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News

Are Britain’s roads safe for cyclists?

12 June, 2017

Someone riding a bicycle

A recent cycle safety survey by First4Lawyers identified that:

  • Almost 1 in 3 people think that Britain’s roads are not safe for cyclists.
  • 62% of people felt that driver’s attitudes to cyclists was the biggest danger to cyclists on the roads.
  • Almost 1 in 5 people felt the conditions of Britain’s roads put cyclists at risk.
  • 28% of people felt that there were no safe roads in Britain for cyclists.
  • 1 in 5 drivers don’t think it is necessary to give cyclists at least a car door width gap when overtaking.
  • Half of cyclists don’t wear the right safety gear when out on a bike.
  • Only 1 in 3 cyclists always wear a helmet and protection.

When navigating busy city traffic, cycling can be the quickest way to get around during rush hour. It is also a great way to burn off some steam and get fit in the great outdoors. But are Britain’s roads safe for cyclists? And do people take enough precautions? First4Lawyers surveyed 1,500 people to gauge a view on how safe Britain’s roads are for cyclists and if more needs to be done to protect them.

The shock findings of this research suggested that almost one in three people felt that none of Britain’s roads were safe enough for cyclists compared to 13% that felt most roads were safe for cyclists.

The biggest safety concern for cyclists on Britain’s roads was that of ‘driver attitude’ toward cyclists, with 62% of those surveyed citing that it was the main safety issue for cyclists. One respondent commented that there are drivers who try to hurt cyclists on purpose and boast about it on social media. 17% of those surveyed said that the poor conditions of Britain’s roads were the biggest risk, with potholes becoming a real danger for safe cycling. A further 10% said they believed pedestrians posed the biggest risk to cyclists on the road. Other feedback from those surveyed suggested that sheer volume of traffic and a lack of dedicated cycling lanes were having an impact on cycle safety.

The research uncovered some shocking statistics on driver’s attitudes toward cyclists. 1 in 5 of drivers felt that despite it being the law they didn’t need to leave at least a car doors width when overtaking a cyclist. 17% of drivers stated they only overtook cyclists safely if they weren’t in a rush or only when there was enough space available.

The survey also showed that more still needs to be done to educate cyclists about the importance of wearing safety equipment when cycling. The majority of those surveyed, 47%, shockingly answered that they never wear any form of protective gear when cycling and 13% only sometimes wear the appropriate safety gear. What’s more only 1 in 3 of those surveyed said they always wore a helmet and protective gear.

Andrew Cullwick, a spokesperson for First4Lawyers commented on the findings. “Worryingly, despite investing millions in large scale cycling schemes, cyclists are reporting that they feel unsafe on Britain’s roads. This was supported by a 25% increase in the number of cyclists killed on Britain’s roads last year making 2016 the worst year for cycling fatalities in almost a decade.

More needs to be done to ensure cyclists and drivers can share our roads in harmony and make them safer places for everyone. This includes reinvesting in our roads to rid them of the potholes that are causing dozens of cyclists to be killed or seriously injured each year.

However the most important message from the research suggests that both drivers and cyclists need to think more about the consequences of their actions. Wearing a helmet may not prevent an accident but it could well save the life of someone involved in an accident. Equally drivers need to respect the safe space cyclists need on the roads.”

cycling poll
cycling poll
cycling poll
cycling poll