Cyclists fear for their safety and face hostility on UK roads | UK News
A report from the governing body for British cycling says nearly 70% of cyclists in the UK are concerned about their safety while riding on Britain’s roads.
The State of Cycling report surveyed more than 15,000 – the largest ever research of its kind carried out by British Cycling.
The top three hazards identified by cyclists were close passing, unsafe road surfaces and vehicle speed.
Hostility between cyclists and motorists also remains a major concern, with 71% of cyclists agreeing that drivers are often hostile towards people on bikes.
Among the key findings are:
:: 87% of cyclists are ‘close passed’ by a vehicle at least once a week
:: 77% want their employer to do more to encourage cycling to work
:: 81% of cyclists do not believe the government takes cycling seriously
Nick Chamberlain is Policy Manager at British Cycling and told Sky News tension between cyclists and motorists is a big problem.
He said: “The hostility of our roads that many people experience when they ride bicycles is in part caused by poorly planned and poorly developed conditions on our roads and streets where they haven’t given thought to how people move around them for far too long.
“But equally there is a really big societal conversation to be had around attitude.”
Bristol is one of the most cycle-friendly cities in the UK, with nearly all major roads having bike lines.
But even here, some cyclists who stopped to talk to us have concerns.
“I think bus drivers push us into the curb, car drivers barely tolerate us, and although yes we have some separate lanes in a city like Bristol which is fab, there’s still that attitude toward cyclists – it’s a cultural attitude which is wrong,” said one bike user.
Another told us it’s not just moving vehicles that can be a hazard: “One of the things is you go along people get out of their cars and they open the door and if you’re too close you hit the door – you hit the door with great damage to yourself.”
British Cycling is now calling for a new public mutual-respect campaign for all road users to be introduced.
Megan Streb works for the cycling charity Sustrans, which developed the UK’s 16,000 mile long National Cycle Network.
She told Sky News there must be more investment in fully segregated cycle ways.
“We need to make sure we have continuing infrastructure that people feel is safe to use,” she said.
“When we’ve done our own bike life survey of residents, not only who cycle but across the board, people in cities have said actually what would make them cycle more is being protected on road segregated cycle ways and that by far is the thing people want to see more of.”
A Department for Transport spokesperson said the government is investing two billion pounds in cycling and walking initiatives during this Parliament.