'It's clearly not a war out there....nine out of ten British Cycling members also drive'

Boardman and British Cycling pour cold water on ‘War on the Roads’

From April 1st to September 2012, 398 British Cycling members were involved in road incidents, with 23 per cent occurring at junctions and 13 per cent at roundabouts.

The figures were gleaned from British Cycling’s 63,000 members, meaning less than one per cent were involved in incidents.

Of the 398 incidents, 142 (36 per cent) were at junctions or roundabouts. The second most common cause of an incident involving cyclists was a motor vehicle driver making an incorrect or dangerous manoeuvre on the road. Twenty per cent occurred in this way, including failing to look before turning into a road or failing to check a blind spot before pulling out.

16 per cent of incidents were caused by cyclist error or negligence, 12 per cent by a defective strip of road, spillage or obstruction in the cyclist’s path.

As the maker’s of the recent "War on the Roads" documentary might be surprised to note, only six incidents (1.5 per cent) involved road rage.

British Cycling legal affairs director 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.

“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.” 

Chris Boardman MBE poured cold water on the ‘war on the roads’ theory: “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 one per cent – 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.”

Last night James Cracknell presented a cycling safety special on Radio 5. More on that here.

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