Dame Sarah Storey, Britain’s most successful paralympian, has told the Evening Standard that learner drivers should be forced to take cycle training in a bid to improve road safety.
The 11-time gold nedal winning cyclist told the newspaper that helping drivers to “learn what it’s like to be a cyclist on busy roads” in London and other cities would cut accidents and reduce the animosity between some cyclists and motorists.
Eight cyclists died in London in 2015, seven in accidents involving an HGV. Despite this, Dame Sarah has rejected calls for a ban on HGVs in rush hour, telling the Standard it would be “difficult to implement without hindering the functioning of cities”.
The relationship between lorries and vulnerable road users, in particular cyclists, is one that has been the focus of a number of campaigns in the capital. The Met Police’s Exchanging Places is designed to help cyclists and HGV drivers understand the difficulties they each face.
In May, the Government announced it is set to make changes to the practical driving test in a bid to ensure it reflects the modern driving experience.
Dame Sarah Storey told the Standard: “I do remember not really covering cycling when I learnt to drive and I hope it has improved since then, but I think we need to have a section on cyclists.
“If you are fit and healthy you should go out on a bike and actually get a sense of understanding what it’s like to ride a road in traffic.
“If you’re young and able and learning to drive in your 20s then there should be the potential to do that.”