Figures published today by British Cycling show that over one in three road incidents involving its members - outside of competition - occur at junctions (23%) or roundabouts (13%).
The statistics, taken from British Cycling’s database, cover all incidents reported by its members in the first six months of the financial year. A total of 398 incidents from 1 April to 30 September 2012 were reported to British Cycling and 142 (36%) of them occurred at junctions or roundabouts.
Chris Boardman MBE and British Cycling’s Policy and Legal Affairs Director, Martin Gibbs, will tonight appear on a BBC 5Live special – Life Cycle – to discuss how conditions for cyclists on Britain’s roads need to be improved.
Commenting on the figures, Martin Gibbs said: “The figures behind our members’ incidents paint a pretty clear picture. In order to improve conditions for cyclists on the road, greater investment needs to go into junction design and infrastructure. We need the government to put cycling at the heart of its transport policy – with a commitment to turn this country into a cycling nation to rival great countries like Holland and Denmark.”
"Any incident on the roads is one too many and we will continue to push decision makers to ensure cycling is given the priority it deserves."
British Cycling Policy and Legal Affairs Director Martin Gibbs
“All road users have a responsibility to look out for and respect each other. This isn’t about being anti-car – in fact, nine out of ten British Cycling members also drive. Any incident on the roads is one too many and we will continue to push decision makers to ensure cycling is given the priority it deserves.”
The second most common cause of an incident involving cyclists was a driver of a motor vehicle making an incorrect or dangerous manoeuvre on the road. Almost 20% - or 1 in 5 – incidents occurred in this way, including failing to look before turning into a road or not checking a blind spot before pulling out.
Around 16% of incidents were caused by cyclist error or negligence and 12% were caused by a defective stretch of road or a spillage or obstruction in the cyclist’s path. Only six incidents (1.5%) involved road rage.
Chris Boardman MBE added: “It’s important that we put these figures into perspective. Of British Cycling’s 63,000 members, only 398 – that’s much less than even 1% - have reported incidents to us in the past six months.
“The figures also show that it is clearly not a war out there. Only six of our 398 incidents involved road rage. We need to concentrate on what can be done to transform the culture of cycling in this country and think long term about how we want this country to look in ten years.”
British Cycling offers legal support and assistance to all of its 63,000 members. British Cycling’s lawyers – Leigh Day - are recognised leading experts in personal injury litigation and in representing people involved in sport and recreation.
Tips for road users when approaching junctions or roundabouts
- When driving, Think Cyclist! Always check for cyclists in your mirrors and blind spot when approaching side roads and roundabouts.
- When driving and attempting to change lanes, check mirrors and blind spots to make sure there are no cyclists also trying to change lanes or turn right.
- When cycling, try and ‘take the lane’ when passing a side road on your left. Don’t ride next to the curb. This enhances the visibility of cyclists when riding, especially for drivers approaching the junction from the side road who will generally be looking in the middle of the lane for other motor vehicles.
- When cycling and attempting to turn into a side road, try and glance behind when approaching a junction and make eye contact with closely following drivers. If turning left or right, edge out into the lane slowly to ensure clearer visibility.
- When cycling, make eye contact with drivers and other road users. Look well ahead and try to anticipate what the traffic in front is going to do and plan accordingly.