Reckless London cyclists

OK. This one’s been bugging me for some time now, but yet another encounter with the reckless sociopaths of London’s streets who seem determined to put me—or some other innocent pedestrian—into a wheelchair has sent me into blog rant mode.

Yes, it’s you I’m talking about. You who cycle through the streets of Westminster in your shorts in temperatures well below the point at which normal people have donned woolly hats, thick sweaters, denim jeans and long johns. More specifically, those of you who completely disregard red traffic lights at pedestrian crossings.

Yes, I know you are persecuted by drivers who open doors in your path, who clip their wing mirrors on your handlebars, who overtake you immediately before turning left; by pedestrians who step out in front of you without looking; and by potholes in the roads. I cycle too, and I have to put up with that nonsense as well. But guess what? That doesn’t give you an excuse to behave recklessly and dangerously yourself.

What got me going about this was the three of you this morning who came speeding up to the pelican crossing on Vauxhall Bridge Road that I had just started to cross. Only one of you paid the slightest attention to the fact that the lights were red, and in fact the other two of you didn’t even acknowledge my existence. I might as well not have even been there at all.

A year ago, one of my colleagues suffered a broken leg thanks to a hit-and-run cyclist who ran a red light just outside our offices. She was off work for about six weeks and on crutches for about three months after that. The moron responsible was never caught.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Buying train tickets

Here’s something I’d like to see. The ability to purchase train tickets — especially season tickets — at a supermarket along with my weekly shopping.

Queuing at a station counter or a ticket machine is something I only normally have to do once a month or so but all the same, it’s still a complete faff at quarter past seven in the morning, especially if, like me, you’re not a morning person. Getting to the station that extra bit earlier and ending up in a queue of twenty other commuters at that time of the morning when your train is due in five minutes is just a little bit stressful.

On the other hand, I pay a regular visit to Tesco or Sainsbury’s at least once a week. When I do, I have much more leeway with my time. It’s later in the day so I’m not bleary eyed and newly out of bed. Having to stand in a queue for ten or fifteen minutes doesn’t faze me nearly so much. It would be a much more seamless fit into your average commuter’s weekly routine.