Time for better cycling safety?


It was with some reluctance I gave up the chance to see the final stage of the Tour of Oman this weekend. Despite my best intentions, I just couldn’t decline the invitation to my first ever Indian wedding. It was a gorgeously decorative affair with a vegetarian menu: quashing fears among the meat-eating guests that they would be responsible for upstaging the wedding procession with an impromptu gallop post-dinner: (lame I know, but I couldn’t resist).

This weekend also presented the chance to experience my first baby shower. Although frankly mystified by the American concept, I begrudgingly admit that I’m now a bit of a convert: purely because it offers friends of the expectant mother the opportunity to well-wish her into parenthood.

So with this hectic schedule, my weekend was brusquely chopped in half and the 10 hour round trip to Muscat in one day to watch men racing in lycra suddenly lost its appeal. Incidentally Chris Froome managed rather brilliantly without my support on the corniche of the Omani capital to claim his first ever major race victory.

With the latest tour wins and glittering medal haul from British cyclists, there’s no denying that cycling’s image has been sexed up, bar the Armstrong episode, yet the sport is still battling the threats to its very foundations.

Just weeks after the Olympic haze lifted, Bradley Wiggins and Team GB’s head cycling coach were hospitalised following two separate road accidents involving a car.

Yesterday a cyclist was found at the roadside in Essex with serious head wounds. Although the circumstances of the incident are not yet clear, it does once again raise the question over the safety of other road users, such as cyclists, pedestrians and yes, even horses.

In Britain, we are asking our cyclists not to cycle on the pavement, but are we providing adequate enough safety for them on our roads? If our Olympians are in danger on the country’s roads, what chance do the rest of us have for a nice Sunday afternoon pedal?

According to the government, ‘promoting cycling and safer cycling is a top priority’. Although this petition is a way off the 100,000 signatures required for it to be discussed by the backbenchers, it has already received a response from the government and is certainly worth signing: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/44059

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