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Stewart WhiteI watched the BBC’s programme ‘War on Britain’s Roads’ the other night with expectations of sensationalised reporting. The BBC certainly didn’t disappoint.  With the burgeoning use of helmet cams these days flashpoint footage is easily gleaned.  It would be fair to say that the documentary exploited the extremities of human behaviour showing the reactions of both angry drivers and cyclists being repeatedly provoked by the other. 

I am a car driver and a cyclist.  As a car driver I am aware of cyclists, I am courteous towards them as I am other road users and afford them as much room as the road can provide for us both. As a cyclist, all I ask for is enough space within which to travel. I was involved in a near miss this summer when a heavy goods vehicle with a flat bed trailer came perilously close to me.   It was a heart in the mouth moment that for a split second which made me consider leaving the road, despite an eight foot drop at the verge, because I thought the vehicle was going to strike me. Fortunately, this incident didn’t result in an accident, but only just.

A positive story from the programme was from the mother of the young woman cyclist who was killed by the cement truck turning left at a junction.  Her reaction to her daughter’s death and what she did about it was nothing short of admirable.   At no point did she talk of making a compensation claim, instead, she bought shares in the company so she could speak at their AGM and tell them of the fatality/serious injury rate of one per year that the company was responsible for and as a consequence was invited to help them improve that which brought about change that resulted in that injury per year to nil!

However, one of the main culprits causing all these on-road conflicts went under the radar, our Government, knowing that there are in or around a million more cyclists on the road, should make safe provision for their journey. It is time the Government addressed the situation and made far better provisions for cyclists in this country to help create peace on Britain’s roads. 

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