Evening News readers respond to a cyclist’s hard-hitting views on safety

Spokes’ communication officer Professor Chris Oliver’s opinion that lower road speeds can help to save more cyclists’ lives attracted a massive response from readers. Here are just some of the views you shared with us.

Monday, 30th September 2019, 18:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 01:46 am
Separating cyclists and drivers would help safety. Picture: Toby Williams

I work in Edinburgh. I’ve had bikes on the pavement nearly hit me. I’ve been hit on crossings where I have had the green man, so we all need to abide by the rules and wear the correct gear. We will all get along better if Clive in accounts isn’t trying to beat his PB on his bike into work. Yes, pedestrians have to look out for themselves, but bikes are just the same. Like I’ll not expect a Lamborghini to do 155 on Princes Street, I’ll not expect a bike to be doing 20mph or so in and around pedestrians. My umbrella fits rather nicely in your spokes.

Gavin Spence

Unfortunately a large number of cyclists do the considerate ones no favours. I was riding my 125cc motorcycle at 20mph along an Edinburgh road, obeying the speed limit and with my L-plates visible, when a group of 10 cyclists overtook me. Not one gave the 1.5m clearance I would be expected to give them, one of them narrowly missed my mirror!

Alan Whyte

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I think he might find that cyclists not adhering to the Highway Code will actually have a huge impact.

Alex Nicol

If the cyclists are wearing helmets and high-vis and obeying the Highway Code, then, yes, look to drivers for responsibility. But the number of cyclists I have seen not doing any of the above is unreal. There is a duty to look out for your own safety as much as possible, which cyclists also need to remember. Lots of people jumping on bikes now with no idea/care of the Highway Code. I have personally had to avoid being hit by cyclists jumping red lights or moving to pedestrian crossings to skip lights and rejoin the road.

Lorraine Fleming

This piece is infuriating. I drive on Edinburgh’s roads for eight hours a day and for five-six days a week. I always give cyclists room but I find more often than not cyclists do not give anybody else room. He tries to suggest that the use of mobile phones may be the reason why there’s been a sharp increase in injuries over the past three years. I would counter that claim and suggest the explosion of cyclist wearing Bluetooth headphones may have something to do with it. There is an arrogance in this piece that has come to be associated with the cycling community and that pointing the finger of blame at every other road user is simply not fair or even justifiable.

Wes Murdiff

I’m a cyclist and it is not fair on anybody to share a road that was designed and built for cars to squeeze cyclists between buses, cars and lorries.

Elisandra Coyne

Better behaviour from cyclists will stop injuries and deaths. The road rules that apply to cars need to be imposed on cyclists.

Marianne Beard

If cyclists want to use the roads, they should be fined if not wearing hi-vis and a helmet. And their bikes should be in the best condition – maybe an MOT test for bikes should be brought in and maybe they should have insurance too.

Isobel Logan

What planet are you on? Of course you can blame them. If they fail to take necessary safety precautions, then they can hardly cry ‘foul’ when they get hurt in an accident.

William Dow

Why do so many of them believe cycling gives special privilege? I work on a university campus so I’ve had almost 20 years of practice in avoiding them, but I’m still amazed at how they expect everyone, including pedestrians, to make way for them.

Phyllis Zickmund

How about making cyclists pathways, like Denmark and the Netherlands? Roads separate from driveways will be safer for cyclists and the drivers, rather than playing blame games.

Sagarika Mankhin

I’ve been into road cycling for the last two years. It is terrifying on A and B roads, where cars can pass at over 60mph, but cycling in the city everyone is already doing below 20mph and stuck in traffic. The only deaths in cities with bikes come from bad driving, not speed. Anything that can separate cyclists from cars is a good thing for both – less frustration, less danger. But most of the cycle paths are terrible, and some just end abruptly for no reason, like one on the Glasgow Road that just gives up.

Dom Bower

The 20mph doesn’t apply to cyclists. Chris Oliver is clearly yet another visionary who wants to decree what everyone else should do, but the rules don’t apply to him or his mates. He’d be better off campaigning for statutory fines for cyclists who insist on cycling along (narrowed) roads right next to an unused cycle path.

Alan Brown