Piccadilly Pulse: Should cyclists get more respect on the road?

By Pippa Field

Cyclist safety has come sharply into focus this week after national cycling hero Bradley Wiggins was knocked off his bike the day before a British Cycling coach suffered serious head injuries in a crash.

Wiggins, this year’s Tour de France winner and London Olympic gold medallist, spent the night in hospital with broken ribs and hand injuries after the crash near his Lancashire home on Wednesday.

And 12 hours later, in a cruel coincidence, his mentor and team GB head coach Shane Sutton suffered bleeding on the brain after being knocked of his bike in Manchester.

With 104 cyclists having died on British roads so far this year, British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford claims a greater awareness of cycle safety should be a legacy of the Olympic Games.

But it is not just cyclists who have to follow the rules.

Double Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton explained that cycle safety should involve mutual respect between cyclists and other road users.

In light of the two accidents this week, MM took to the streets of Manchester to find out the opinion towards cyclists on the roads.

Should cyclists get more respect on the roads?


It was a close result, as many pointed out the problems facing cyclists but equally the issues created by cyclist users on the roads.

Here are some views on how cycle safety should be a two way thing between cyclist and road user.

M Zeragaber, 26, a student from Salford, said: “I have seen cyclists going on pavements rather than roads because it looks as if they are scared for their lives. Some of them don’t know the laws, they don’t wear helmets.”

M Sandy, 23, self-employed from Rochdale, said: “I think cyclists sometimes have to stop being so stupid, and stop trying to dash through red lights because it puts them in danger.”

Raymond Wall, 38, a chef visiting the city from County Durham, said: “It’s a bit of both. Many drivers don’t give cyclists a lot of room. But I hate it when they pair up at junctions. I think it is stupid. There isn’t much room when they go side by side.”

Philip Smithies, 59, retired from Oldham, said: “It’s a bit of both, they need more respect but they need to consider other users. Although it’s not a good thing, the publicity from the two accidents will hopefully help raise awareness.”

Eric Oldham, 59, retired from Mottram, said: “If you can’t see them then you shouldn’t be driving a car. Drivers should give cyclists more room. The main thing is that car drivers get annoyed cyclists over take them, and then they get frustrated and try and get back in front a lot. It should be a policy that all pedestrian’s or cyclists that get knocked down should be able to claim on their insurance.”

Donna Hogg, 20, a student from Hulme, said: “I think they need more respect, especially in the city with traffic being a bit crazy. More cycle routes would help.”

Jude Williams, 24, a student from Openshaw, said: “They need more protection, there should be more lanes.”

Harriet Stevenson, 19, a student from Handforth, said: “Sometimes cyclists are rude. My mum and I were in the car the other day and there was a cyclist with his headphones in. He wasn’t looking and then when he almost hit us, he swore at us.”

Rachel Thompson, 18, a student from Handforth, said: “They think that they get the right of way on the roads when they don’t.”

Tom Harris, 20, a student from Leeds, said: “Cyclists should be more respectful for equality. The driver doesn’t want to be stressed and then there won’t be as many accidents.”

Mostyn Jefferson, 19, a gap year student from Chorlton, said: “They definitely need more respect. I cycled to my college and got hit three times, near where the buses waited. It would be nice if they stayed off the cycle lanes. I think when cyclists get respect then they will give respect to road users.”

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