Cycling is a popular pastime here in the UK, and it has been that way throughout history. These days more people than ever are deciding to start cycling, be it for transportation or recreational reasons. Young or old people are taking to their bikes on our roads and the vast majority of people who cycle become extremely passionate about it. There is a well-publicised amount of activism around cycling. This runs in two main strands; promotion of cycling as an alternative mode of transport, and creating an improved environment more conducive to safe cycling.
The promotion of cycling as an alternative mode of transport
Broadly speaking, the emphasis here is on advocating cycling as a much better mode of transport than other options. On the whole this theory is very well received and rarely disputed. The potential here is to reduce carbon emissions by reducing the amount of cars on the road. This is also a conservation issue. If more people used bikes, our energy resources would last longer. The health benefits of cycling are also widely accepted and rarely challenged. Cycling is a very healthy way to get around, not to mention cheaper for the rider than filling a car with fuel for a journey, or paying the costly fees for public transport.
Creating a safer cycling environment
Sadly, this strand of activism is the cause of much disagreement, and has yet to force any significant change that has satisfied its supporters.
With the increase in cyclists, comes an increase in cycling related accidents on UK roads. At Carry on Cycling we specialise in recovering compensation for cyclists injured in accidents that were not their fault. Surprisingly our roads have never been safer for cars, but the same cannot be said for bikes. Cyclists, along with pedestrians are among the group of most at risk road users in the country, with most accidents caused by human error; other road users.
In general, it is agreed that safety provisions in this country are not doing enough of a good job. Activists are vouching for creation of a safer environment conducive to cycling. There are opposing opinions on the way this should be done. It has been suggested that cyclists have their own separate bike lanes nationwide and with protective barrier, to keep them away from other road users. Some activists want these separate cycling areas for all lengths of journeys.
Others prefer the method of educating road users better without persecuting car drivers. This, less aggressive, approach targets education as key in making the roads a safer place for cyclists, encouraging a more harmonious relationship with other road users, rather than segregation from them. This debate is long running, and will continue until such time the numbers of cyclists injured and killed on British roads are dramatically diminished.
At Carry on Cycling, we work alongside accident victims to establish cause and responsibility, in an effort to contribute to the improvements in road safety for cyclists.
Here is how to cycle around London.
Sarah Mcarthy is a writer for Carry on Cycling. You can find her on Google Plus here.