Lifestyle: Improving the safety of British roads for cyclists

So many people are making a concious effort to make better choices for the environment, whether that be by choosing to recycle or by ditching the car for a day – every little thing helps and will ultimately be better for the future. Cars are perhaps the worst offenders when it comes to pollution and damaging the environment which is why people are being encouraged to switch to cycling, public transport or car share. Although I don’t have a car myself, I have been making more of an effort to walk places rather than just ask for a lift, especially if it’s just a couple of miles away. 

I’ve been thinking of investing in a bike when I move down to Winchester as it will be a lot easier to get to places without having to wait for a bus or pay for a taxi. Although a lot of people are making an effort, it’s evident that there is a shortage of cyclists on our roads – as 1% of the numbers of vehicles on our roads were accounted for by cyclists. This is a 13% decrease in the use of cycles since 1952, when official figures stood at 14%.

True Solicitors, specialists in bicycle accident claims, have assessed the safety of the UK’s roads, and whether this correlates to why there are so few cyclists on our roads today.

The opinion across Britain

  • Based on the British Social Attitudes Survey, it was claimed that of those over the age of 18, 1.5 million people cycled on a daily basis, accounting for only 3% of the people surveyed.
  • 34 million claimed that they had never cycled before, which is based on 69% of those who had been surveyed. I must admit that I haven’t cycled since I was a child and I definitely haven’t cycled on the roads, it can be quite daunting.

Scotland

In Scotland, as a means of transport, 3% of people aged over 16 used a bicycle 1 – 2 days a week. As well as this, 2% used one 3 -5 days a week, and only 1% used a bicycle nearly every day of the week. This may be because of how good the public transport is or perhaps the weather is a factor. 

England

It has been suggested that 3% cycled five times a week (1.3 million) — which is less than the overall national average, based on those surveyed over 16 between 2014 and 2015 in The Active People Survey. The survey also found that 15% cycled at least once per month, which equates to 6.6 million people.

What this suggests, is that many cyclists are choosing to use their bikes as a leisure activity, as opposed to using it as a day to day form of transport as a means of getting to work.

Wales

Of those surveyed over the age of 16, 6% claimed that they cycled 1 – 2 times a day in 2014-15; this is a similar figure to the 3% in England who cycled five times a week.

Although it cannot be stated for certain, the total number of cyclists on British roads may be decreasing because of the hazards that they face on a daily basis. The safety of the roads needs to be improved before more people start to consider cycling on a daily basis. The biggest danger that cyclists face is the other motorists on the road – being hit by a car can be fatal and there are a lot of dangerous drivers around. 

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