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Half of Britons say local roads too dangerous for cycling in BBC poll

Campaigners call for more space — and money — for cycling

Cycling campaigners have issued a fresh call for more space to be given to cyclists on Britain’s roads after more than half of the respondents to a survey commissioned by the BBC said that it is too dangerous to ride on the roads where they live.

The poll of 3,012 adults, carried out by ComRes, is published ahead of Saturday’s start of the Tour de France in Leeds, but only one in five of those surveyed, 20 per cent, agreed that the prospect of the event coming to Britain had encouraged them to cycle more.

While 52 per cent said that their local roads were too dangerous for cyclists, only a third, 34 per cent, were of the opinion that the streets where they live are well designed for bike riders. Meanwhile, 55 per cent believe that employers are not doing enough to encourage and facilitate cycling to work.

Chris Boardman, policy advisor to British Cycling which has today unveiled its vision of how the Headrow in Leeds could look if annual spend on cycling were raised to £10 a head, told the BBC: "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."

A spokesman for the Department for Transport insisted however that the government had "doubled funding for cycling to £374m to help deliver safer junctions."

That funding relates to England and is spread over several years and as a result is well below the minimum £10 per head recommended in last year’s Get Britain Cycling report from the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group.

According to British Cycling, current annual per capita spend on cycling in the UK is £2, compared to £24 in the Netherlands.

Martin Lucas-Smith of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, the largest such group outside London, said that residents of many parts of the UK “felt unsafe to cycle."

He also said that "things like narrow cycle lanes" and "badly maintained roads" contributed to safety fears among riders.

"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," he added.

In April this year, research from the University of the West of England found that perception of the danger posed by traffic was the main barrier to getting more people on bikes.

Meanwhile, last week a survey published by retailer Halfords found that 40 per cent of respondents agreed that a dedicated cycle lane on every road would encourage them to cycle more often.

The Halfords survey also found that 19 per cent of people said they would ride a bike more often if there were better facilities at their workplace, such as showers.

Responding to the BBC’s findings on that issue, Claire Francis, head of policy at the sustainable transport charity Sustrans, said: "Employers who encourage cycling can increase their profitability and have employees who take fewer sick days but without decent facilities and support, many businesses miss out on these benefits.

"Cycle parking and showers in an office should be as common as a printer and a coffee machine.

"But we also need the government to deliver better infrastructure and slower speeds on our roads, so that people feel safe to leave home on their bike," she added.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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73 comments

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700c | 9 years ago
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RE showers and cycle commuting - I must be doing it wrong then as after just ten - twelve miles on the way in (depending on the route I choose), I have quite a sweat on!

It's probably do-able without a shower and just an 'armpit scrub' but definitely not ideal..

to the people who suggest there's no need to shower unless you're doing 100 miles... Well, perhaps your route is pan flat and full of traffic lights? Mine is practically a hilly time trial. Ok it perhaps doesn't need to be quite so fast but taking time over the journey kind of defeats the object as a viable alternative to driving..

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brooksby replied to 700c | 9 years ago
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700c wrote:

RE showers and cycle commuting - I must be doing it wrong then as after just ten - twelve miles on the way in (depending on the route I choose), I have quite a sweat on!

You're not the only one  3

My commute is about seven miles; it's hills all the way up out of the village and about halfway, then downhill again. So three miles of pretty steep hills. There are other routes, which aren't as hilly, but they are up to ten miles and they have their own problems (Bristol City Council - why did you resurface the Pill Path with loose gravel???)

I stopped using a messenger bag because I sweated too much, started using a pannier.

And no showers at the office - I'm a wet wipes and spray deodorant kind of guy...

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antonio | 9 years ago
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Someone should collect all these negative polls and shove them where monkeys shove their nuts, I'm 76 and enjoyed donkeys years of cycling, and still do. There is more danger in car orientated mode of transport, cycling is a healthy pastime, a healthy sport, push the positive and stuff the negative.

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parksey | 9 years ago
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Oh, and can I propose we invoke a new version of Godwin's Law on here that, whenever there is an article about cycling infrastructure, the sodding Netherlands gets mentioned...?

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GrahamSt replied to parksey | 9 years ago
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parksey wrote:

Oh, and can I propose we invoke a new version of Godwin's Law on here that, whenever there is an article about cycling infrastructure, the sodding Netherlands gets mentioned...?

Is it really such a bad idea to refer to the most successful example for ideas and inspiration?

You learn to fly by studying birds, not bricks.

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bikebot | 9 years ago
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No shower at work? Use Muc-off dry shower, surprisingly effective.

And then, if your workplace has more than one or two people cycling more than 10km a day, complain about the lack of showers! The Dutch don't need them for two simple reasons, their commutes are usually short and they don't have any hills.

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Simmo72 | 9 years ago
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poor planning - ie 130 in Hampshire has been narrowed in places to single lane. did they use this to get a bit of blue paint out and make part of the closed lane a bike facility. No. Cocks.

Does anyone else thing part of the problem is cars are now much wider than they used to be. Fiat punto overtaking - no issue, BMW X5 however......that's whats causes the tailback, lots of people driving excessively large cars

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HarrogateSpa replied to Simmo72 | 9 years ago
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Quote:

Does anyone else thing part of the problem is cars are now much wider than they used to be. Fiat punto overtaking - no issue, BMW X5 however......that's whats causes the tailback, lots of people driving excessively large cars

I agree. Wide cars, and drivers who don't always judge the width of their vehicle/ the closeness of their pass well. Also, it is more intimidating being overtaken by a big 4x4 or a huge tractor, and ideally you'd like them to leave more space than a smaller vehicle, but they leave less.

The related, main problem is drivers who are not prepared to wait until it is safe to pass if the road is narrow and there is oncoming traffic or a blind bend. And people are more impatient at certain times, particularly going to and from work. I experienced lots of stupid passes on country roads yesterday around 6-7pm.

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Username | 9 years ago
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I'd be curious to know how many Dutch commuters shower when they reach their destination. I would hazard a guess it would be such a small number as to be immeasurable.

You wouldn't need one either if you weren't trying to run with the traffic from one set of red lights to the next.

If we want to know what gets people cycling en masse we need only look at what the Dutch have done. They moved from a car-centric culture in the '60s and '70s - which was indistinguishable from ours - and built a proper cycle infrastructure. It took time but the longest journey starts with one step; we need to take that step and stop talking about it.

In the meanwhile we also need a massive educational drive (pun not intended) to teach motorists that people on bikes are legitimate road users and do not have to get out of the way for 'superior' cars. The ignorance and sense of entitlement of the average driver is truly shocking. This could be addressed now for relatively little cost.

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notfastenough | 9 years ago
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The question of showers is a distinguishing point between 'types' of cyclist. If you're happy bimbling along without breaking a sweat, then a lack of showers is fine. If, like me, you see an 8-mile journey with 5-10kgs of stuff and a fair amount of stopping and starting as an opportunity for strength/interval training, then you really do.

As an aside, I would only feel safe bimbling along on a shopping bike or whatever if I could use dedicated infrastructure. On the roads as they currently are, I feel like fitness and speed are essential. It's not how it should be, and is certainly not inclusive, but that's my current perception.

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Leodis | 9 years ago
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I agree with the 19% that showers, lockers and dry rooms are essential for commuters. Its ok if you cycle at 5mph and live in some Danish/Dutch dream that the UK could be like it one day but if you are cycling to lose weight or like to push yourself then getting sweaty in summer is one of those things and a shower at work is a massive bonus.

People use to say to me use wet wipes, yeah great you feel really fresh after standing nude in the work toilets with a pack of baby wipes, someone walks in and its P45 time thanks Mr Oddball and usually the employer who doesnt provide showers doesnt provide lockers so you end up in winter with a bag of soaking clothes and slipping into wet lycra after a hard day is not nice.

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GrahamSt replied to Leodis | 9 years ago
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Leodis wrote:

People use to say to me use wet wipes, yeah great you feel really fresh after standing nude in the work toilets with a pack of baby wipes, someone walks in and its P45 time...

Use a cubicle you weirdo!

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Simmo72 replied to GrahamSt | 9 years ago
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GrahamSt wrote:
Leodis wrote:

People use to say to me use wet wipes, yeah great you feel really fresh after standing nude in the work toilets with a pack of baby wipes, someone walks in and its P45 time...

Use a cubicle you weirdo!

I just rub myself vigorously against my boss's coat.

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bikebot replied to Simmo72 | 9 years ago
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Simmo72 wrote:
GrahamSt wrote:
Leodis wrote:

People use to say to me use wet wipes, yeah great you feel really fresh after standing nude in the work toilets with a pack of baby wipes, someone walks in and its P45 time...

Use a cubicle you weirdo!

I just rub myself vigorously against my boss's coat.

Do you wait for him to take it off?

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notfastenough replied to bikebot | 9 years ago
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bikebot wrote:
Simmo72 wrote:
GrahamSt wrote:
Leodis wrote:

People use to say to me use wet wipes, yeah great you feel really fresh after standing nude in the work toilets with a pack of baby wipes, someone walks in and its P45 time...

Use a cubicle you weirdo!

I just rub myself vigorously against my boss's coat.

Do you wait for him to take it off?

Where would the fun be in that? Cycling to work is supposed to be 'invigorating', after all.

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Dnnnnnn replied to bikebot | 9 years ago
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bikebot wrote:
Simmo72 wrote:
GrahamSt wrote:
Leodis wrote:

People use to say to me use wet wipes, yeah great you feel really fresh after standing nude in the work toilets with a pack of baby wipes, someone walks in and its P45 time...

Use a cubicle you weirdo!

I just rub myself vigorously against my boss's coat.

Do you wait for him to take it off?

Did he say it was a "he"...?

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broomie replied to GrahamSt | 9 years ago
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Our parents and grandparents got along fien without a shower.

I see lots of excuses genuine and invented.

The roads are dangerous, unseen hazards, aggressive and thoughtless drivers (and door passengers!) - i have commuted in London for 40 years - I know.

Cycling to work takes some planning simple tips are:

1, Keep a lock At work dont ride around with it -saes alot of weight

2. Keep your clothes at work just swap in and oput shirts/blouses etc when you need them- I see so many folks with huge backpacks where they take their enture wardrobe to work everday,

3. Squaddie wash In the gents/ladies a scrub under the offending armpits is the most you need unless seriously you have done 100 miles/

4. Deoderant!

Broomie

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parksey replied to broomie | 9 years ago
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broomie wrote:

Cycling to work takes some planning simple tips are:

1, Keep a lock At work dont ride around with it -saes alot of weight

2. Keep your clothes at work just swap in and oput shirts/blouses etc when you need them- I see so many folks with huge backpacks where they take their enture wardrobe to work everday,

3. Squaddie wash In the gents/ladies a scrub under the offending armpits is the most you need unless seriously you have done 100 miles/

4. Deoderant!

Broomie

Can only echo this comment myself. I only travel a few miles each way, but still use a hill on the way in for a bit of interval training, and there's absolutely no need for me to shower when I get to work.

I simply shower before I leave, then when I get to work I nip in a cubicle and have a rub down with a few baby wipes and a squirt of deodorant and, most importantly, a complete change of clothes, and job done. All-in it's about 5 minutes, and I can honestly say I don't feel any less "fresh" than had I just got straight out the shower. No complaints yet as to my personal hygiene either, even on the warmest of summer days...

Work shoes, trousers, ties etc are all kept at work, and I just roll up a freshly-ironed shirt every morning and it goes in my bag, to emerge unscathed at the other end (ok, "non-iron" shirts help with this). A world away from that creased-shirt look you get when you've been sat in the same position in a car seat for an hour.

Ok, I acknowledge that things might not be so simple if the journey was 30/40/50 miles, but how many people would ever commute that sort of distance on a bike?!

And I think that's part of the problem. Not so much that employers don't have the facilities for cyclists, rather that people choose to live too bloody far from where they work as to make cycling viable. A quick straw poll in my office shows the average distance amongst a dozen or so of us to be over 25 miles, and that includes the 3 or 4 of us who live within 5 miles and do cycle.

I don't want to say that nobody should be allowed to work outside of a 10 mile radius of their home postcode or some such nonsense, but equally, all the while it is considered socially acceptable to do a 100 mile round commute every day, you won't be getting those people on bikes for utility purposes.

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notfastenough replied to parksey | 9 years ago
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parksey wrote:
broomie wrote:

Cycling to work takes some planning simple tips are:

1, Keep a lock At work dont ride around with it -saes alot of weight

2. Keep your clothes at work just swap in and oput shirts/blouses etc when you need them- I see so many folks with huge backpacks where they take their enture wardrobe to work everday,

3. Squaddie wash In the gents/ladies a scrub under the offending armpits is the most you need unless seriously you have done 100 miles/

4. Deoderant!

Broomie

Can only echo this comment myself. I only travel a few miles each way, but still use a hill on the way in for a bit of interval training, and there's absolutely no need for me to shower when I get to work.

I simply shower before I leave, then when I get to work I nip in a cubicle and have a rub down with a few baby wipes and a squirt of deodorant and, most importantly, a complete change of clothes, and job done. All-in it's about 5 minutes, and I can honestly say I don't feel any less "fresh" than had I just got straight out the shower. No complaints yet as to my personal hygiene either, even on the warmest of summer days...

Work shoes, trousers, ties etc are all kept at work, and I just roll up a freshly-ironed shirt every morning and it goes in my bag, to emerge unscathed at the other end (ok, "non-iron" shirts help with this). A world away from that creased-shirt look you get when you've been sat in the same position in a car seat for an hour.

Ok, I acknowledge that things might not be so simple if the journey was 30/40/50 miles, but how many people would ever commute that sort of distance on a bike?!

And I think that's part of the problem. Not so much that employers don't have the facilities for cyclists, rather that people choose to live too bloody far from where they work as to make cycling viable. A quick straw poll in my office shows the average distance amongst a dozen or so of us to be over 25 miles, and that includes the 3 or 4 of us who live within 5 miles and do cycle.

I don't want to say that nobody should be allowed to work outside of a 10 mile radius of their home postcode or some such nonsense, but equally, all the while it is considered socially acceptable to do a 100 mile round commute every day, you won't be getting those people on bikes for utility purposes.

I know what you mean, but ultimately, the ability to earn a living and pay the bills has to come way higher up the list than my preference of transport. I consider my current 16-mile round trip to be a rare luxury. I hated my 120 mile round trip years ago. Hated it. But the job market was poor. I certainly couldn't afford to turn it down.

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Airzound replied to parksey | 9 years ago
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parksey wrote:
broomie wrote:

Cycling to work takes some planning simple tips are:

1, Keep a lock At work dont ride around with it -saes alot of weight

2. Keep your clothes at work just swap in and oput shirts/blouses etc when you need them- I see so many folks with huge backpacks where they take their enture wardrobe to work everday,

3. Squaddie wash In the gents/ladies a scrub under the offending armpits is the most you need unless seriously you have done 100 miles/

4. Deoderant!

Broomie

Can only echo this comment myself. I only travel a few miles each way, but still use a hill on the way in for a bit of interval training, and there's absolutely no need for me to shower when I get to work.

I simply shower before I leave, then when I get to work I nip in a cubicle and have a rub down with a few baby wipes and a squirt of deodorant and, most importantly, a complete change of clothes, and job done. All-in it's about 5 minutes, and I can honestly say I don't feel any less "fresh" than had I just got straight out the shower. No complaints yet as to my personal hygiene either, even on the warmest of summer days...

Work shoes, trousers, ties etc are all kept at work, and I just roll up a freshly-ironed shirt every morning and it goes in my bag, to emerge unscathed at the other end (ok, "non-iron" shirts help with this). A world away from that creased-shirt look you get when you've been sat in the same position in a car seat for an hour.

Ok, I acknowledge that things might not be so simple if the journey was 30/40/50 miles, but how many people would ever commute that sort of distance on a bike?!

And I think that's part of the problem. Not so much that employers don't have the facilities for cyclists, rather that people choose to live too bloody far from where they work as to make cycling viable. A quick straw poll in my office shows the average distance amongst a dozen or so of us to be over 25 miles, and that includes the 3 or 4 of us who live within 5 miles and do cycle.

I don't want to say that nobody should be allowed to work outside of a 10 mile radius of their home postcode or some such nonsense, but equally, all the while it is considered socially acceptable to do a 100 mile round commute every day, you won't be getting those people on bikes for utility purposes.

I ride 40 miles each day. Just because you only ride a couple of miles, doesn't mean others share your lethargy.

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parksey replied to Airzound | 9 years ago
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Airzound wrote:

I ride 40 miles each day. Just because you only ride a couple of miles, doesn't mean others share your lethargy.

Hang on a minute. I know you can be a bit provocative at times on here, particularly when it comes to the whole infrastructure/safety debate, but that comment is harsh.

It's got precisely nothing to do with my lethargy, I have simply chosen to live close to where I work and therefore don't need to commute miles on the bike every day.

Besides, my comment did nothing to ridicule those that do, it simply raised the point that, in a survey about encouraging utility cycling, many simply live too far from their place of work to make their commute viable on a bike.

No infrastructure improvements or showers at work are going to do anything to change that.

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Airzound replied to Leodis | 9 years ago
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Leodis wrote:

I agree with the 19% that showers, lockers and dry rooms are essential for commuters. Its ok if you cycle at 5mph and live in some Danish/Dutch dream that the UK could be like it one day but if you are cycling to lose weight or like to push yourself then getting sweaty in summer is one of those things and a shower at work is a massive bonus.

People use to say to me use wet wipes, yeah great you feel really fresh after standing nude in the work toilets with a pack of baby wipes, someone walks in and its P45 time thanks Mr Oddball and usually the employer who doesnt provide showers doesnt provide lockers so you end up in winter with a bag of soaking clothes and slipping into wet lycra after a hard day is not nice.

Errrr ………. you take a clean and dry set of kit with you in the morning for your ride home. What's hard about this? Why do some cyclists feel that they are entitled to have a shower after their ride into work and resent their employer for not indulging them? Get real. It's your chosen method of transport to work so deal with it. Use baby wipes which I hasten to add are far quicker than showering and a fraction of the cost. I certainly don't expect my employer or resent it that there are no showers on site.

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700c | 9 years ago
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Blimey - I wouldn't cycle to work if there wasn't a shower here, think my colleagues would get fed up pretty quickly if I just sat at my desk, stinking..but agreed, secure parking for me is as important, if not more so.

I'm one of about 4 fairly regular cycle commuters in my office out of nearly 100 people. most just wouldn't entertain the idea. Perhaps because roads are quite busy, with little cycling infrastructure, or perhaps they're just of a motoring mindset. But it's not dangerous, it's only perceived as being dangerous.

This is in spite of there being good facilities here for cyclists and C2W scheme. So I think it's perception of danger, rather than danger itself that is stopping people, this mindset plus the culture of the motor vehicle would take a lot to change..

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Bikebikebike replied to 700c | 9 years ago
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700c wrote:

Blimey - I wouldn't cycle to work if there wasn't a shower here, think my colleagues would get fed up pretty quickly if I just sat at my desk, stinking..but agreed, secure parking for me is as important, if not more so.

I'm one of about 4 fairly regular cycle commuters in my office out of nearly 100 people. most just wouldn't entertain the idea. Perhaps because roads are quite busy, with little cycling infrastructure, or perhaps they're just of a motoring mindset. But it's not dangerous, it's only perceived as being dangerous.

This is in spite of there being good facilities here for cyclists and C2W scheme. So I think it's perception of danger, rather than danger itself that is stopping people, this mindset plus the culture of the motor vehicle would take a lot to change..

Unfortunately it is dangerous. Cycling where a lorry can legally drive within a few feet (e.g. you're in a cycle lane and they are in the lane next to you) is simply not safe. Would you be happy with children in your family cycling along next to a lorry?

I'm living in a five-person flatshare where everyone cycles most days, and everyone has been knocked off their bike by a car. This is two nervous female cyclists and three confident male cyclists. I realise that this is anecdote rather than evidence, but it's evidence to me that it's not safe.

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Joeinpoole replied to Bikebikebike | 9 years ago
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Bikebikebike wrote:

Unfortunately it is dangerous. Cycling where a lorry can legally drive within a few feet (e.g. you're in a cycle lane and they are in the lane next to you) is simply not safe. Would you be happy with children in your family cycling along next to a lorry?

Of course roads are dangerous. You can have two vehicles, of massively different sizes, approaching each other at at combined speed of 120mph (quite possibly even faster) on a narrow country road and they will pass with a gap of less than 3' between them. There's no barrier separating them and only seat belts, airbags and crumple zones to protect the occupants in the event of a collision. Yet somehow we accept that and appear to cope with it. Presumably you would even subject your family to that danger without giving it a second thought?

Cycling on the road is similar. There *are* risks but, statistically speaking, serious incidents are thankfully fairly rare and therefore the risk is acceptable ... although we would prefer the infrastructure to minimise it further.

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CanAmSteve | 9 years ago
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I have to differ with some commenters - there are issues with the roads and of course with drivers.

I ride on both London streets and country roads, and both could be improved immensely at little cost.

In London the different authorities need to get joined up in their thinking. Many times when I need to get somewhere east/west or north/south, I run out of a sensible route and into some "vehicle proof" one-way system or get dumped into a mess like Holborn, Victoria or Vauxhall. There needs to be an overall plan on how cycling routes connect, not many local ones.

In the country, some lanes are in bad shape, and depending again on the authority, holes may be patched (if large enough to swallow a car and hence incur liability) or (more likely) ignored. It is obvious that (for example) broken surfaces that are dangerous on a bicycle are ignored while a larger pothole in the centre of the road has been fixed.

On some roads, the lanes have been artificially narrowed (using built-out kerbs and islands) at rural junctions.This creates a "pinch point" on purpose - the idea being that drivers will slow down as they approach the restriction. The problem is that many don't. So you have a cyclist, travelling at 12 mph, being forced out into a lane with large trucks coming up behind at speed (or Audis at 80 mph). There is no need to create such a danger - leave a narrow opening for a cycle to the side.

In towns and cities I continue to see artificial "chicanes" built to restrict traffic speed. Most do not allow for a cycle lane and also force cycles out into the oncoming traffic - bu many drivers do not understand that a cycle is a vehicle and refuse to wait or give way. I frequently have oncoming drivers try and force me off the road when I have priority. I guess the idea is cycles don't count or aren't worth being late on the school run for.

Again, many of these situations can be made safer for cyclists at no extra cost if some thinking is done in advance.

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Joeinpoole | 9 years ago
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There are huge (and growing) misconceptions by the public as to how dangerous the roads are and how safe cycling generally is. For example most people wrongly believe that the roads today are much more dangerous than they were say 20 or 30 years ago when in fact 4-5x more people were killed on the roads back then.

Most folk would be astonished if you told them that 6x more people were killed on stairs each year than were killed cycling. But that's the truth.

In my view the survey actually underestimates the scale of the problem. If the question was changed to ask if the respondent themselves would personally be confident about cycling on the roads then even fewer would agree. Most people I know would not be confident at all about cycling on roads and generally believe that 'roads are for motor vehicles' and that cyclists get in the way of motorists' supposed entitlement to progress at the speed limit.

I've just been visiting an old buddy who now lives in Maryland, USA. Before I went I asked him if he had a bike available for me to borrow so that I could get some exercise whilst there. He had but strongly warned me against it because, in his view, the local motorists would not know how to safely negotiate around cyclists. It turned out that the roads were generally superb with many cycle lanes and the locals amongst the most courteous drivers that I have ever encountered.

It's all about the public's perception and I have no idea how that can be addressed.

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Bikebikebike replied to Joeinpoole | 9 years ago
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Joeinpoole wrote:

There are huge (and growing) misconceptions by the public as to how dangerous the roads are and how safe cycling generally is. For example most people wrongly believe that the roads today are much more dangerous than they were say 20 or 30 years ago when in fact 4-5x more people were killed on the roads back then.

In my view the survey actually underestimates the scale of the problem. If the question was changed to ask if the respondent themselves would personally be confident about cycling on the roads then even fewer would agree. Most people I know would not be confident at all about cycling on roads and generally believe that 'roads are for motor vehicles' and that cyclists get in the way of motorists' supposed entitlement to progress at the speed limit.

It's all about the public's perception and I have no idea how that can be addressed.

Rubbish, unfortunately. There are so few deaths for cyclists because the people who actually cycle on the roads are not a cross-section of the population. Get the same proportion of children and old people who cycle around in the Netherlands on the roads in the UK, and watch the carnage. Get a pensioner on a trike riding down the road and see what happens then. The roads are objectively not safe for a large proportion of the population.

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GrahamSt replied to Bikebikebike | 9 years ago
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Bikebikebike wrote:

Rubbish, unfortunately. There are so few deaths for cyclists because the people who actually cycle on the roads are not a cross-section of the population. Get the same proportion of children and old people who cycle around in the Netherlands on the roads in the UK, and watch the carnage. Get a pensioner on a trike riding down the road and see what happens then. The roads are objectively not safe for a large proportion of the population.

Agreed!!

This happy picture is of eight year olds cycling to school on their own in Assen.
How many eight year old kids in the UK have that opportunity?

(Pic from aviewfromthecyclepath.com)

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farrell replied to Joeinpoole | 9 years ago
0 likes
Joeinpoole wrote:

For example most people wrongly believe that the roads today are much more dangerous than they were say 20 or 30 years ago when in fact 4-5x more people were killed on the roads back then.

That seems, to my mind, to be a little bit of bad science, surely you need to compare;

The levels of car ownership from 20/30 years ago.

The numbers of people walking 20/30 years ago.

The numbers of people who used public transport* 20/30 years ago.

The waistlines of people 20/30 years ago.

The level of air quality and related diseases 20/30 years ago.

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