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To: John Lewis

John Lewis, DO NOT Pass the buck on cycling safety.

John Lewis, DO NOT Pass the buck on cycling safety.

Dear John Lewis,

(For the special attention of Justin Laney, general manger Central Transport

Please remove the dangerous stickers recently affixed to all John Lewis vans and trucks. These say: "Cyclists: DO NOT pass on this side' (with 'do not' underlined). They are currently seen on kerb-side of *all* John Lewis vans & trucks, irrespective of whether the vehicle in question has any relevant 'blindspot', and issue their instruction regardless of road situations.

Why is this important?

As TfL have recently recognised, similar stickers with a 'Cyclists Stay Back' message have the effect of excusing careless driving and dangerous attitudes, thereby contributing to death and injury.

Cycling and safety campaigners welcome informative safety stickers with messages such as 'Caution, Blindspots' affixed to just those vehicles which actually do have these blindspots. We would also welcome stickers encouraging riders to take DfT Bikeability instruction. We cannot welcome attempts to ban cyclists' lawful progress or to generally displace blame for poor driving onto victims.

*Vans have perfectly adequate side mirrors.
*Current Road Layouts often instruct kerbside filtering.
*As marked in Coroner's reports, one important danger to cyclists is to be obstructed from reaching visibility refuge in an Advanced Stop Box.

Thus among other dangerous effects, John Lewis stickers might cause exactly this sort of death:

On your current stickers, cyclists are instructed not to filter on the kerbside in any situation, including where painted cycle lanes indicate for kerbside progress to a safe location, where no possibility of a left-hook exists, where blocking or other conditions make offside overtaking impossible or dangerous, and where there is no good reason for the driver (of a van, for example) to fail to observe or take appropriate care.

As TfL has recognised, indiscriminately instructing cyclists to 'Stay Back' or 'Not Pass' will misinform cyclists about safe cycling, and also support dangerous attitudes in drivers. Both factors will contribute to deaths. Such liability is a serious matter for a commercial organisation, and you may wish to take note of informed comment:

Having recognised this very serious problem, we expect you will act swiftly to minimise the damage to the John Lewis and Waitrose brands that will result from your ill-conceived sticker campaign.

United Kingdom

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • I don't want Rasmus to get killed
  • As a cyclists for over twenty years, I have definitely seen the attitude towards cyclist get worst and their treatment on the road is marginalised and this sticker is just another example of the low regard that cyclists are held in by vehicle drivers.
  • A life means more than stickers.


2014-07-03 14:02:15 +0100
"Cyclists Do Not Pass" on the kerbside- John Lewis Lorry drivers may however filter at traffic lights in any part of the road they choose.

2014-07-02 13:30:54 +0100

Key issues evaded in both first and second John Lewis responses:
*The difference between a van and a truck.
*Clear connection between inappropriate stickers and reinforcement of dangerous driving.

It is not enough to imply 'we are trying to keep up with TfL, &their reverse ferret leaves us confused'.

2014-07-01 21:48:43 +0100

2014-07-01 21:47:56 +0100

Please keep signing -and be aware that Peter Walker at the Guardian now seems to be receiving from John Lewis a slightly different tone of response.

I don't attribute cause, and tone is only that, but a smart and profitable company knows when it has made an error: "we expect our signage will in due course evolve in light of" the TfL reverse-ferret.

2014-06-30 19:10:02 +0100

100 signatures reached

2014-06-30 17:30:50 +0100

Co-signing original correspondence with Transport for London:

Roger Geffen, CTC
Charlie Lloyd, London Cycling Campaign
Dr. Robert Davis, Chair, Road Danger Reduction Forum
Amy Aeron-Thomas, RoadPeace
David Dansky, TABS (The Association of Bikeability Schemes)

2014-06-30 17:26:36 +0100

See also:

2014-06-30 17:21:20 +0100

See Also:

2014-06-30 17:15:14 +0100

Stop Killing Cyclists Blog:

2014-06-30 16:48:47 +0100

50 signatures reached

2014-06-30 16:22:06 +0100

25 signatures reached

2014-06-30 15:55:07 +0100

10 signatures reached