60% feel cycling on roads is dangerous

12.00 | 31 July 2019 | | 3 comments

Brake is calling on the Government to take further action to convince people that it is safe to cycle, on the back of new Government statistics which show that the number of cycling trips has remained ‘flat’ over the past three years.

Statistics published in the National Travel Attitude Survey (NTAS) – and quoted in Walking and Cycling Statistics: 2018 – show that 61% of adults feel that it is too dangerous for them to cycle on the roads.

At 68%, women cyclists are more likely to feel in danger than their male counterparts (54%).

In terms of age, people aged 60-64 years are the most likely to feel endangered (67%) – with those aged 18-24 years the least (51%).

Brake says the figures reveal ‘how much work needs to be done’ to convince people that it is safe to cycle on the roads, and is calling for further action from the Government.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake said:  “Cycling is one of the healthiest and cheapest ways to get around and everyone should be able to cycle every day without fear for their own safety. 

“Yet these findings reveal that most adults just don’t think it’s safe to cycle on our roads and more is clearly needed to be done to convince them otherwise.

“While the Government’s actions to encourage more people to cycle and keep them safe are welcome, they must go further. 

“We need slower, safer speed limits, greater investment in segregated cycle lanes and drivers who behave dangerously removed from our roads.”

The DfT 2018 stats show that while the average number of miles cycled has generally increased over the past three years, the number of cycling trips has remained flat over the same period.

11% of adults cycled at least once per week but only a small number of local authorities (5%) had more than 20% of adults cycling at least once per week, with Cambridge and Oxford having the highest rates.



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    Part of the problem is the increased size of private vehicles. I cycled regularly in the 60s and 70s and cars were quite narrow. I could be passed on an A road or in London by a family car which did not need to change lanes. Now they need to give me 1.5 meters and the drivers are often totally on the opposite carriageway. Now I cycle and due to the growing width of the vehicles and the static width of the roads and lanes the drivers may hang back to try to give room when overtaking but impatience eventually kicks in and they squeeze me out. I will ride taking my lane and often be in the same position on the road as if I were driving. Then like caravan drivers should if the queue gets long I will pull over to let them pass. The development of crossover cars, giant SUVs and so called off-roaders has meant that the available space for cyclist alongside family cars no longer exists on our roads. Dedicated cycle lanes sometimes are not an option as the road width does not allow for them. We need the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) not just to look to support the automotive industry but road transport in full. Without their help in getting back to narrower vehicles all drivers will be subject to ridiculous low speed limits and traffic calming measures.

    Peter Wilson, Chichester
    Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

    My wife and I are choosy where we pick to cycle. Over 50% of motorised vehicle drivers display poor driving techniques and lack of respect. We always wear bright reflective jackets, we do feel this helps.

    David Matthews, Desborough
    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    Where I live, you take your life in your hands when cycling. We have the usual road dangers everyone else has, but we seem to have had a huge increase in the number of modified car drivers who intimidate other road users by speeding, screeching tyres, revving engines and popping their exhausts. If they encounter one of our Speedwatch teams, they give them abuse at the roadside. For all the talk of 20mph limits and cycle lanes, absolutely nobody in government seems to be tackling this problem and there aren’t enough police. Until all drivers learn to show respect for other road users I fear little will change.

    Martin Kay, Wells
    Agree (5) | Disagree (1)

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