Let’s do more to tackle cycling issue in Portsmouth, forum says

  • Senior Lecturer shared views on project
  • Chairman of cycling forum urges city council to do more
  • Project focused on near misses
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MORE needs to be done to tackle the problem of crashes involving cyclists, the chairman of the Portsmouth Cycle Forum has said.

Jon Spencer was speaking after a meeting in which a lecturer spoke about a study called Near Misses, looking at how dangerous it is for cyclists on our roads.

What I am trying to encourage local authorities to do is to look at specific junctions and see if we are getting lots of near misses

Dr Rachel Aldred, senior lecturer

Dr Rachel Aldred is a senior lecturer in transport at Westminster University.

She is one of the UK’s pre-eminent experts on cycling and she has been behind much of the work that has created a base of evidence about the benefits of cycling.

The Near Misses project started about a year ago and involved cyclists picking one day and making a record of the number and types of incidents they encountered while on the road.

Her research looks at close shaves which don’t result in injury, but affect cyclists’ behaviour and may give a clue as to where injuries may occur in the future.

A total of 1,532 people recorded 3,994 incidents while cycling.

Dr Aldred said: ‘Near misses strongly affect cycling experience.

‘What I am trying to encourage local authorities to do is to look at specific junctions and see if we are getting lots of near misses.

‘We need more research on pathways to better cycling experiences.’

Mr Spencer said he hopes the council can learn from the idea.

‘It shows a really effective tool for Portsmouth City Council to take hold of and understand why we have such a high rate of cycling casualties,’ he said.

‘Nobody wants casualties. Nobody wants someone to be hurt.

‘Instead of putting in little bits of infrastructure here and there, it would be really good if they really sorted out the problem and gathered some data.

‘Most people share the road now.

‘Portsmouth City Council needs to understand where the danger is and how we deal with it.’

Portsmouth Cycle Forum recently launched a document to make cycling safer in the city.

Cyclists from the Portsmouth area and elsewhere were encouraged to document their experiences on the road last month. The results have not been released yet.

To find out more about the campaign and how to get involved, visit acitytoshare.org.