British Cycling, the national governing body for cycling, has issued a statement in the wake of Paralympic champion Simon Richardson’s serious road incident saying that it is ‘working hard to address the issue of safety on the road’.

Martin Gibbs, British Cycling’s policy and legal affairs director, said: “There have been too many of these incidents recently and our members expect us to be taking a lead in improving the safety of cyclists on the road. The government is keen to see more cyclists on the road and we have been extremely successful in achieving that, but we also have a responsibility to make sure that the roads are as safe as they can be.”

Richardson is currently in a critical condition in hospital after apparently being hit by a van near Bridgend, South Wales, on Wednesday evening. Richardson has fractures to his spine, a broken pelvis and broken breast bone. A 59-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident, and later released on bail.

“We’re currently undertaking a survey with our members to find out what they regard to be the most important road safety issues and we’ll be taking that information to engage with the government to seek the necessary changes in legislation,” said Gibbs.

“There are many issues at play here such as increasing the level of awareness of cyclists, increasing mutual respect, improving road design and layout and looking at how we can communicate the responsibility that drivers have towards cyclists and pedestrians.

“I think that too often the courts get sentencing wrong when a driver causes injury and we need to look at the content of the driving test and issues like blind spots on lorries and cars.”

Several high-profile cyclists have died or been seriously injured in recent years on British roads as a result of being hit by, or colliding with, vehicles. In October 2005, well-known time triallist Zak Carr died after being hit by a car near Norwich. The driver was subsequently found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for five years.

In January 2008, time trial champion Jason MacIntyre died after being in collision with a vehicle near Fort William, Scotland. The driver involved in the incident pleaded guilty to careless driving and was fined £500 and banned from driving for six months.

Related links
Paralympic champion Simon Richardson injured in hit and run incident

  • stuart stanton

    The biggest sporting event in France back in 1903 was not the first ‘Tour de France’ but the Paris-Barcelona motor race. Among the participants were counted Maurice Garin and other noteable cyclists.

    They never made it past Bordeaux where the race was abandoned following nine deaths and numerous injuries. on th open. public roads of the route. The ‘Tour’s’ start-date was then brought forward to keep public interest.

    Such is the price of high, motorized speed.

    We are all with you Simon! Get well.

  • Peter

    The car loving “car-centric” culture we have in the UK needs to be disassembled. A recent episode of “Top Gear” showed our 3 lovely idiots driving souped up old bangers on the German autobahn – seeing how far they could push each car past 140mph. When Hammond reached 152mph, he was actually to be seen holding a telephone and then taking both hands off the steering wheel. While I appreciate that this is supposed to be entertainment, it is worrying to reflect that there are many halfwits out there who will absorb this “entertainment” in entirely the wrong way. The BBC is a prime culprit in perpetuating the myth that cars are for fun, for speeding, for stunts etc etc. The BBC needs to be challenged head on – if necessary by requesting the appropriate politicians to ask some very awkward questions at Broadcasting House

  • Angharad

    When there is clear blame attributable to a driver causing death, they should be banned for life. If any alcohol is involved they should br charged with murder and banned for life. If they shot someone, they could be jailed for life, cars and other vehicles are potentially lethal weapons, people who misuse them need to be seen as dangerous.

    There are too many cars on the roads, we need to reduce their numbers and improve public transport. Cycle paths are only an answer when they occur on every road upon which one can otherwise cycle, all road users need to be more aware of others and we all need more patience.