In the wake of the high profile cycling accident of Olympic and Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggens and then just hours later another cycling accident this time involving his coach, Shane Sutton cycle safety campaigners are calling for improvements to the safety of cyclists on Britain’s roads.
Bradley Wiggens was knocked off his bike on 7th November at around 6pm by a white van near his home in Lancashire. He was on his way to meet a group of local cyclists in Eccleston near Chorley in Lancashire. The white van is thought to have emerged from a garage forecourt on the main road upon which Wiggens was cycling and collided with him. He was taken to a nearby hospital and diagnosed as suffering rib injuries and a dislocated finger.
The following morning Wiggens’ longstanding coach, Shane Sutton, was involved in a similar accident when he was knocked off his bike by a Peugeot 206 and suffered a head injury whilst riding on a main road in Levenshulme, Manchester.
These two accidents have highlighted the dangers of cycling on Britain’s roads. A spokesperson for British Cycling said: “Cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity but there is much more to be done to improve conditions for cyclists on the roads”. The Government has recently put aside £30 million for improving safety at road junctions across the UK however this is being criticised as too little, too late by road safety campaigners.
Last year there was a 23 per cent increase in cycling casualties which came following cuts to road safety budgets which are now down to a quarter of what they have been in previous years. With the Government encouraging more people to take to the roads on bicycles in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint they must ensure that safety of these cyclists is paramount.