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As the shortest day of the year approaches this Sunday, 48% of London cyclists have indicated that they’re “nervous” about cycling in the dark. 43% of the capital’s cyclists said they did not feel safe while riding in designated cycle lanes as part of a survey of over 2,000 regular cyclists.
The sun will rise after 8am and set before 4pm every day this week, opening up the likely prospect that many commuters in London will travel both to and from work in the darkest conditions of the year.
National Accident Helpline Marketing Director Beth Powell called on all road users to unite to help eliminate the nervousness that cyclists feel on London’s roads.
“It’s important that cyclists make themselves as visible as they can all year round,” she said.
“But when sunrise is later than 8am and sunset earlier than 4 o’ clock, it’s even more critical that commuters cycling through the busy traffic of London do everything they can to make sure that other road users, pedestrians and fellow cyclists can see them.
“Not only does that involve displaying front-and-rear-facing lights as required by law, but also wearing high-visibility clothes and also cycling in the safest way possible.
“It’s disheartening to hear that cyclists in the city feel nervous when out on the roads, but we’d challenge not only motorists, but also cyclists, to work together to help make London’s roads a safer place for everyone.”
As cycling becomes increasingly popular in the UK following recent Olympic and Tour de France successes, the city’s cycle paths are becoming more congested leading to accidents. Around 75% of serious or fatal accidents happen in urban areas*, which should serve as a stark warning to London’s cycling fraternity.
Other findings from the National Accident Helpline cycling survey included:
- 33% of respondents had suffered a cycling accident in the past
- 20% blamed their accidents on a poor road surface, potholes, or a combination of both
- 45% believed that all cyclists should have to take a mandatory proficiency test before being allowed on the road
- Worryingly, 23% of cyclists indicated they listen to music while cycling on the road
National Accident Helpline is urging cyclists to be safe and be seen while out and about this Christmas time.
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