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As a Cyclist, How Safe Do You Feel on Cheshire's Roads?

Published: 24th February 2021 20:31

Neston is a haven for cyclists who may welcome the chance to have their say on how safe they feel on Cheshire's roads.


Cyclists have an opportunity to express how safe they feel on the roads by filling out a short survey designed to help make the county's roads safer for everyone.

Any cyclist who lives and or cycles in or through Cheshire is being encouraged to complete the short survey from Cheshire Police's Roads and Crime Unit.

Officers will use the results of the survey to help shape the way they police the county's roads.

PC Lee Spencer, from the force's Roads and Crime Unit, said: "Everyone has the right to use the roads safely and we want to get a better understanding of the cycling landscape in order to make better informed decisions when completing education and enforcement activity, to help make the roads safer for everyone.

"A lot more cyclists have been getting out on their bikes throughout the pandemic to get their daily exercise or to commute to and from work. With the increase in cyclists on the roads, the county has also sadly seen an increase in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured.

"Cheshire can be a safe place to cycle and we want all road users to feel as safe as possible when out on the county's roads. This survey will give cyclists an opportunity to have their say on how they feel about cycling on Cheshire's roads and help shape how we police the roads."

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, said: "Since the national lockdown, we have seen a big increase in the number of people who have taken up cycling and there has been an increase in the number of fatal collisions involving cyclists in Cheshire.

"One life lost on our roads is one too many. I want cyclists to feel safe on the roads and I am encouraging anyone who cycles in or through Cheshire to complete the survey and tell us how safe they feel on the county's roads.

"I'll then work with the Constabulary to ensure cyclists' views are taken into account when we look at how we police Cheshire's roads now and in the future."

Cyclists have until Sunday 7 March to complete the survey, which can be found here.

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At 23:01 on 28th February 2021, Snapdragon commented:
It should be a legal requirement to wear bright clothing and use lights even in daylight. Too many riders wear dark outfits which disguise them especially in shadows on bright sunny days.
Rob Ward
At 11:41 on 1st March 2021, Rob Ward commented:
I've done the survey. I think the A540 should have a shared-use path: dual carriageways are dangerous for cyclists, and many have been killed or injured. Somehow money was found for a path along the A5117, when Powey Lane was an ideal alternative.
I agree with Snapdragon that cyclists should wear bright clothing, but prefer education to law, and not sure about lights in daytime.
Dennis L
At 00:09 on 3rd March 2021, Dennis L commented:
I agree with both previous comments and belonging to a British Cycle Club would be beneficial especially if it carries insurance for its members.
At 11:53 on 3rd March 2021, Vigilant commented:
Hi all,
I've included an excerpt from the Highway code below.

Please pay particular attention to Rules 64/66/69 and 71.

It sometimes helps to 'remind' ourselves of the requirements.
Lets all stay safe and not have any unnecessary visits A&E. They are very busy at the moment!!!

Rules for cyclists (59 to 82)

These rules are in addition to those in the following sections, which apply to all vehicles (except the motorway section). See also You and your bicycle.

Overview (rules 59 to 71),

RULE 59 Help yourself to be seen
Clothing. You should wear a cycle helmet which conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened
appropriate clothes for cycling. Avoid clothes which may get tangled in the chain, or in a wheel or may obscure your lights
light-coloured or fluorescent clothing which helps other road users to see you in daylight and poor light
reflective clothing and/or accessories (belt, arm or ankle bands) in the dark.

At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.

Cycle Routes and Other Facilities. Use cycle routes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings unless at the time it is unsafe to do so. Use of these facilities is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

Cycle Tracks. These are normally located away from the road, but may occasionally be found alongside footpaths or pavements. Cyclists and pedestrians may be segregated or they may share the same space (unsegregated). When using segregated tracks you MUST keep to the side intended for cyclists as the pedestrian side remains a pavement or footpath. Take care when passing pedestrians, especially children, older or disabled people, and allow them plenty of room. Always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary. Take care near road junctions as you may have difficulty seeing other road users, who might not notice you.

Cycle Lanes. These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). When using a cycle lane, keep within the lane when practicable. When leaving a cycle lane check before pulling out that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.

Bus Lanes. Most bus lanes may be used by cyclists as indicated on signs. Watch out for people getting on or off a bus. Be very careful when overtaking a bus or leaving a bus lane as you will be entering a busier traffic flow. Do not pass between the kerb and a bus when it is at a stop.

You should keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear
keep both feet on the pedals
never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends
not ride close behind another vehicle
not carry anything which will affect your balance or may get tangled up with your wheels or chain
be considerate of other road users, particularly blind and partially sighted pedestrians. Let them know you are there when necessary, for example, by ringing your bell if you have one. It is recommended that a bell be fitted.

You should look all around before moving away from the kerb, turning or manoeuvring, to make sure it is safe to do so. Give a clear signal to show other road users what you intend to do (see ‘Signals to other road users’)
look well ahead for obstructions in the road, such as drains, pot-holes and parked vehicles so that you do not have to swerve suddenly to avoid them. Leave plenty of room when passing parked vehicles and watch out for doors being opened or pedestrians stepping into your path
be aware of traffic coming up behind you
take extra care near road humps, narrowings and other traffic calming features
take care when overtaking

You MUST NOT carry a passenger unless your cycle has been built or adapted to carry one
hold onto a moving vehicle or trailer
ride in a dangerous, careless or inconsiderate manner
ride when under the influence of drink or drugs, including medicine.

You MUST obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals.

When parking your cycle find a conspicuous location where it can be seen by passers-by
use cycle stands or other cycle parking facilities wherever possible
do not leave it where it would cause an obstruction or hazard to other road users
secure it well so that it will not fall over and become an obstruction or hazard.

You MUST NOT cross the stop line when the traffic lights are red. Some junctions have an advanced stop line to enable you to wait and position yourself ahead of other traffic.
south wirral cyclist
At 13:56 on 3rd March 2021, south wirral cyclist commented:
Snapdragon - I agree that wearing some bright clothing (or high viz) is sensible, but I don't think daytime lights are necessary. Most cyclist vehicle collisions occur because either the driver or the cyclist hasn't looked (usually at a junction) rather than because the cyclist can't be seen.
south wirral cyclist
At 14:16 on 3rd March 2021, south wirral cyclist commented:
Generally I avoid A roads, as they do feel less safe and are generally unpleasant, due to the amount of noise generated by the traffic. Most of the time I feel safe on other roads, but there a minority of drivers who overtake cyclists too closely. The current highway code rule 163 states that when overtaking 'give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car'. This is somewhat ambiguous IMO, although the diagram is clearer. The police interpret this as a clearnce of 1.5m or 5' which means on most roads it's not possible to overtake a cyclist if there is oncoming traffic, but many drivers will try to squeeze passed with a clearance of 1'-2' without using the opposite lane. This is hazardous, if the cyclist has to avoid a pothole or is caught by a gust of wind. The proposed changes to the highway code will specify 1.5m (increasing to 2m above 30mph and for HGV's).
On more major roads, vehicles joining roundabouts can be hazard to cyclists already on them. The problem is that drivers tend to be looking for cars on the roundabout and will not see a cyclist, even if the cyclist is very close to them.
south wirral cyclist
At 14:54 on 3rd March 2021, south wirral cyclist commented:
I've completed the questionnaire, which I didn't find easy as many are multiple choice where no answer is appropriate. I assume the police can't improve cycle infrastructure, so they're more concerned with driver education (close pass overtakes, adequate observation at junctions, particularly roundabouts and driving at a speed where you can stop within the distance you can see ahead). As the police will attend whenever a cyclist is injured, they must have good statistics on where and why accidents happen. The survey is perhaps more concerned about where cyclists feel unsafe rather than where they actually are unsafe. They may also intend some cyclist education. e.g. using the primary position to block traffic when it's unsafe to be overtaken.
At 15:03 on 3rd March 2021, Vigilant commented:
If this questionnaire saves one persons life then it is definitely worth the time and effort.

Thank you Commissioner David Keane

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