Potholes and lack of bike lanes put off more than half of potential cyclists

Having to share road with lorries and vans ranked as number one issue

Tom Batchelor
Thursday 31 May 2018 23:30
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A cyclist receives emergency medical treatment after being involved in an accident with a lorry in Camden in 2013
A cyclist receives emergency medical treatment after being involved in an accident with a lorry in Camden in 2013

The state of Britain's roads – from potholes to a lack of protected bike lanes – is stalling the growth in cycling, a survey has found.

Having to share the road with lorries and other large vehicles was ranked as the number one issue with more than half of people (57 per cent) put off by it, according to research commissioned by charity Cycling UK.

Poor road conditions was the joint second most common reason for avoiding travel by bike, alongside drivers overtaking too closely.

Around 50 cyclists are killed or injured every year because of poor or defective road surface and campaigners say more must be done to improve cycling conditions to encourage a shift away from cars.

Father-of-two Simon Moss, 44, lost four teeth and fractured his spine after crashing into a pothole that was reportedly 9in deep while cycling in Buckinghamshire last month.

"Cycling is still a minority activity in the UK with only 2 per cent of all journeys made by bike,” Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK's head of campaigns, said.

"Those who do cycle put up with the potholes and dangerous traffic conditions daily and still continue. It's no surprise most people do not consider cycling for their short everyday journeys."

The charity's poll of 2,024 adults, conducted by YouGov, found other concerns ranking highly, including threatening behaviour from drivers (43 per cent), car doors being opened in front of them (40 per cent) and speeding motorists (37 per cent).

The research was released to coincide with Cycling UK's submission to the Government's Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy safety review.

It wants "fundamental changes" to areas such as the Highway Code, road design and vehicle safety to give people more confidence to cycle.

Mr Dollimore added: "The Government wants more and safer cycling, but as Cycling UK's research shows, people who don't currently cycle need change if they're going to choose

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "We have some of the safest roads in the world, but we will do everything we can to make our roads safer for everyone, including cyclists.

"That's why we are investing a record £23bn on our roads to increase capacity and improve journeys.

"This includes providing local highway authorities in England with over £6 billion to help improve roads, including a record £296m to help fix potholes and stop them forming.

"While it is for councils to identify where repairs should be undertaken, we are also looking at how innovative technology can help them keep their roads in the best condition and save money."

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