Cycling in London from a Dutch perspective (video)

Dutch blogger Mark Wagenbuur documents his trip to London by commenting on the differences between cycling in the capital and in the Netherlands.

Much has been said of Britain’s need to follow the lead of the Netherlands when it comes to cycling infrastructure and a Dutch blogger’s new video highlights the work that still needs to be done to reach the level of our European neighbours.

With a camera in hand, Mark Wagenbuur set about filming the cycling habits in London and comparing them to those of his native country.

“To ride in traffic you need nerves of steel,” he says in the video as riders battle for the right to hold position on the road, with further footage showing people jumping red lights and struggling to pull away from junctions.

On his blog he added: “Currently the conditions in the streets of London are very different from the conditions in the Netherlands. In fact, so very different that I never felt the urge to use one of the many shared bikes available.

“But despite these hostile conditions, a lot of people do cycle. I believe that if the conditions were better, many more would cycle and safety would improve. Not only for people on bicycles, but for anyone who is not in a motor vehicle.”

In his voiceover, Wagenbuur often sounds incredulous that pedestrians and cyclists in London are given significantly less space on the road than cars.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has repeatedly stressed his desire to create ‘mini-Hollands’, or ‘mini-Netherlands, as Wagenbuur says they should be called.

But of the recent east-west superhighway proposal, the blogger says: “One 15 mile route is not enough to improve an entire city. But if it is a good route, that draws a lot of people on bicycles, it could function as an incentive for further developments.”

Source: Bicycle Dutch

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.