The summer of 2014 saw England host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France followed by Scotland hosting the Commonwealth Games. The success of the UK’s cycling teams in so many high profile events around the globe have boosted the popularity of cycling in the UK. However, over half of us don’t feel safe cycling on British roads. At the height of the sport’s fame last summer, the BBC published the results of a survey indicating that 52% of us are reluctant to cycle on local roads due to safety concerns. But are these concerns valid?
Jamie Patton, Partner and Personal Injury specialist at Birchall Blackburn Law, who is himself a keen cyclist said: “Any sport that allows you to propel yourself to great speeds on a metal frame is inherently risky. Add in the vehicles passing you at even higher speeds on the roads, and it is no surprise that we don’t feel particularly safe.
Most of the things you do on a day to day basis have a risk attached to them. Whether you are crossing the road, driving your car, playing football or skydiving, there is a risk involved.
That said, although cyclists must accept that there will always be risks associated with their sport and decide to accept those risks, the awareness of risk in no way negates the need to improve safety.”
High-profile figures, like Chris Boardman (British Cycling’s Policy Advisor and former Olympic cycling champion) are campaigning for various safety measures to make our roads safer for cyclists.
Boardman has long been an advocate for cycle safety. Joining his latest campaign is London Mayor Boris Johnson and See Me Save Me safety campaigner, Kate Cairns.
Last year the trio asked the Government to push for the timely introduction of European legislation to permit the manufacture of safer lorries. The new lorries would make it easier for their drivers to see cyclists and pedestrians. The new design would also ensure that anyone hit by a lorry would be deflected away from the vehicle and not dragged underneath.
And with 6 cycling deaths on London roads in the first two months of the year, it seems the need to campaign for safer roads is greater than ever.
Lack of confidence in safety still stops people from cycling
The charity, Sustrans, wants more people to cycle as their main a form of transport. As a result, they’ve been campaigning for many years for a better network of cycle paths throughout the country. Sustrans’ view is that separating cyclists from cars would increase safety and give more people the confidence to get on their bikes.
Jamie said: “Whilst we are waiting for the ‘transformational’ improvement of our city’s cycling infrastructure promised back in 2013, cyclists will need to put up with sharing roads with vehicles. Its understandable why many feel this is still too dangerous.”
With so many people not even getting on a bike out of fear for their safety, our roads need to be safer in order to encourage them. If you’ve suffered as a result of a road traffic accident, this will be of even greater personal concern.
Our dedicated team of Cycling Accident specialists are on hand to help every step of the way, following an accident. Contact our friendly team for advice on 0800 614 722, or 0333 321 2192 from a mobile.