Health on the Move 2011.

Discussion in 'Health, Fitness and Training' started by Simon Mason, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    After reading the current CTC's Cycling mag's three page piece on helmets
    based on a Health on the Move 2011 report, I was directed to this document
    which made very interesting reading which I don't think I've seen discussed
    here before. The section on helmets (2.5) more or less backs up what the
    Danish guy stated in his presentation which was discussed here recently.
    They are also quite scathing on the BMA's stance on helmet legislation.
    Their conclusion on helmet use (2.7.3) is IMO spot on.

    http://www.healthandtransportgroup.co.uk/research/Ch_2_Active_transport_Cycling.pdf

    Main page.

    http://www.healthandtransportgroup.co.uk/research/research20_july2010.php
     
    Simon Mason, Jan 27, 2011
    #1
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  2. Simon Mason

    Ian Jackson Guest

    Ian Jackson, Jan 27, 2011
    #2
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  3. Yes, the closest it got was mentioning that "more considerate behaviour
    from drivers" was a factor which some people had agreed would make them
    more likely to cycle. Certainly I find it's one aspect of cycling
    which can make a huge difference to the pleasantness of a journey.

    Sub-standard cycling facilities which *encourage* inconsiderate driving
    are the thing I find worst, so I'm glad that they feel the best new
    facilities are those which are attractive to existing as well as new
    cyclists.

    It's quite a long paper, but interesting - I wish I had time to read all
    the references too!
     
    Eleanor Blair, Jan 28, 2011
    #3
  4. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    I thought I had the perfect commute home yesterday. A strong backwind,
    4 miles of off road cycle track, 2 one way 20 mph zones, on road cycle
    lanes, a 20 mph zone outside 2 schools when I was overtaken only 3
    times despite me doing 24 mph. Then one mile from home down a quiet
    side street a taxi behind me decided to overtake despite the fact that
    there were double parked cars and I was in the middle of the road
    because of this. His actions forced me off the bike and he then sped
    off giving me the middle finger. Hope he is being royally screwed by
    the high fuel costs.
     
    Simon Mason, Jan 28, 2011
    #4
  5. Simon Mason

    Ian Jackson Guest

    Precisely. Also speaking to other cyclists, when choosing a route a
    very big factor in the decision is how likely each route is to result
    in encounters with unpleasantly driven motor vehicles.
     
    Ian Jackson, Jan 28, 2011
    #5
  6. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    I have tweaked my route from nearly all off road, to all on road, then back
    to majority off road again due the the minority of idiot drivers who have to
    pass you at all costs, regardless of safety. I am of the opinion now that if
    it was possible to do front door - work 100% off road I'd do it like a shot,
    despite the glass and dog walkers.
     
    Simon Mason, Jan 28, 2011
    #6
  7. The route I use on the way home from work is largely OK apart from a
    couple of places with narrow bike lanes. I avoid it completely on the
    way to work though because in that direction it's a choice between being
    hassled on the road or stuck on the pavement with a dreadful junction
    when you get near town.

    The way I go instead in the mornings has reasonably good bike lanes
    on-road so is much less unpleasant than *either* of those alternatives
    would be.
     
    Eleanor Blair, Jan 28, 2011
    #7
  8. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    Yes, the time of day does have a big bearing. If I am on an early shift, I
    will cycle on a narrow local road where I have been knocked off as it is
    virtually deserted at 0530. On afternoons I go another way as I know
    conflict will occur.

    Similarly, during the day I will avoid our busy dock's road but will cycle
    home on it after a late shift at 2300.
     
    Simon Mason, Jan 28, 2011
    #8
  9. Simon Mason

    Toom Tabard Guest

    It depends of course on the object of the exercise and the target
    audience but it seems basically to be 'Health on the Move'.

    Chapter 1, on walking, adequately covers the topic in five pages.

    Chapter 2. on cycling takes 25 pages, 11 of them on the risks of
    death, serious accident, risk, comparative risk, and cycle helmets.
    Then there is an additional 5 pages on helmets alone

    A professional writer/editor could probably do an adequate, relevant
    and punchy job on cycling, to rival that on walking in little more
    than 5 pages.

    It seems more like an over-detailed and defensive axe-grinding job,
    most of the subject matter being over-detailed and much of it
    irrelevant to promoting 'health on the move'. Yes there are elements
    of road safety and helmets which should be briefly mentioned, but it
    seems to be written to an entirely different specification than the
    section on walking which concentrates on the health benefits and the
    factors which would enable encourage walking and realise these
    benefits. It doesn't do ten pages of analysis and tables on death and
    injury on the roads and whether pedestrians should wear helmets, and
    knee and elbow pads.

    Why the disparity? If we want to encourage and promote the health
    benefits of cycling, then the chapter on walking is, in factors and
    detail, as well as length, a good model.

    Toom
     
    Toom Tabard, Jan 28, 2011
    #9
  10. Simon Mason

    Tony Raven Guest

    Because of the disparity that while nobody is concerned too much about
    the risks of walking, there are plenty of people out there campaigning
    that cycling in uniquely dangerous and demands a helmet. As the report
    rightly points out, as did the Copenhagenize presentation, cycling is no
    more dangerous nor more productive of injuries than walking and helmets
    do not help. But it needs a lot of pages to properly address those
    misconceptions which are not needed in the pedestrian section.

    Tony
     
    Tony Raven, Jan 28, 2011
    #10
  11. Simon Mason

    Marc Guest

    The amount of pages reflects the amount of effort needed to combat the
    preconceptions, and ingrained opinions, such as Jud... oops, I mean yours?
     
    Marc, Jan 28, 2011
    #11
  12. Simon Mason

    Phil W Lee Guest

    Because in the walking section, there is no need to explode all the
    myths, scaremongering and pseudo-science that have put people off
    cycling.

    It's a measure of how much damage the scaremongering has done to
    cycling that it needs addressing properly.
     
    Phil W Lee, Jan 29, 2011
    #12
  13. Simon Mason

    Toom Tabard Guest

    As I said, it depends on the object of the exercise and the target
    audience, but what you mention could, in most circumstances, if we are
    promoting cycling and health, be covered in a paragraph or two, not
    11 pages and a five page supplement.

    Toom
     
    Toom Tabard, Jan 29, 2011
    #13
  14. Simon Mason

    Toom Tabard Guest

    It's quite easy to present a very strong case on the overwhelming
    health benefits of cycling and put prudent cautions in their proper
    context in a couple of paragraphs.

    As it is, the article should advise people to put a helmet on before
    reading it, because they'll either lose the will to live and hit their
    head on the floor when they drop off to sleep, or feel compelled to
    bang their head against the nearest doorpost before they get a quarter
    of the way through it.

    Toom
     
    Toom Tabard, Jan 29, 2011
    #14
  15. Because relatively few people are clueless enough to start arguing that
    their undefined professional expertise allows them to conclude that
    obviously pedestrians should wear helmets, regardless of the facts.
    So there's no need to spend time reiterating the facts in an attempt
    to get rational discussion on the subject.

    (On the other hand lots of work has been done analysing pedestrian
    injuries from cars hitting them and changing the standards required
    of cars as a result.)
     
    Alan Braggins, Jan 29, 2011
    #15
  16. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    Maybe that would only attract comments such as "have you got a source for
    that?", "could you please show the full data?", "could you expand on that
    point?"

    You could always read the "Conclusions" (2.7) section at the end if you
    don't want to plough through the whole text.
     
    Simon Mason, Jan 29, 2011
    #16
  17. Simon Mason

    Tony Raven Guest

    Perhaps they should just put in a single sentence that says "We're
    experts at this so take our word for it and don't argue" ;-)

    Tony
     
    Tony Raven, Jan 29, 2011
    #17
  18. Simon Mason

    acdc Guest

    I do agree. I am all for making cycling safer and producing balanced
    arguments as to how this can be achieved. When I read this paper, my
    immediate thoughts were "how biased", and if you want people to take on
    board what you say, then you need to be professional about what it is
    that you say. I would be quite sceptical of anything I read in that
    article without chekcing on the references and sources.

    Some examples which really jumped out at me:

    "The police are mainly interested in crashes involving motor vehicles,
    as these are most likely to result in charges."

    (An interesting point of view)

    "Cyclists in London have seen no increase in the overall number of
    serious injuries, while the amount of cycling has increased by about
    70% since 2000"

    No increase in the *number* of serious injures in ten years - I would
    like to have seen a reference to the source of that statistic.

    "It is also urged that Highway Code Rule 59 be amended to remove
    reference to cycle helmets and reflective clothing."

    All I will say is, what an interesting request.


    "A study of the Milton Keynes Redways found that cycle ownership was
    higher than the national average, yet the rate of cycle commuting was
    low at 3% of trips, lower than in nearby towns that had no infrastructure."

    A comparison of Public Transport in the different locations would have
    been interesting. I saw that the referenced paper says : "around a
    quarter of households do not have access to a car"

    Also the referenced paper says: "It is evident from casual observation
    that cycling is not a commonplace activity in the town."

    Well that is quite scientific isn't it.


    I think it is actually articles like this which do no favours to cycling
    and the furtherance of it; people pull out the silly statements and they
    discredit what could have been a good paper.


    ACDC
     
    acdc, Jan 29, 2011
    #18
  19. Simon Mason

    Toom Tabard Guest

    I'm not sure what bearing that is intended to have on the topic; it
    seems to me an issue for rational discussion.

    What I am saying is that the whole paper is overwhelmingly, depending
    on its context, objectives and target audience, a totally unnecessary
    reiteration of, and concentration on certain peripheral issues,
    whereas, if it is to promote health and cycling, that should be the
    emphasis and the other issues might rate passing mention. That is, if
    'Health on the Move' means what I assume it does. On the other hand,
    if what is required is pseudo-scientific dead weight then the paper
    is admirable. I'm assuming some general consensus here with my view
    that cycling should be strongly promoted on health grounds.

    Toom
     
    Toom Tabard, Jan 29, 2011
    #19
  20. Simon Mason

    Tony Raven Guest

    Well judging by your reactions here on the general topic it takes much
    more than a paragraph or two to persuade the uninformed of the reality.

    Tony
     
    Tony Raven, Jan 29, 2011
    #20
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