“Now is a once in a lifetime opportunity to change this country for the better” British Cycling’s Policy Adviser Chris Boardman will say today in response to a survey that has revealed that nine in 10 cyclists feel concerned for their safety when cycling on the road.
A survey representing the views of British Cycling’s 100,000-strong membership has also found that unsafe road surfaces are the top hazard that people on bikes encounter. Cycle lanes that are too narrow or stop suddenly were also highlighted.
Chris Boardman will today speak at a national government conference in Bristol, including addressing Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, transport professionals and council officials from across the country.
British Cycling’s Policy Adviser, Chris Boardman, will say:
“Obesity is not only killing 37,000 people in the UK every year, when all the effects are factored in, it’s costing us almost one billion pounds every week. A large part of the solution to this problem – not to mention pollution, congestion and social issues – is glaringly, frighteningly simple.
“For these problems to be solved, the solution needs to be invisible, built into our everyday lives, unnoticed. The solution is in how we move. British Cycling’s member survey highlights that, in this present moment, even regular cyclists are concerned for their safety on our roads. We have a long way to go.
“Last week the government’s own studies confirmed that investing in cycling gives a 5:1 return. I’m not exaggerating when I say that now is a once in a lifetime opportunity to change this country for the better for us and our children.”
A recent parliamentary question put to Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill revealed that the Department for Transport currently allocates just 0.7% of its total budget to cycling. This allocation does not match the total journey share that is currently cycled. Around 2% of all journeys in Britain are made by bike.
Top findings of British Cycling’s member survey
- 93% of members surveyed said they are concerned for their own safety – or the safety of other people on bikes - when cycling on the road.
- The top reason given for being concerned about safety is that drivers are not careful enough on the roads. Having been involved in an accident in the past or knowing someone who has been involved in dangerous experience were also identified as top reasons for safety fears.
- The top priority for cycling in local areas among British Cycling members was mutual respect between all road users. This was closely followed by the need for protected space on main roads.
- The top hazards that members encounter on their local roads are unsafe road surfaces or vehicles overtaking too closely. Vehicles travelling too fast and cycle lanes that are too narrow or stop suddenly were also highlighted.