July 9th, 2014
A recent BBC poll suggests that only 33% of people think that their local roads are well designed and safe enough to cycle on.
An amazing 50% of those surveyed thought that their local roads were too dangerous to cycle on and in particular, older cyclists, 65 and over felt strongly about this (65% of 65 and over compared to 45% of 18 to 24).
With Tour de France fever sweeping the country you would be fooled into thinking we are a nation of keen cyclist but the reality seems to be somewhat different. A fifth of people interviewed said the Tour de France had encouraged them to cycle more and, with the Grand Depart happening in Leeds, nearly 25% said they had been inspired to get back on their bikes.
Campaigners are using the world’s biggest annual sporting event to highlight the problems in the UKs cycling infrastructure and how, compared to other European countries, we are sadly lacking in well designed, well maintained cycle routes.
Cycling campaigner Martin Lucas-Smith commented that “people felt unsafe to cycle” and added that in many places “things like narrow cycle lanes” and “badly maintained roads” led to cyclists feeling unsafe.
“We’d like to see proper allocation of space on these roads which can almost always be achieved simply by a bit of redesign, so people can cycle safely and easily.”
Cycling’s Olympian medal winner, Christ Boardman, commented: “Cycling is more popular than ever before”
“It’s clear…people don’t feel safe when riding their bikes on our roads.
“In order to rectify this we need a clear commitment from government and local authorities to prioritise the safety and needs of cyclists in all future transport schemes.”
Ed Clancy, another Olympic gold medallist stated: “I live in Yorkshire and the Tour de France is a massive deal up there right now.
“Perhaps it’s now the next step in making cycling more popular having a home Tour de France if you like. It’s the sort of thing that’s once in a generation…so it’s definitely worth giving it a watch.
“We’re really riding the crest of the wave and the more people that get involved in cycling, not just as a sport but for the commute to work or just having a laugh on the maintain bike at the weekend, is good all round.”
The Department for Transport (DfT) said it had “doubled funding for cycling to £374m to help deliver safer junctions”.
If you have been injured in a collision with a car or any other vehicle or know someone who has, then contact our specialist solicitors today on 01625 506655 to discuss your circumstances. We are experts in accidents involving cyclists and can talk you through your potential compensation claim.