Jon Snow backs 'Save our cyclists' campaign

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The Independent Online

Jon Snow, the Channel 4 newsreader and president of the national cyclists' organisation, CTC, has added his support to The Independent's "Save our cyclists" campaign, launched yesterday.

"I'm delighted to see the campaign and support anything that highlights the issue in the cycling world. HGVs and cyclists do not mix well, and training won't help. We need cycle ways with a curb that separates the bicycle from traffic."

The campaign aims to protect cyclists from lorries and buses, which account for a disproportionate number of the 230 cyclists killed or seriously injured every month on Britain's roads.

Mr Snow's comments came as the AA launched its cycle safety day, handing out 5,000 free helmets and vests for cyclists across London.

Boris Johnson, the London Mayor and cycling advocate added his concern but warned against putting off would-be cyclists. "No form of transport is 100 per cent safe but cycling is safer than most and we are doing all we can in London to make it even safer and ever more enjoyable," he said.

Jamie Crick, a presenter on Classic FM, also contacted The Independent to register his support. He said: "My producer and I both cycle into Classic FM and have been swapping terror stories. The lack of provision for cyclists is woeful in London. Protected routes, cycle priority lights and safe cycling campaigns should all be addressed."

Meanwhile, news emerged yesterday of the latest death on Britain's roads. Gareth Crockett, 27, from Moira, County Down, died in a collision with a car on the A55 on Anglesey, off the north-west coast of Wales. He was cycling to raise money for charity in memory of a friend.

Lorries have been identified as the cause of a disproportionate number of cyclist deaths but HGV drivers responded to The Independent's campaign by saying cyclists shared the responsibility for safety on the roads.

Peter Cullum, head of international affairs at the Road Haulage Association, said: "An assumption is made that cyclists are always the innocent party and unfortunately it's not true. Those cyclists' deaths are avoidable, but avoidable by who?

"We've been talking to cycling organisations for years on this issue and we ensure our drivers receive training. I'm not sure what has been done by the cyclists. With the surge of cycling in the last few years a lot of people have been going out cycling without knowing the dangers. If you can't see the lorry driver, he can't see you."

Jon Snow said there was much cyclists could do. "We must ensure we are visible; that's why we all go about looking like fluorescent bananas."

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