The headline is scary - Cyclists' Deaths Must be Stopped - but the message inside the paper is not 'victim-blaming' as so often happens with similar calls for 'cycle safety'. The front cover story is the start of an on-going campaign, said the paper.

Leicester Mercury puts cycle safety on the front cover

The newspaper leads with recent cyclist deaths, calls for better cycle lanes and warns motorists to be on the look-out for bikes.

Some of the interviewees want cyclists to be fully segregated from motorised traffic but the paper itself is much more realistic.

The editor’s comment mentions the dangers of cycling on Leicester’s roads but also notes that more cycling is part of the solution to reducing congestion and preventing obesity.

"Our roads are busier than they have ever been and cars are faster. Cyclists complain about the behaviour of car drivers while motorists moan about cyclists.

"There is a patchy network of cycle lanes but many of them end as suddenly as they begin and others are blocked by parked cars. Put together it is a recipe for disaster in which the cyclist invariably comes off worst.

"The campaign we launch today is not aimed at attributing blame for this state of affairs. Our intention is to raise awareness of safety among car drivers and cyclists and to lobby for improvements to cycle lanes.

"Transport planners should give much more priority to cycling with a comprehensive network of cycle lanes that are properly separated from the rest of the traffic. More people would then be willing to using their bikes to get to and from work, removing many cars from the roads.

"Some motorists will no doubt complain about this suggestion. But what do they think is the answer? Simply to allow the roads to become so choked with traffic that they are permanently gridlocked?

Encouraging more people to use their bicycles would also help solve the spiralling problem of obesity. It cannot be a coincidence that people have become fatter as society has become more and more car-bound."



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