Friday, 16 January 2009

Harold Scruby annoys me

Harold Scruby is the self-appointed Chairman of the Australian Pedestrian Council - or as it should be properly known, the Australian Pedestrian Council Limited.

Harold pops up in the press from time to time by releasing very annoying media statements. His latest wheeze has been to join up with the ambulance chasing firm of Slater and Gordon in an effort to have bike speeds reduced to 10km/h in shared zones.

Harold, please don't sue me for saying this, but when you say things like that, I start to think that you're a twat. 10 km/h? Are you inhabiting the same planet as moi?

I used to jog faster than 10 km/h. Not a lot faster, but faster. When I was a chocko, we had to pass a regular fitness test, and one part of that was doing a 5km run in less than 26 minutes. I always passed it, coming in around the 20-something minute mark, which meant I could amble along at a steady 12-14 km/h. The Hof, who was a tall, thin streak of pelican shit, usually managed to do it in 15 minutes - meaning he was cracking along at a marathon pace of 20 km/h. I did a few runs with him before he left for ADFA - he made me vomit every time. He didn't just run that fast during the fitness tests - he ran that fast all the time.

So what would you do with the Hof, Harold? Sue him for running too fast? Fine him? Where are you going to find a Ranger that could run him down and issue him a ticket? For surely being hit by a jogger doing 20km/h is as bad as getting clocked by a cyclist doing 20km/h?

Hell, people get injured in supermarkets by being hit by shopping trolleys being pushed by grannies who can barely put one foot in front of the other. Life is not without risk!

Besides, what do you think people are doing when they are riding their bikes? I'll tell you what they are doing - most of them are trying to get somewhere in particular (like work), so they want to be getting their as quickly as possible (within reason), or they are trying to get fit or lose weight (which means they have to be cracking along at a reasonable pace in order to burn some callories). Slugging along at 10km/h is not going to get you to work by starting time, and it certainly won't get you anywhere near a spot on the Biggest Loser.

COUNCILS have exposed themselves to massive damages claims from people injured while using shared bike and pedestrians paths, according to the Australian Pedestrian Council.

Massive damages? For getting hit by a bike? Mate, I got hit by a car, and the driver was judged at fault. I got a payout, but I wouldn't call it "massive". Getting hit by a bike can certainly hurt and cause an injury, but frankly I'm more worried about cyclists getting hit by cars, trucks and buses than pedestrians by bikes.

Far more cyclists get hit by cars that pedestrians by cyclists. I'd prefer that our limited budgets were spent on the areas of highest risk and impact (the interaction of cars and bikes), rather than areas of low risk and impact (the interaction of bikes and pedestrians). A million dollars spent on separating bikes from cars will have a much higher payback in terms of fewer injuries and so on than a million bucks spent on separating bikes from pedestrians.

Council chairman Harold Scruby said shared bike paths, such as the Glebe foreshore, were a “farce”.

I'm not fond of shared paths by any means, but I wouldn't call them a farce. Paths like that are generally 100% funded by local councils, who don't have bottomless pockets. They build what they can, given their limited finances and competing demands. I'm realistic enough to realise that most residents don't want to pay higher rates in order to deliver some utopian pedestrianist/cyclist fantasy of fully separated bike paths. There is no magic pudding that is going to pay for all of this.

He said the paths, which had no bike speed limits, could lead to death or serious injury and should be abolished immediately.

Abolished? How do we abolish them? Send in Scoop to dig them up? Should we dynamite the paths? Blast them from space with lasers? Send in a legion of mutant killer badgers to shred them?

Seriously, could lead to death or serious injury? Just about anything could lead to death or serious injury. Mum used to tell me to take the teaspoon out of my cup before drinking my milo in case I poked my eye out. That would be an injury. I could also sneeze whilst having a drink and drive the spoon handle through my eye and into my brain, causing death by milo. Should we ban the drinking of milo because it could lead to death or serious injury?

How many pedestrians get killed by cyclists each year in the whole country? One? Zero? How many cyclists get killed by pedestrians? Zero, zero or zero?

As for serious injury, how many end up that way from bike-pedestrian collisions? A few dozen across the whole country? Are we to ban something else because of a few broken arms and abrasions each year when one person goes left and the other goes right and they get tangled up?

Mr Scruby’s claim was supported by legal advice from leading Sydney law firm Slater & Gordon, which also said the RTA could be sued as it was part of the cycleway approval process.

I'll believe such advice when it has been tested by the courts. Until then, it's just a bunch of ambulance chasing leeches trying to drum up some publicity for their firm.

Even if they do get sued, so what? Let's say the RTA has to pay out $1 million per year in damages, out of a budget of billions. Do I care? No. I think that is a small price to pay so that I, and thousands and thousands of others, can quietly enjoy a magnificent past time. Here's news Harold - the price is worth it.

And Harold, as I said earlier, Councils have limited funds. Do you really think that suing them, and taking money away from them in legal fees (and possibly damages) is the best idea? Because if councils have to piss money away on lawyers, they're going to have less money for properly separated bike paths. Think on that.

The idea Harold seems to dislike was voiced here:

A City of Sydney spokesman said shared zones were the only option on many streets that were not wide enough for a separate bike path. When pedestrians use shared paths they “need to modify their behaviour” for cyclists while bike riders must slow down and give way to pedestrians, he said.

Pedestrians have to modify their behaviour? Quell horror!!! Pedestrians are sacred cows. They have an absolute right to walk anywhere they like in the stupidest manner thinkable and without regard for anyone else, be they a fellow pedestrian or a cyclist, and Harold will defend that right to the last cent of his latest government grant.


Try googling "pedestrian council of australia limited"

ASIC tells us that its an Australian Public Company, but little else. If you really want to, you can pay to get a copy of their latest financial reports here.

I found this telling comment here:

There are eight members of Harold's Pedestrian Council of Australia - whilst the name says its a Council, its a limited company by guarantee - almost gets charitable status. You can become a supporter and donate funds but interestingly you can only become a member if invited by the directors. And guess who is the CEO/Chairman of the board. If you feel really shitty about this amazingly large representation of all the pedestrian movements (sic) I suggest writing, emailing and generally pestering ASIC about allowing the use of the word "Council" when its really misleading.

When I hear the word "council", it makes me think of our local city council. How do you get on our local council? You stand for election, that's how. If the electorate likes you, you get elected. Every three years, you repeat the process. To me, that's a council - a democratically elected group that represents their members.

The President of a footy club has legitmacy because he has been elected by the membership (who pay for the privilege of being members). Same with a bowls club, and an RSL, and even a CWA branch.

I've voted in Union elections, I've voted as a shareholder in various companies, I've voted to elect the board of my health fund, I voted in the recent Bicycle NSW board elections and I voted in the last NRMA election. I can vote for lots of things, but I can't stand and vote for myself as a member of the board of the Pedestrian Council of Australia Limited.

As far as I am concerned, if you can't vote for the officials of a group like the Pedestrian Council of Australia Limited, then they represent no one but themselves. They have zero legitimacy, and should be treated as such.

So do us a favour Harold, and shut your pie hole.


Margo's Maid said...

I've heard the PCA is more accurately described as "Harold and his fax machine."

Anonymous said...

Harold annoys me in every way possible.If I could I would do something bad like maybe speed past him on a motorcycle whilst covering my number plate with my hand (as if thats possible) or maybe park a car with a towball on it right where Harold Scrubby was likely to walk.The mans a dingbat for sure.Hell I would even run him down whist riding a pushbike or purposefully bump into him whilst jogging.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, Scooby (as we call him around here), is a terrible, rude and aggressive driver. Constantly driving down the left lane to cut in at the lights, etc. I've personally seen him let tyres down of cars that park for too long in the visitors spots in his building. I NEVER see him without his camera - which he uses to photograph anyone in this area that he views as a disturbance (ie; a ute that stopped next to Scoobys building to unload scaffolding).

I believe his crusade started when he knocked down a pedestrian some years back - yet he still drives in a manner dangerous to other road (and footpath) users).

Come join us in Neutral Bay, and roll your eyes at Scooby with the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I live in Mosman.I swim,walk, cycle, run and drive in Mosman.Within all these pursuits,
Harold is the bane of our lives.
He is a Self Appointed,Self Serving Rabbit,living off an Income provided by in large,by the Tax Payers of Australia.
As a limited Corporation,the supposed PCA Limited,should be DeRegistered forthwith.
Harold is the ONLY person in MOsman,whom has been sued by a Pedestrian,for running a Doctor Pedestrian over.He actually chased after the man,with his car,running him down and breaking his leg.And HE'S the Head of this PCA Limited bunch of nitwits?
Slater and Gordon,better take a long look at Harolds credentials before they anoint him with any association,of their Legal organisation.
He's a fruitcake.

Anonymous said...

harold somehow secured the idea of the PCA being funded by the NSW govtand as far as i know receives funding of over 200000 dallars a year plus the sec / treasurer receives almost 50000 a year. despite my best efforts i have not been able to find out the full list of full time employees of PCA

Anonymous said...

According to the ATSB - Fatal Road Crash Data Base -

you are correct - there have been no recorded deaths of pedestrians hit by cyclists in road reserves (that does not include accidents and fatalities on public open space).

Anonymous said...

Funnily enough, Harold was recently spotted parking illegally in surry hills whilst grabbing a coffee... Idiot!

brothelowner said...

It's a massive conflict of interest a well.

He gets money from the NRMA, NSW government and the RTA amongst others and then makes statements supporting these various points of view. Then the NRMA and the GOV and the RTA use these supportive statements as objective opinions from a group claiming to represent pedestrians. He gets money off the government who then use his statements to bring in more revenue raising speed cameras or new laws or the NRMA for making more profit etc.

If someone spent the time I am sure they could bring him down. Where are ACA or Today tonight or someone else on this?

the individual is powerless against his government supported, insurance company supported scam. He also ran over a person in the past and then fought it in court and now makes millions of representing the same pedestrians he has run over in the past.

sfw said...

I know I'm late to this however I too wrote to Harold asking for membership figures and funding and how the funding is spent. He threatened me by saying that if I asked any more questions he would have his solicitors deal with me. Harold is also the man behind Ausflag.

The patrons of the PCA are Dame Leonie Kramer and Sir Laurence Street, I wonder if they know how dodgy the PCA is?

Anonymous said...

I too live in Neutral Bay, and are very aware of Scuby AKA Scooby AKA Screwball. He has let my tyres down a few times, taken endless photos of my car, left aggressive notes on my car dozens of times, all because he didn't know I had approval to park in a particular spot.

And yes, he is a terrible driver, he almost took my toes off recently by cutting the corner and running up the gutter to where I was standing to cross. You'd think after running one pedestrian down he would learn.

Government funding? How annoying!

Anonymous said...

I know I'm a little late to this blog, but I feel that this is a suitable forum to join the venting. I must say that I am actually relieved that I am not the only one to have my life intruded on by such an angry, unscrupulous, nasty hypocrite such as Scruby.

Harold Scruby or 'Screwball' as we generally refer to him, is a self proclaimed vigilante. He is a complete and total menace to society. Not only that, he is a Bully. A hypocritical bully. In his books, 'what's good for the goose is definitely not good for the gander'.

So, after almost four years of harassment, intimidation and verbal abuse from him, not to mention the countless letters and threats left on my car windscreen, the numerous times my car tyres have been let down and the endless photographs and confrontations I have had to endure, I am taking severe legal action against him!

This man must be stopped! How can one man create so much trouble for so many people...and get away with it?

Well not anymore. I wont be made to feel afraid anymore!! We all need to stick together!

I suggest that he get himself a hobby that doesn't involve making other people's lives hell!! Like fishing, or bridge or Maypole dancing...and leave the innocent people of Sydney in peace to live without the constant threat of confrontation, abuse and harassment!

To you Harold 'Screwball' can go and get *&@#$%

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that this lunatic makes me grit my teeth. He is a self-opiniated nuisance and for the life of me I don't understand why he seems to get coverage by the media as though he actually has some credibility.

For some reason his inane mouthings are treated as gospel instead of lunatic rantings.

He obviously has some sort of Napoleon or Don Quiote complex. I wish he would F$$$ off and D$$.

Anonymous said...

My partner was hit by a cyclist travelling along a 'shared footpath' at 50kph. My partner suffered multiple head injuries, lost the sight of his eye and fractures to the skull, shoulder and ribs, as well as massive bruising. He was hospitalised for many weeks and will spend months doing rehab, and may never regain his vision or his short term memory. He has lost his career and I, who witnessed the accident, am suffering post traumatic stress. So, still want to bag Scruby? Just a mild little cycle accident? Every pedestrian I know has a story about dangerous cyclists, who are after all lethal weapons at such a speed. And while if you hit a pedestrian at 50k's an hour in a car or if you physically assault someone you'll be looking at a gaol term, apparently it's all fine if you're on your bike. Fair? Just?

Dylan Hamilton-Foster said...

There is some SERIOUS TROLLING going on here.. the owner of this blog needs to moderate the comments ..

"Anonymous" (gutless wonder) says
"Hell I would even run him down whist riding a pushbike or purposefully bump into him whilst jogging." - you condone comments like this on your blog? Threats?

"Scuby AKA Scooby AKA Screwball" - name calling.. childish trolling.

Clean up your blog.. this sort of thing is not tolerated in polite society.

Jimbo said...

Harold Scruby is an out of touch paper clip counter who needs to shut the fuck up and get a life. His views are so limited to his own little world he just cannot imagine how anyone else could possibly be right and himself wrong. What a fuck wit

Anonymous said...

We are not living in a polite society and never have been. Sociry is getting increasingly coarse as more and more people turn away from God.

Peter C said...

If all said here about Scruby is true, the man can't last long. The man is a menace and a disgrace to all honest people. As for the lady with a partner who was hit by a bicycle, my sincere sympathy for your suffering, but it won't make his life or yours one bit more pleasant by making every cyclist's life less pleasant. And I'm not a cyclist.

Anonymous said...

Harold hasn't changed. I knew Scruby when a child living in Mosman. His parents, Ingrid and Charles were good news. His brother Peter quite ok.
Harold was always not just cheeky but rude in the old fashioned sense of the word. And always in trouble and noisy. It is no surprise that I came across his old attitude accidentally trying to make a legitimate enquiry last week. WHAT OTHER CEO and NATIONAL PRESIDENT (Ha!) runs a one man show and answers all the "organisation's" phone calls personally?
YES..he should go. He has structured things in his typical "smart alec" way so that he is practically untouchable in HIS "Council" ?? The funding bodies should be condemned for wasting public monies on this con man and they should fully investigate his one man business...ooops! our one and only Oz Pedestrian COUNCIL? This Harold Scruby should be exposed for what he is.

Anonymous said...

Harold Scruby does appear to be a wowser and rampant self-publicist. Dare I use the word "wanker"? I am an enthusiastic pedestrian but I have never felt the urge to form my own little pressure group so as to inflict my opinions on others. I am enthusiastic bike rider as well, and the comment below about some pedestrian being hit by a bike doing 50kmh does not ring true: the Tour de France riders have to pedal their guts out to cruise at 50kmh on the flat, and it is impossible for the great bulk of the population.

And what of helmets? Bike helmets are too hot. I don't want to kill myself by cooking my brain. People have died as a result heat-related illness caused by exercise in hot weather or exercise while wearing protective head-gear that traps the heat. I don't want to die like this.

Anonymous said...

#MeToo Harold Scruby.

Anonymous said...

And to boot he is not even an australian ......born in singapore 1947 HE is a newboy

Anonymous said...

I was at Mosman Primary with Harold and he has never changed in 60 years!! His Dad was a Spin Doctor and his Mum used to come up to the school regularly to complain about the way dear Harold was "misunderstood" by everyone in the playground. He was an absolute pain in the neck as he was always telling made up stories about himself self-promoting. He was known as "Screwball " at school. His poor younger brother who was a great kid and well liked, was so embarrassed and distanced himself from Harold. Poor Harold never worked out that he was his own worst enemy and turned people off as Aussies can detect bullshit a mile off.
He came from one of the Scandinavian countries with his family in the 50's but didn't become Naturalised until he wanted to run for a political position so had to and then tried to change the Australian flag as if his adopted country was close to his heart (after 30 years as a non-Australian).
Harold is one of Nature's con men...a carpetbagger extraordinaire. I'm never surprised to learn of his latest scam.
His word is NEVER his bond.