Skip to content

Cycling is Safe….With the Exception of Post Persons!

March 31, 2010


Last of the many the Pashley Mailstar post persons bicycle

Last of the many the Pashley Mailstar post persons bicycle


Windermere, England – Joanna Lumley front and centre please. We need a campaign….. 

In a move reminiscent of the last blow of the mail coach guards’ horn, somewhere on the Wick road in August 1874, the UK Royal Mail has ruled that the use of bicycles for mail deliveries is to cease. 

No more will the mighty Pashley Mailstar, the ultimate British engineered and built mail persons bicycle, grace the highways and byways of Great Britain. Gone will be familiar clank of the chain and the squeal of the brakes as the local postie does a handle bar feet up down hill to the post office. We have heard the last tinkling of the ‘official’ Royal Mail cycle bell. It is the end of an era. 

Ok I know it’s been on the cards for the last six months, but hey what’s wrong with a little nostalgia, after all it’s about Britain’s only growth industry. But why, you may ask, is the Royal Mail ending its passion for Pashleys. The reason has the BRR grinning like Jess the cat, read on. 

Lord Berkeley, secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group and a critic of the move to dispense with postal delivery cycles, has revealed that Adam Crozier, the outgoing chief executive of Royal Mail had written to him and explained the reasons behind the decision to withdraw the cycles. 

In his letter Mr Crozier makes clear that the Royal Mail’s fleet of 24,000 bicycles “pose the wider safety risk associated with busy street networks, where the rider is exposed to greater risk than other vehicle users.” He goes on to say that through replacing the cycles with vans or, in areas that motor vehicles find it difficult to access, electric trolleys, the Royal Mail expected “to see a reduction in the number of delivery accidents as a result of our rollout of this new delivery technology, as a substantial proportion of accidents are currently linked to the use of bicycles on busy road networks.” 

Bit of a kick in the teeth for the Government’s cycling policy there then. Out with the nice green and safe bicycles and in with the vans, hope they are electric. 

A touch embarrassing too.  £1.5 billion spent over the last ten years on promoting cycling, just 2% of journeys in the UK undertaken by bicycle. Millions spent on building cycle routes in 18 pilot towns. Endless propaganda that cycling is safe. So safe in fact that the Royal Mail won’t let its employees use them, even wearing helmets. 

Britain can take it!! 

Oh and in case you were worried the better that 24,000 Pashleys are off to the warmer climes, heading into a well-earned retirement in Africa. 

© Back Roads Rider 2010 

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr Chips permalink
    March 31, 2010 8:49 am

    Q: What’s red and hot and throbs between your legs?
    A: A GPO moped

    So now perhaps is the time to bring back a modern version of the good ole GPO moped? Electric version of course and maybe they could derestrict them so that the postie can open the throttle in sticky situations – before the typical car driver mows them down.

    Why is it that Africa is the rubbish bin of the developed world? Cars, guns, medicine and now bicycles, what next?

  2. April 4, 2010 4:46 pm

    As a Cyclist, Motorcylist, Car Driver, Walker and general sort of person, I have to say that the most dangerous of all those activities is, without a doubt, cycling.

    To slow to keep up with traffic – so constant cutting up by motorists, to fast to use on the pavement…get outta the way Mr/Mrs/Ms Pedestrian…sticks cycling in a class of its own.

    Danger Class.

    Motorcycling, is only as dangerous as the main component. The Rider. Not true on velocipede!

  3. April 9, 2010 11:29 am

    Cycling is safe. It is motor vehicle users who are unsafe in their operation of said vehicles. Still the benefits of a job where you cycle everyday vastly outweight the actual risks of accident, as has been shown time ane time again by studies by the BMA, government and countless other organisations.

    The Mailstar needs to stay.

    • August 5, 2010 10:40 pm

      Well done Mr Colostomy for pointing out the big white elephant in the room. As an activity, riding bicycle is intrinsically safe for the rider, and is also far safer for others in it’s vicinity – which above any other safety consideration is more than you can say for a motor vehicle.

      Like John Paul I walk, ride a bicycle, drive a car, possess motorcycle & Class 1 HGV licenses – and drive various of the latter as part of my job. I’m not under any illusion though as to what is ‘safe’.

      The trouble is, many value only their personal safety. Like a motorcycle, a bicycle exposes its rider to the consideration of others; although unlike a motorcycle, it is less likely to harm others in an accident due to its lower speed, size & mass.

      The decision to axe the Mailstar is flawed on many fronts & is a huge step backwards.


  1. Anonymous
  2. Cheeky, Sneaky or Both?? « Back Roads Rider

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: