Cycling and Road Safety

Letter published in The National, 22/10/15

Letter to The National

Letter to The National

Dear Sir, 

Sustrans research (Poll Finds Demand For Rise In Bike Fund, 21/10/15) which shows that people across the UK believe that more money should be invested in safer cycling is to be welcomed. An expansion of the limited amount of on road cycle lanes would be a good start, but simply throwing money at the creation of physical infrastructure is not the only answer. Changes in road traffic laws and a focus on education are required and this should be done sooner rather than later. Like many people I am a car driver, a cyclist and a pedestrian. I regularly see bad driving, bad cycling and pedestrians putting themselves in dangerous situations while on the road. No one group of road users can claim the moral high ground, and to do so usually leads to pointless argument rather than sensible debate. As cyclists there are many things that we as individuals can do to try to ensure that we are as visible as possible on the roads. Riding sensibly wearing bright reflective clothing and decent lights do help, but having done all that we have to consider other factors outwith our control. Most car drivers are considerate but there are those who pass cyclists and pedestrians at great speed and with very little clearance. Serious consideration must be given to a the creation of a “rolling speed limit” of, for discussions sake, 30 miles per hour around cyclists or people walking on roads with no pavements. On roads with higher speed limits if a vehicle driver could not give a whole two metres of clearance to a cyclist or pedestrian then they should reduce their speed to the rolling speed limit while passing until they are clear of them. As a regular walker and cyclist I can testify that being passed by a vehicle hammering along a country road at 60mph is extremely unpleasant and completely unnecessary. We need to educate people that 60mph on a country road is a limit, not a target. Creating a safe space around vulnerable road users would be a good start.

Yours Sincerely, 

James Cassidy

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