Cars should be made to go slower, urges expert

Cars should be made to go slower and more space on roads given over to cyclists.

That's the view of Phil Jones, a consultant who designs highways and cycling routes.
He told BBC Breakfast that, in the aftermath of the accidents involving Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and his trainer Shane Sutton, more space for cyclists should be made available on UK roads.

"Our carriageways in the UK are not that different from the Netherlands and Denmark, where these things have been done, so we can fit these things in, in many situations, and where we can't, the key is to reduce traffic speed. The big problem with cycle safety is the differential in speed between cars and cyclists," said Jones.

He said that recently in London there had been schemes where pavements had been widened.

However, motoring organisation the RAC told AOL Cars cyclist safety is a "shared responsibility" between motorists and cyclists.

"We believe that motorists and cyclists can share Britain's roads safely with respect for one another and a respect for the law," RAC spokesman, Pete Williams, told us.

"Cycle safety is a shared responsibility for motorists and cyclists. It is vital that drivers are ever vigilant to bikes and ensure they give cyclists plenty of room and consideration at junctions and when overtaking.

"At the same time it is the responsibility of cyclists to be road legal, observe the law and most importantly to be visible at all times.

"More than 80 per cent of cyclists hold a driving licence and as such they have undergone road safety training."

Neil Greig from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) added: "Cyclists and fast moving cars clearly do not mix – any momentary mistake by a driver or cyclists means the cyclist comes of worse. On rural roads reducing speed would make little difference to that outcome so the best solution is separation.

"This can be done by shared pavements or cycle lanes or by a separate network. In Holland cyclists appear to have separate networks that cut straight across fields and make it much quicker to get between settlements by bike.

"This will all take time and money so we have to adopt short term solutions around mutual respect and learn to expect cyclist and share the road safely."

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