Thursday, 20 December 2007

In defence of cycling

In a piece in the local newspaper a councillor, Paul James, claimed that 'Inconsiderate cyclists [are] putting lives in danger' (Cambrian News, 20 Dec, p4). The basis for the article was the claim that cyclists are zooming along one particular pavement which has railings on one side and houses on the other, and pedestrians coming out of their houses are in danger. Whilst we don't support cyclists zooming along pavements and failing to pay due care and attention to other people around, the other side needs stating.

Statistics show that it is motorised vehicles that are the real danger to pedestrians, and to cyclists. In Wales, there were 1,324 pedestrian casualties in 2006 (p185, Road Casualties:Wales 2006) and 496 cyclist casualties in 2006 (p3, Road Casualties: Wales 2006 - Report available on Welsh Assembly Government website). Many drivers drive too close to cyclists, they also speed past them, or they simply fail to see them at junctions or roundabouts because they don't bother looking.

Monday, 10 December 2007

'Replace all animal experiments in Europe' petition

The European legislation governing EU animal experiments (Directive 86/609/EEC), is now some 20 years old, desperately out of date and in urgent need of review. The European Commission has recognised this and a review is now underway. The Commission has also launched an 'Action Plan' that explicitly states "The final aim is to replace animal experiments with methods not entailing the use of an animal."