get the message and don’t tarry.

3. To hurry along a slow pedestrian

We all know the law, that a person crossing the road on foot has right of way. Don’t let that stop you giving them a nudge with a sharp blast of your horn. Especially fun when used for older people who really are slow and need reminding to hurry up. Fun to target mums with buggies too.

4. To get people on bicycles out of your way

Those really annoying bicyclists (again) riding in your way. Drive close to their back wheel, rev your engine and give them a good HONK. That will get them to scurry back to the gutter where they should be. We understand that people getting cycle training are taught to ride in the middle of our lane when they need to to get seen or to stop us overtaking too close. A loud angry beep will put paid to that silly behaviour!

5. To let everyone know how angry you are

There may be many reasons why you are angry in your car. You could be stuck in a traffic jam, in gridlock for what seems aeons. Time for a really long loud toot. Or someone does something you don’t like, such as let another driver in the queue. Express your dislike with a penalty parp. Or just having a bad day… no need to bottle it all up, use your horn, express yourself!

Some people think that unnecessary use of your horn is antisocial, rude, stressful, polluting and distracting. What do they know they’re probably not drivers.

Toot toot!


Edmund King Hero or Villain?

Edmund King is the President of the AA.

On appointment, in December 2007, he spoke about the potential of the AA “…for championing the interest of the motorist in both a representative and commercial sense.”

What happened to this promise?

What kind of representative of drivers spends weekends on a mountain bike, rides a Brompton bicycle in London where he refuses to drive. “I never drive in London”

How can this velo-lover understand ‘the mind of a motorist”?

Edmund is going to point the finger at drivers who express their hatred of bicyclists on Twitter (as retweeted by @cyclehatred). He is planning this betrayal of drivers at a road safety conference this week where he will state that a minority of drivers have a strong antipathy to people not in cars. Some examples of what these drivers tweet include:

From the mild…

@WTuvey  Cyclists need to get out the road!

@MrTrigz I hope every cyclist in the road gets a puncture commuting this morning

To the more extreme:

‏@MrTrigz Oi cycling c**ts go ride into a river on ur shit means of transport

@baldybhoy Yaaaaaaaassssssssss squash the cyclists.

Is it any wonder that people in cars are annoyed with bicyclists. The bicyclists are faster in towns, they don’t get stuck in traffic jams, don’t sit behind other drivers exhaust fumes, look slimmer and healthier, and are fitter, they pay nothing to get around and don’t have to wear a helmet or stick to cycle lanes. Outrageous!

How can the AA president talk about people being encouraged to walk and cycle when he should be promoting driving? His comment after learning about London Drive to Work Day on twitter was

@AAPresident Interesting… London Drive to Work Day 11th December. Will cost £10 Congestion Charge, £45 parking, £12 petrol

Too right! At least he’s with us on this one. This ridiculous cost to the driver is one of the reasons why we’re driving to work on 11th December.

Will you join us Mr King?

Perhaps the AA should have picked a real champion of the motorist for their president:

Jeremy sensibly wearing his motoring helmet

Driver Bashing BBC (again)

One again the BBC puts the blame squarely on drivers for killing almost 2,000 people and severely injuring thousands more in the second episode of its programme ‘How Safe are British Roads?‘ . Shame on them!

According to the BBC we drivers are responsible for killing and severely injuring all these people by:

  • Failing to look
  • Talking on our mobile phones
  • Texting
  • Watching DVDs while driving
  • Putting on makeup
  • Not using seat belts
  • In car distractions
  • Speeding
  • Driving after drinking alcohol
  • Driving with sleep deprivation
  • Drug driving
  • Jumping red lights
  • Playing with our car radio
  • Fiddling with our Satnav
  • Not obeying stop signs
  • Tailgating
  • Overtaking on bends
  • Slow reaction time

In addition to these reasons the presenters go on to name and shame specific groups of drivers: young men for taking risks with others lives by speeding; old people for being slow to react; men for speeding; women for not looking properly at junctions.

Who causes the most danger on our roads?


Not once did the BBC mention the real menace to us all. We all know who they are. We see them all the time. Why don’t the BBC tell us how many people are killed or seriously injured by pavement cycling Ipod wearing non-helmeted bicyclists?

Why are police wasting their resources filming and fining drivers just for talking on our mobiles while bicyclists freely roam on our pavements and jump red lights.

We’ll be driving to work on December 11th to protest this ongoing war against the motorist.





Separation for a safer-nation

Separate cycle lanes are good for car driving

Check this out:

Bicyclists invading London roads taking up space from drivers. Spilling out of the cycle lane on Old Street and onto our roads, in our way. Why are they using Euston Road where there aren’t even any cycle lanes?

Why aren’t they sticking to their cycle lanes?

Because there aren’t enough cycle lanes in London. London bicyclists say they want them and car drivers should definitely want them.

London used to be an easy place to drive. Hardly anyone rode bicycles. (Pedestrians were protected by railings keeping them out of our way.) Things are changing for the worse. Bicyclists and walkers are moving into our space. Are they brave or stupid? Our roads are becoming more walker/cycle friendly which isn’t not good for drivers.

Look what’s happened to a once great driving road, Exhibition Road:

Then                                                     Now

People walking randomly around the cars forcing drivers to move slowly and look out for them. What is the world coming to?

What can we do about it?

We need to separate people, not mix them up forcing them to look out for each other. Put back railings to separate the walkers from the bikes and build more separate cycle lanes to get those bicyclists out our way.

(And if a bicyclist strays onto our space give them a blast on the horn and ride close to their back wheel and tell them where to go…back to their separate cycle lane. That’ll teach them. And bicyclists ring your bell when a walker is in your way)

We don’t mean lanes like these strips of blue paint in London.

Cyclists don’t stick to them. They move out into our lanes or the bus lane to overtake each other. They should be segregated and riding single file!

Just like railings keep walkers out the way and are good for bike riders. Separate cycle lanes are good for drivers.

Separation for a safer-nation

Peak car shock!

It’s shocking stuff. People seem to be making fewer trips by car and travelling fewer miles. Not only in the UK but across the western word. The worlds favorite way to get around is in decline.

This is tragic. Are our once beautiful roads going to end up empty like this?

What is the reason?

  • People get the bus
  • Space is taken away from cars and given to walkers and bicyclists
  • People work and shop nearer home in cities
  • They can’t afford the outrageous fuel price and tax

More from Wikipedia and on our links page

Check out Iain Jaques’ black & white postpeakcartastic images re-imagine all those lovely roads in a future beyond car culture PostPeakCarTastic

We must act now to get more people making more trips by car more often?

What can we do?

  • Promote driving in school
  • Offer free/subsidised driving lessons for young people
  • Make it easier to pass the driving test
  • Allow people to start driving younger and keep driving as long as they want
  • Reduce public transport and make it much more expensive
  • Slow down the trains
  • Make bicyclists pay road tax and a high VAT rate
  • Employers give incentives to people who drive to work
  • Build more out of town shopping centres
  • Raise speed limits across the UK and remove traffic calming
  • Priority lanes on motorways for single occupancy vehicles
  • Free driving helmets and gloves

Be sure to let us know any more ideas to get the nation driving again.

Join us and protest against peak car, don’t wait for drive to work day on December 11th start driving to work tomorrow!






How Safe are British Roads?

(A BBC2 series asks this question)

The UK is one of the safest countries in the world, according to Wikipedia, in fact the UK is the 5th safest (after The Marshall Islands, Sweden, San Merino and Malta) with only 3.59 people killed per 100,000 .The French kill 7 people and the Americans 12.3. The most dangerous country with 48.5 dead per 100,000 is Eritrea.

We could do even better.

Here is an example of a crash easily avoided (admittedly it wasn’t fatal).

This car turned upside down by traffic calming bell in Islington, London. A measure put in to calm traffic which makes it harder to drive, slower and could even damage our vehicle (if we try this after a pint). Why should we be forced to slow down in our cars to squeeze past one of these?

Look at the picture of a bicycle in the middle of the road. All the driver did was to try and overtake a slow bicyclist who was riding in the middle of his lane, taking the p*ss. His car was wrecked and he was bruised because of the cyclist.

Drivers shouldn’t have to slow down because some people can’t afford a car and choose to cycle. If we get rid of all road calming measures and there’d be fewer crashes like this one.

That would be safer for all of us!





Denationalising British roads good for drivers

So says the Institute of Economic Affairs .The IEA goes on to state:

A privatised road network would be cheaper and faster for motorists

Allowing private owners to negotiate routes, set toll rates, control access and determine rules for users would:

1.     Ensure more efficient use of existing capacity

2.     Provide more efficient investment in new capacity

3.     Allocate traffic flows more efficiently

4.     Smooth traffic jams

5.     Reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities

6.     Allow innovations such as higher speed limits and heavier lorries

Dr Richard Wellings, Head of Transport at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“For too long British drivers have had to pay over the odds for a road network that is simply not up to scratch. It is lamentable that this vital area of infrastructure has been neglected by government after government. Denationalising the network would ensure British motorists had better roads to drive on. It would also be much cheaper and mean an end to the enormous burden of motoring taxes like fuel duty.”

It could also mean that those non road paying bicyclists and pedestrians could at last be asked to pay to cycle or walk on the newly privatised roads. I’m sure you are as sick as we are of these road tax dodgers talking up space on  our roads slowing us down, getting in our way!

In fact all these people (Drivers of electric cars, disabled people, children who walk or cycle, adults who only cycle, horses, tractor drivers, emergency vehicles, vintage car owners) could be forced to pay to use the newly privatised roads.

Bring on road privatisation. Good for drivers and good for Britain!

Better safe than sorry


Around 2000 people die annually on UK roads. The majority of these are car drivers, many of whom suffer head injuries. Clearly the air bag isn’t enough protection, so we hope drivers will consider wearing a motoring helmet on London’s drive to work day and every time they get in a car.

Why should it be acceptable only for cyclists to wear helmets and not us drivers. Ensure you and any passengers especially young ones wear this additional protection, even on short trips. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

Motoring helmet websites we like:

Why don’t drivers wear helmets yahoo questions

Buy your driving helmet here