After accidents involving two of the most important people in British cycling today, isn’t it time we looked at protecting cyclists a whole lot more?
Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins was knocked off his bike in a collision with a white van woman and, more seriously, British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton suffered bleeding on the brain after colliding with another car.
I do so hope that after such high-profile accidents, we realise we’re not doing enough to protect and encourage our cyclists.
We are years behind cities like Copenhagen. It is one of the most cycle-friendly cities in the world. They have cycle paths separated from the main traffic lanes and, in some cases, their own traffic signal systems. Brilliant.
This keeps cyclists away from the main roads, ensuring everyone is safe and encouraging more cycle use. When they develop new roadways, cycle paths are part of the infrastructure, not an afterthought as they are here.
I love to cycle to work in Segensworth from my home in Priddy’s Hard, Gosport, but there are many sections where you need nerves of steel.
If I take the Stubbington route, after the delights of the Brockhurst roundabout, where many drivers don’t know which lane to be in, you have Rowner Road. The traffic islands mean a tight squeeze for cyclists and cars. The cycle route means use of the pavement, with many road junctions to negotiate, so far from ideal.
Then there is Stubbington itself and Titchfield Hill. The story is the same in Portsmouth too, with a very unfriendly cycle route from Hilsea down to The Hard in my experience.
With Portsea Island, Gosport and Fareham being flat, many more of us should be on our bikes. Nearer to the 36 per cent of all citizens in Copenhagen.
The new BRT route between Gosport and Fareham does help remove the need to endanger your life on the A32, but even here there have been issues for cyclists.
Now before you mention how some cyclists do not help themselves, let me agree with you. But this further goes to prove that vehicles and cyclists do not mix very well.