A Lincolnshire lorry driver has said that he is “deeply concerned” because there are a lot of cyclists on the roads at the moment. "Normally they'd be out at weekends but now it's every single day,” he said. "The situation is desperately out of control."
The unnamed driver who transports waste for recycling said that he and his colleagues are having daily near misses.
Three people died on Lincolnshire roads in crashes involving HGVs on Thursday. Road safety partnership spokesman John Siddle told Lincolnshire Live that the combination of quieter roads and “slow moving cyclists” constituted a massive risk.
Siddle said that despite a 60 per cent reduction in traffic on the county's roads, some motorists are speeding, but he seemed to blame a lack of “stimuli” for many instances of unsafe driving.
"Because there's not much on the roads people can drive significant distances between seeing other vehicles,” he said. “There's not the usual stimulus or hazards and speeds get faster and faster.
"We recognise that key workers are working longer shifts in labour intensive and stressful jobs and when they finish work they are probably very tired.
"Part of driving safely is having stimuli around you that makes you react, eg other drivers, and that's not there."
Commenting on cyclists – who, unlike cars, don’t seem to qualify as safety stimuli – Siddle added: "There are also more cyclists about, not all of whom wear the right gear so that they can be seen. There are also cyclists who ride in groups despite the restrictions on exercise.
"If you have drivers picking up speed and are faced with slow moving cyclists, that's a massive risk."
Lumping cyclists in with speeding, tiredness and people walking in the central reservation of the A15, he concluded: "There is more enforcement being done by the police across the county but with speeding, cyclists, tiredness and people walking where they shouldn't, you could end up with a mixed pot leading to something going very wrong.”
Expressing his fears, the anonymous lorry driver said: "I am so deeply concerned. There are a lot of cyclists on the roads at the moment. Normally they'd be out at weekends but now it's every single day.
"Some are law-abiding and courteous and pull in for us to pass safely and then there's the Tour de France wannabes who ride in groups of twos and threes - no social distancing.
"The problem is that lorries are very heavy and slow to manoeuvre and if we suddenly come across cyclists in a group on a blind bend we are forced to go onto the other side of the road. I cannot give them 2m as I pass.
"The situation is desperately out of control."