A Salford councillor who is a member of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) committee has said that cyclists need to show more respect to motorists. His comments came as hundreds of cyclists took to the city’s streets at the weekend to call for improved conditions for bike riders.
Conservative councillor Robin Garrido was speaking at a meeting of the committee where an update on cycling initiatives currently planned by TfGM was discussed, reports the Manchester Evening News.
He said that while motorist were often urged to be more considerate towards people on bikes, the opposite should also happen.
“There is a lot about motorists treating cyclists with respect but I think cyclists should also treat motorists with respect,” said Garrido.
“I would like to get a message out to cyclists to treat motorists with respect.
“There are things like crossing red lights, and crossing from the near side to the left hand side.
“I do think we ought to be telling cyclists to pay more attention to road users,” he added.
The councillor said he was in favour of TfGM’s efforts to provide better facilities for cyclists in Greater Manchester, but added: “We have all seen situations were cyclists seem to regard traffic lights as not necessarily for them or road signs as not being for them so we need to increase training for cyclists as well as motorists.
“If we improve facilities it may have a knock on effect to improve the way we cycling.”
However, Pete Abel, a volunteer of Manchester’s Love Your Bike campaign group said it was right that “people driving vehicles that can kill people” should have a bigger share of responsibility for the safety of vulnerable road users.
“All road users need to show respect to each other but it is car drivers that are responsible for the vast majority of deaths and injuries to other vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists and therefore they need to show a true level of respect for all vulnerable road users,” he said..
“People who drive one-tonne or 20-tonne vehicles have a higher responsibility because they are driving heavy vehicles with air bags that can kill people.”
TfGM’s transport strategy director Dave Newton said it provided training to foster mutual respect between motorists and those on bikes.
“What is required is mutual respect between motorists and cyclists,” he said. “We offer training to motorists and cyclists.
“With cyclist training, we help to give people more confidence and brush up on their skills in cycling in commuter-based traffic.”
On Saturday, as in many other cities across England, hundreds of cyclists took to the streets of Manchester to call for more Space for Cycling. You can see photos of the event on the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign’s Flickr stream.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.