It's a question of respect '“ whether in bike or car

Our roads are at breaking point. That is what we are told on a regular basis by those in the know, not to mention angry men on radio phone-ins.

Wednesday, 28th March 2018, 8:00 pm

More vehicles occupy the collective carriageways of the United Kingdom than at any time in our history.

Our roads are the most congested in Europe, according to a 2016 study, which revealed there were 20,300 traffic hotspots in our towns and cities, more than double the next most congested nation, Germany.

Our political leaders say we are half way through a £23bn roads investment programme, but you will struggle to find anyone who spends large chunks of their lives staring at bumper stickers bearing 'Powered by fairy dust' or 'The closer you get the slower I go' who will say they have seen any real difference.

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There are many who argue that we should get out of our cars and rely more upon public transport, but that would involve sitting next to someone who has eaten garlic for breakfast or relying on the fact that train staff aren't on strike.

The next most obvious option and most definitely the healthiest, would be to make more of us cycle everywhere.

While using pedal power to every destination within reason should be a no brainer, the reality is that getting behind the wheel feels so much safer. But don't take my word it, listen to the king of the aforementioned radio phone-in himself, Jeremy Vine, who is, it now seems to be, the official spokesman for cyclists everywhere.

Famously on the receiving end of '˜road rage' abuse two years ago, he says he takes his life in his hands whenever he shares the roads with '˜maniac' drivers.

While it is easy to blame us drivers for the fact more than 3,000 cyclists are killed or injured each year, that would be to overlook the fact those on bikes have a responsibility too. While Vine is correct that some motorists should have far more respect for cyclists, there needs to be greater training available for those who choose to saddle up.

But the one thing we need to remember is that we all have an equal share of our roads, no matter how bad they are.