30mph cyclists are 'more alarming' than 50mph motorists according to a speedwatch group

They caught one motorist doing 50mph in a 40mph but said they were more worried about the danger posed by cyclists riding within the speed limit

A lone cyclist on a country road in County Durham (Photo by RDImages/Epics/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A local speedwatch group in Devon have said that despite catching 10 per cent of vehicles in a 40mph zone exceeding the speed limit they were more alarmed to find cyclists doing between 30 to 35mph.

Volunteers in Tavistock, West Devon, were out monitoring excessive speeds by a local bus stop and caught five out of 53 vehicles going over the speed limit in a 40mph zone, with one driver caught speeding at 50mph.

>>> Painted bike lanes are waste of money that do nothing to make people feel safer, say cycling commissioners

However, the group's manager, Gregg Manning, said he was more worried by the cyclists who were passing through below the speed limit.

"What was perhaps more alarming were the cyclists who on average came past the bus stop at between 30 to 35mph," Manning said. "With a rider weighing perhaps 12 stone travelling at 35mph, with the bike as well, the combined impact that would have on a pedestrian would cause serious injuries or even death."

Manning went so far as to say something had to be done about cyclists who are "invisible to authorities" and pose a "real danger" on the road.

He did admit that cyclists were not doing anything illegal but that it didn't mean they weren't doing anything dangerous, saying: "When you watch them come through the village and over the narrow crossing point going as fast as they possibly can it is very dangerous if a pedestrian crosses.

"What is even worse is that unlike bikers who wear protective clothing, these riders wear the thinnest of material with lots of bare flesh. Bare flesh and tarmac do not mix.

"I am sure this will generate some reaction from the biking world but I really am only stating facts — I want to know how long it takes to stop a bike at that speed."

One cyclist told Tavistock Today: "I ride a push bike very regularly — I always obey the rules. We’re not all the same."

Cyclist safety is often subject to debate, with Britain's cycling and walking commissioners, who count Olympian Chris Boardman among their ranks, recently calling painted cycle lanes a "gesture" that do nothing to make people feel safer while cycling.

They claim the government has wasted hundreds of millions of pounds painting white lines on Britain’s roads and calling them cycle lanes.

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.