CYCLING has become a Yorkshire success story. High-profile events have helped to establish the county on the international sporting map – and more riders of all ages and abilities now recognise the health benefits of regular exercise.
However there remains a friction between some motorists and cyclists when it comes to priority status on the region’s roads, and this controversy has been particularly acute near Hull where plans to ban riders from a 15-mile stretch of the main A63 between the city and North Cave have been dropped following 10,000 letters of objection.
Even though road safety is paramount at all times, there were genuine fears that this decision would have set a dangerous precedent and seen riders banned from other A-roads and effectively forced off the road.
Yet, while it is welcome that Highways England is going to develop more cycling and safety improvements along the road, this controversy is another reminder about reflecting the needs of bicycle riders when upgrading existing roads and building new routes.
Where possible, dedicated cycle lanes are the way forward – despite the well-documented problems with the so-called cycle superhighway between Leeds and Bradford.
But it still requires all road users observing the Highway Code – much annoyance stems from the tiny minority of cyclists who do not use dedicated lanes or ignore traffic lights – and police having the resources to take action against those people, whether travelling on two wheels or four, whose recklessness does cause others to fear for their safety.