Only 10% of cyclists think UK Government takes road safety seriously

A new study has revealed the top ten UK cities where cyclists feel their safety is most at risk, with Cardiff topping the table followed by Leeds and Birmingham.

By contrast, Cambridge, Bristol and Edinburgh were deemed amongst the safest places to cycle in the UK. Overall, however, just 17% of cyclists nationwide said they feel “safe” or “very safe” on the road.

The findings, from a UK-wide survey of 1,732 cyclists by Cycleplan, also found that only one in ten cyclists think that the UK Government takes cycling safety seriously, and just 12% say that their local council takes cycling safety seriously.

The study forms part of a new campaign, Pedal Safe, which seeks to highlight the risks associated with cycling and educate the public on how to prevent accidents occurring. The research found that 35% of cyclists have been injured while cycling in the past 12 months.

Pedal Safe has been launched in response to the increase in cycling participation seen since the UK lockdown came into force in March.

The UK Government recently introduced a new £2 billion investment package to improve cycling infrastructure within towns and cities, including the creation of new cycle lanes. However, when asked their thoughts on this, 69% of survey respondents said they do not believe these measures go far enough.

John Woosey, Cycleplan’s founder and managing director said: “These findings are extremely concerning, particularly given the emphasis currently being placed on cycling as a silver bullet for reducing pressure on public transport in the post-lockdown era. Let’s be clear, we’re certainly not saying that cycling is a bad thing. By contrast, it’s been fantastic to see the huge increase in participation over the past few months.

“However, cycling comes with a degree of risk – one that everybody must be mindful of. It’s a sad fact that roads across the UK currently fall short when it comes to providing a risk-free route for cyclists. That’s why, as part of Pedal Safe, we have shared our top tips for road cycling safety, and we would urge all cyclists to refer to these as a minimum before heading out on two wheels.”

Olympic road race cyclist Lizzie Deignan is an ambassador for Cycleplan. She said: “It’s fantastic that people are being encouraged to cycle more, but we need to make sure they feel safe. More infrastructure will be vital, as will educating drivers to be more patient and to share the road. After all, most cyclists are also drivers and vice versa. There should be room for us all.

“I would advise anyone who feels nervous on the bike to take all possible precautions to feel more confident. For example, wearing bright clothes and lights to be as visible as possible, not hugging the kerb – sit a bit further out to make yourself seen. This also takes away the temptation for drivers to nip by without making sure there is a safe gap in traffic to overtake.”

Cycleplan’s top tips for road cycling safety:

– Use the proper safety equipment
– Read up on – and adhere to – the Highway Code
– Avoid hugging the kerb
– Make eye contact with other road users
– Keep your distance
– Anticipate hazards
– Clearly signal your intentions
– Get specialist cycling insurance

As part of Pedal Safe, Cycleplan is giving away six cycling safety kits. These include exclusive female and male Santini kits, plus ten sets of Trek bike lights. For the chance to win, entrants should visit the Pedal Safe website and share their best cycling safety tip. For more information on the campaign, top tips, hotspot map, further statistics, quotes and giveaway visit www.cycleplan.co.uk/pedal-safe.

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