Drivers have become more patient with cyclists since lockdown, says survey

Two-thirds of drivers interviewed still get frustrated with cyclists, however

(Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(Image credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Drivers have become more patient with cyclists since the coronavirus lockdown, according to a new survey.

Nearly a third of drivers interviewed said they believed they were being more patient with cyclists on the road, while 36 per cent said they had noticed an increase in patience between motorists and cyclists.

This is according to a survey conducted by breakdown firm Green Flag, who spoke to 1,000 drivers and 1,000 cyclists after lockdown saw quiet roads open up to cyclists who were still permitted to undertake daily exercise while car journeys were banned except for necessities.

In London, the improvement in relations is most noticeable, with more than half of drivers saying they have found a new understanding for people who cycle since lockdown restrictions were eased.

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However, two-thirds of drivers still get frustrated when sharing the road with bikes and nearly half of cyclists said their main irritation was motorists driving too close.

The main annoyance drivers have with cyclists is when they skip red lights, 41 per cent saying this was the most irritating habit of those who travel on two wheels, closely followed by cyclists travelling in groups, which was said by 39 per cent of respondents.

"There has always been somewhat of a rivalry between drivers and cyclists competing for space on UK roads. While this research does show that there is still some existing tension amongst both, it is promising that with cycling gaining such popularity during the lockdown period, there is an increased understanding between them," Mark Newberry, commercial director at Green Flag, said of the research.

"Despite friction amongst the motorists, it is important to remember that the safety of each group relies on the actions of the other. At Green Flag, we conducted this research to raise awareness of this, to ensure that drivers recognise that there will likely be more cyclists on the streets and to be conscious of that, and for the increasing numbers of cyclists to be conscious of their role in sharing the roads safely with motorists."

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