UK Roads Not Safe To Cycle On Say Half Of Britons

Poll Shows Widespread Concern Over Road Safety For Riders


Britain may be about to host the start of the Tour de France, but for many riders the roads are far from safe, according to half of those polled by the BBC.

The survey discovered that 52 per cent regard their local roads as unsafe, while only 34 per cent believe they are designed to be safe for cyclists to use.

At the same time, the poll showed that cycling is increasingly popular, helped by its higher sporting profile as British riders have won the last two Tour de France titles and a plethora of gold medals in recent Olympics.

While the survey showed 20 per cent of people are more tempted to get on a bike as a result of the Tour, which starts in Leeds this year, 55 per cent said their employers do not do enough to encourage cycling to work.

Responding to the news, Martin Lucas-Smith of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign said narrow cycle lanes and poorly maintained roads were common factors deterring members of the public from riding.

He said a bit of "redesign" work on roads could help people "cycle safely and easily".

The head of policy for Sustrans Claire Francis said employers should do more to encourage cycling, but suggested a lack of safety was just as much of a deterrent for those who might ride to work.

"Cycle parking and showers in an office should be as common as a printer and a coffee machine," she said.

"But we also need the government to deliver better infrastructure and slower speeds on our roads, so that people feel safe to leave home on their bike." 

The Grand Depart will take place in Leeds city centre on Saturday (July 5th) and the race will pass through Harrogate, York, Sheffield, Cambridge and Essex before concluding in London. It will then resume in France, covering its traditional routes.

If you’ve been injured in a road traffic accident whilst cycling, our No Win No Fee solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Cycling Accident Compensation page for more information.

Expert Opinion
The Tour De France grand depart being held in the UK has generated a lot of excitement, particularly on the route in Yorkshire, and between Cambridge and London. However what this poll shows is that the majority of cyclists believe their local roads are unsafe for cycling. We’ve seen first-hand the impact that serious injuries suffered while cycling can cause to the victims and their families and friends.

“It is crucial that more is done to improve the safety of vulnerable road users such as cyclists or pedestrians on the roads – hopefully this can be a major legacy of hosting the early stages of this year’s Tour de France.

“Whilst we have seen some limited signs of that for example road surface improvements on the Tour route, there is a very long way to go to helping cyclists feel like roads in the UK are genuinely planned and maintained with cycling in mind.”
Neil Whiteley, Partner