YP Letters: Road safety fears put the brakes on cycling’s mass appeal

People are still put off cycling because of safety concerns. (PA).
People are still put off cycling because of safety concerns. (PA).
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From: Edward Grainger, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.

Just as Easter is marked by the teaching unions flexing their muscles so the weekend that includes May Day (May 1) signifies the start or finish of the Tour de Yorkshire.

Sir Gary Verity (The Yorkshire Post, April 22) once again, given his connection with the race, inspires us to take to our bikes, whether young or old, male or female, black or white, in a clear demonstration, particularly on race days, of shared togetherness in the sure and certain hope that enjoyment and pleasure on two wheels enables us to appreciate our fabulous county, with its ever changing scenes and varying and beautiful landscape.

An increase in the number of active cyclists in Yorkshire, some 18,000 compared to the previous year’s figures, more than vindicates Sir Gary’s sheer persistence, along with his team, in promoting Yorkshire.

However, despite the increase in the numbers across Britain and the boom in the number of cycling clubs, the overall figure for regular use of the bicycle hardly ever edges over the two million mark, from a total population of over 60 million.

Much of this is accounted for because, as Chris Boardman points out, the public are not convinced that the activity is 

Who could blame them when, as confirmed in the Government recently published plan to double cycling activity by 2025, the fact is that for the nine months of 2016 some 3,430 cyclists were killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads?

As Boardman points out the figure of £85m to make improvements to roads for cyclists to begin “to develop world-class cycling infrastructure and networks” represents “a watershed 
moment for active travel in this country”.

This figure, that will only have a minimal effect on encouraging more people to cycle on an almost daily basis, is however, unlikely to be increased as Britain enters into the weeks running up to the June General Election.

No Government or Opposition wants to be seen as favouring the cyclist over the motorist.

A figure of 36 million vehicles on our roads represents a considerable detail in the transport lobby, whose drivers, have enormous clout and could well decide the fate of all of the major political parties and therefore the 
shape and political leaning of the next Government at Westminster.

Confirmation that when it comes to personal transport the car is king!