Updated: Sunday, 19th November 2017 @ 8:06am

Maillot jaune or red light? The Great British Cycling Quiz tests Manchester’s biking proficiency

Maillot jaune or red light? The Great British Cycling Quiz tests Manchester’s biking proficiency

| By Richard Browne

As the Tour de France overlaps with the Commonwealth Games this week, a Manchester law firm is putting the city’s cycling safety knowledge to the test.

The Yorkshire Grand Départ drew millions to roadsides across the north of England, and it is hoped that more people – young and old – will get on bikes themselves as a result.

In addition, Manchester has been home to the National Cycling Centre for 20 years, propelling Great Britain to unprecedented Olympic success.

However, cycling groups say that people will continue to be put off cycling, certainly on a regular basis, by concerns over road surfaces and traffic safety.

Of course councils and vehicle users can only do so much if cyclists don’t know the rules of the road.

That is what is being examined by Irwin Mitchell’s Great British Cycling Quiz, which seeks to find out just how much Mancunians know about staying safe when out on two wheels.

Bearing in mind the impact of road injuries on cyclists and their families, the firm aims to raise awareness among both motorists and cyclists of the major safety issues.

Neil Whiteley, head of Irwin Mitchell’s specialist serious injury team, said: “As with any major sporting event in the UK, it's often the case that Britons will take a much bigger interest in similar activities themselves.

“There is a lot to be said for encouraging more people to cycle for health, environmental and many other reasons. But it is important to be aware of the rules for safe cycling to reduce the risk of accidents.”

He added: “Hopefully our quiz will highlight some issues and encourage people in Manchester to think a bit more about the roads we ride and drive on.”

The eight-question quiz tests participants’ understanding of current traffic regulations and the Highway Code. 

It’s also trickier than you might think, as this writer discovered when preparing this article.

Despite being someone who cycles in and out of Manchester almost every day, I could only muster a score of 62.5%.

The biggest surprise? That cyclists are not bound by UK law to wear any protective clothing – even a helmet – when on the road.

The statistics also suggest that more can be done – as cycling remains a dangerous means of transport, with the number of accidents stagnating in recent years.

Indeed, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in Greater Manchester increased from 85 in 2009 to 105 in 2012. 

This has led to road safety groups like ‘Think!’ requesting more education for road users – of which Irwin Mitchell’s campaign and quiz are just one part.  

Main image courtesy of British Cycling, with thanks.