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Condition of UK roads another major concern

Almost two-thirds of UK cyclists (63 per cent) have experienced aggressive behaviour from motorists, according to a recent survey, while over half (56 per cent) believe the problem has increased significantly over the last five years.

Over 1,500 experienced and intermediate cyclists were questioned by cycle wear brand Fat Lad at the Back with the results released to coincide with National Road Safety Week.

The survey also found that 85 per cent of cyclists were concerned about the behaviour of motorists whilst on their bikes, whereas 94 per cent said they felt safe and confident on the road whilst driving.

Over a third said they had become better drivers since taking to two wheels.

Motorist hospitalised Cotswolds cyclist using ice cream cone

Speaking about the results, Fat Lad At The Back founder Richard Bye, said: “Cyclists feeling intimidated by UK motorists is not new news. What is concerning however is that cyclists feel that the problem of aggressive driver behaviour is on the rise.

“With more and more riders taking to the road we would encourage motorists to pay extra attention. It’s not about slamming drivers or pointing the finger of blame, it’s about encouraging everyone to take that little extra care and consideration. Providing riders with just a little more space can make all the difference in the event either party hits an obstacle in the road or has cause to swerve.”

Driver anger at cyclists often borne of ignorance of the law finds survey

Another finding was that 70 per cent reported having experienced a near miss with a car – something we regularly document here at road.cc via our Near Miss of the Day feature.

In contrast, only four per cent said they had experienced a near collision with another cyclist.

Cyclists were also concerned about the condition of British roads with 83 per cent of those polled believing them to be a real risk.

Last week we reported that nearly 100 cyclists a year are injured by potholes that councils deem too small to fix. Cycling UK has called for the Government to reallocate funding from its £15bn Road Investment Strategy and is also advocating a risk-based approach to assessment, pointing out that a pothole’s position in the road is as important as its size.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

61 comments

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srchar [717 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes

"General rage on the rise according to everyone."

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brooksby [2812 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

Well, National Road Safety Week isn't very well publicised, is it? I didn't even know that it existed...

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burtthebike [1280 posts] 2 months ago
18 likes

The problem really isn't the cyclists, it's the drivers themselves.  Sitting in a traffic jam that you've caused because you chose to drive must be extremely frustrating, and since most people find it hard to blame themselves, they pick on the nearest innocent person; the cyclist.

Then there is the MSM, which tells people it's alright to hate cyclists, so the drivers have a built in excuse.  And the policians who blame the cyclists for causing the congestion, and the celebrities who call them "nazis" "arrogant" etc, etc.

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crazy-legs [951 posts] 2 months ago
17 likes
burtthebike wrote:

The problem really isn't the cyclists, it's the drivers themselves.  Sitting in a traffic jam that you've caused because you chose to drive must be extremely frustrating, and since most people find it hard to blame themselves, they pick on the nearest innocent person; the cyclist.

Then there is the MSM, which tells people it's alright to hate cyclists, so the drivers have a built in excuse.  And the policians who blame the cyclists for causing the congestion, and the celebrities who call them "nazis" "arrogant" etc, etc.

Exactly this. Every single week somewhere in the press is another one of the standard "opinion pieces" designed solely as clickbait and which the newspaper/website in question can defend as being "opinion" and "designed to stimulate debate" whereas in fact it's nothing more than gutter press hate masquerading as some sort of "humour".

Personally, I felt that the Charlie Alliston case resulted in a rise in both the articles in the press and the behaviour on the road.

Motoring is expensive and frustrating and it's quite galling to see someone who pays no road tax* / insurance  filtering quietly past you while you're stuck in yet another interminable jam.

When I'm driving and see that happen I just think "I wish I was on my bike too" but apparently some people see it as nothing more than an excuse for the red mist to descend.

*yes I KNOW it's VED, I'm making a point!

 

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simonmb [571 posts] 2 months ago
13 likes

Drivers aggressive to cyclists are the same drivers who are aggressive to other motorists and aggressive to pedestrians trying to cross the road. They're probably aggressive in their workplace and to their families too. 

Why are we cyclists always so eager to play the unique victim??

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Wolfcastle50 [45 posts] 2 months ago
13 likes
simonmb wrote:

Drivers aggressive to cyclists are the same drivers who are aggressive to other motorists and aggressive to pedestrians trying to cross the road. They're probably aggressive in their workplace and to their families too. 

Why are we cyclists always so eager to play the unique victim??

I don't think we're the unique victim. It's just that we're on cycling website so that's what we're going to to talk about.

For balance then, I will add that I saw an aggressive driver while I was on a Zebra crossing.

Drivers are definitely far more aggressive now.

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simonmb [571 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes
Wolfcastle50 wrote:

It's just that we're on cycling website so that's what we're going to to talk about. [/quote]

But we're not uniquely cyclists. We're all pedestrians, and many of us are motorists too. 

Just saying we need to less often jump to the conclusion that the world is against only us when the fact of modern life is, sadly, the world has become a squeezed and often unpleasant place to live in.

There's talk of Copenhagen and Amsterdam as being cycling utopias. If this was a Holland-based website you'd be reading about aggressive cyclists as well as aggressive motorists. (Copenhagen is pretty much perfect though). 

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Simboid [116 posts] 2 months ago
23 likes
simonmb wrote:

Why are we cyclists always so eager to play the unique victim??

Because we ARE a unique victim. We’re as vulnerable as pedestrians but in amongst the traffic, unlike motorbikes we can be left as a receding speck in the mirror so often drivers don’t fear any comeback and, sin of all sins, we wear Lycra! How dare we?

Last week l caught the usual ‘Audi rep’ up at lights and gently asked him why he didn’t at least put his phone down while passing 6” away on a pedestrian crossing and got the usual response, “mind your own business...I pay for the road...I’m not taking crap from anyone covered in Lycra”.

Since he’d made what we were wearing my business I took huge pleasure in mocking his shiny teal suit, beige polyester shirt and utterly shit nylon tie, wished him well with the toilet roll sales and went on my way. 

Not really helping relations I know, but sometimes it just comes out.

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burtthebike [1280 posts] 2 months ago
7 likes
simonmb wrote:

Drivers aggressive to cyclists are the same drivers who are aggressive to other motorists and aggressive to pedestrians trying to cross the road. They're probably aggressive in their workplace and to their families too. 

It's an interesting subject, why people become aggressive when they get behind the wheel of a car, when they aren't usually aggressive, or at least, not to the same extent.   Just for the hell of it, I googled for why people become aggressive in a car, and there are many and varied studies and articles about it, and it would appear that many people change their behaviour when they get behind the wheel. 

Some of my favourites:

http://theconversation.com/road-rage-why-normal-people-become-harmful-on...

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-act-violence/201301/the-psychol...

https://gizmodo.com/why-we-become-such-assholes-when-we-re-behind-the-wh...

 

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downfader [213 posts] 2 months ago
11 likes
simonmb wrote:

Drivers aggressive to cyclists are the same drivers who are aggressive to other motorists and aggressive to pedestrians trying to cross the road. They're probably aggressive in their workplace and to their families too. 

Why are we cyclists always so eager to play the unique victim??

I think you're making a lot of assumptions about the psychology of the road. I know people in person who admit they wont move over when passing a cyclist but are the most lovely and loyal people in other regards.

And its not about "playing the victim" the police know this stuff is happening. The councils know its happening. Drivers groups like the AA know the road conditions have gotten worse. And everytime someone from our own says "playing the victim" its as bad as non-riders who label cyclists as uniformly "arrogant".

I would strongly suggest you do go and read the studies and draw an informed opinion instead of a reactionary one.

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don simon [1715 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes
srchar wrote:

"General rage on the rise according to everyone."

Utter bollocks!

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Goldfever4 [389 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
simonmb wrote:

Why are we cyclists always so eager to play the unique victim??

I really don't understand your POV here...

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Eton Rifle [48 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes
simonmb wrote:

Drivers aggressive to cyclists are the same drivers who are aggressive to other motorists and aggressive to pedestrians trying to cross the road. They're probably aggressive in their workplace and to their families too. 

Why are we cyclists always so eager to play the unique victim??

I'm sure drivers are also aggressive to other drivers but the consequences of being so are far less serious, aren't they? Usually no more than a shout (not even heard by the other driver) and a hand gesture.

I've been chased down the road and then run off it by a car driver, who then got out and threatened me with violence. It genuinely never seemed to occur to him that he could easily have killed me. A close pass can also be potentially fatal to a cyclist.

As for pedestrians, I don't think I've ever heard of a driver chasing a pedestrian in his vehicle. Cyclists seem to occupy this odd position in some drivers minds, a sort of pseudo car.

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Bill H [62 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

Here's my tuppence (and over-priced at that).

A lot of folk out there are facing a myriad of problems which include, but are not limited too:

A sedentary lifestyle with not enough exercise.

Bills going up while wages stagnate.

Societal expectations increasing thanks to social media, which makes all of the above worse.

Now, I am not a mind reader, but many people who struggle with these issues seem to be far happier moaning about it than being constructive. And when they see someone on a bike demonstrating that you can fit in some exercise, save a few quid on the commute and not seem to care what anyone else thinks (they will not know about  Strava) it really pisses them off.

Because if you can do it they cannot pretend that the odds are stacked against them. Or they might be bad tempered muppets. 

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don simon [1715 posts] 2 months ago
11 likes
Bill H wrote:

Here's my tuppence (and over-priced at that).

A lot of folk out there are facing a myriad of problems which include, but are not limited too:

A sedentary lifestyle with not enough exercise.

Bills going up while wages stagnate.

Societal expectations increasing thanks to social media, which makes all of the above worse.

Now, I am not a mind reader, but many people who struggle with these issues seem to be far happier moaning about it than being constructive. And when they see someone on a bike demonstrating that you can fit in some exercise, save a few quid on the commute and not seem to care what anyone else thinks (they will not know about  Strava) it really pisses them off.

Because if you can do it they cannot pretend that the odds are stacked against them. Or they might be bad tempered muppets. 

When Thatcher made everyone a selfish cunt, we lost our way.

Yes, I do blame her.

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burtthebike [1280 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes
don simon wrote:

When Thatcher made everyone a selfish cunt, we lost our way.

Yes, I do blame her.

Me too, even if her recession meant that I got a degree.  She was the epitome of stupid selfishness, and the UK has never really recovered.  Still, the tories are now self-destructing at a rather alarming rate, and will soon be out, and hopefully, whatever replaces them will be a lot more considerate of the poor and powerless, like cyclists.

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BehindTheBikesheds [1149 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes
simonmb wrote:

Drivers aggressive to cyclists are the same drivers who are aggressive to other motorists and aggressive to pedestrians trying to cross the road. They're probably aggressive in their workplace and to their families too. 

Why are we cyclists always so eager to play the unique victim??

That agression/attitude towards us can end in death and serious injury if not the feeling of being assaulted/fearful for your life and that happens regularly, very regularly multiple times a day in some instances where you feel your life is at risk.

Given that you may only ever encounter that person once in their lives I'd say that was more unusual comparative to a workplace colleague or family member and even more unique compared to a pedestrian given the KSI per mile caused by motorists and that they are not on the same strip of road at the ssame time for much of their journey as are most people on bikes.

The agressive nature of a motorist does not have the same impact when you are inside another steel shell, this is a fact.

That we have a large proportion of people saying they won't cycle because of the danger/fear presented by motorists/motor-vehicles is a good indicator as to how agression has a direct effect on our group, it certainly doesn't stop people from being a pedestrian does it?

So I'd say yes, our position is unique, we can even have hate speech said on radio and TV and in print and no-one gives a fook/bats an eyelid/police do nothing.

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drosco [428 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

From most of the posts I read on here, it's probably in line with forum rage.

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Bluebug [276 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
simonmb wrote:

Drivers aggressive to cyclists are the same drivers who are aggressive to other motorists and aggressive to pedestrians trying to cross the road. They're probably aggressive in their workplace and to their families too. 

Why are we cyclists always so eager to play the unique victim??

That agression/attitude towards us can end in death and serious injury if not the feeling of being assaulted/fearful for your life and that happens regularly, very regularly multiple times a day in some instances where you feel your life is at risk.

Given that you may only ever encounter that person once in their lives I'd say that was more unusual comparative to a workplace colleague or family member and even more unique compared to a pedestrian given the KSI per mile caused by motorists and that they are not on the same strip of road at the ssame time for much of their journey as are most people on bikes.

The agressive nature of a motorist does not have the same impact when you are inside another steel shell, this is a fact.

That we have a large proportion of people saying they won't cycle because of the danger/fear presented by motorists/motor-vehicles is a good indicator as to how agression has a direct effect on our group, it certainly doesn't stop people from being a pedestrian does it?

So I'd say yes, our position is unique, we can even have hate speech said on radio and TV and in print and no-one gives a fook/bats an eyelid/police do nothing.

You don't have a choice not to be a pedestrian.

Maybe because you are male, and dare say white, but I've get aggression from other road users regardless of the mode of transport I'm using, including as a pedestrian.

People are just rude and aggressive in general in towns and cities in the UK and if they think you can't or won't come back against them as there isn't anyone to witness their behaviour they let rip , try and run you down or run into you. And that includes male cyclists.

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brooksby [2812 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes
don simon wrote:
Bill H wrote:

Here's my tuppence (and over-priced at that).

A lot of folk out there are facing a myriad of problems which include, but are not limited too:

A sedentary lifestyle with not enough exercise.

Bills going up while wages stagnate.

Societal expectations increasing thanks to social media, which makes all of the above worse.

Now, I am not a mind reader, but many people who struggle with these issues seem to be far happier moaning about it than being constructive. And when they see someone on a bike demonstrating that you can fit in some exercise, save a few quid on the commute and not seem to care what anyone else thinks (they will not know about  Strava) it really pisses them off.

Because if you can do it they cannot pretend that the odds are stacked against them. Or they might be bad tempered muppets. 

When Thatcher made everyone a selfish cunt, we lost our way.

Yes, I do blame her.

Arguably she also pushed the idea that anyone not in a car isn't a real person: she's on record saying that any adult using public transport is clearly a failure in life, for example.

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srchar [717 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:

Arguably she also pushed the idea that anyone not in a car isn't a real person: she's on record saying that any adult using public transport is clearly a failure in life, for example.

She was referring to buses, which, let's face it, are hateful things. Wait for ages and three come at once. Slow. Stop every 300 yards. Circuitous routes. Rub shoulders with the general public. Slow down all the other traffic. 'orrible machines! Whenever I cycle past a huge queue at a bus stop, my first thought is the same as when I ride through a traffic jam - how do you do this every day? Get on your bike! (to quote a friend of Mrs. Thatcher...)

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srchar [717 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
Bluebug wrote:

People are just rude and aggressive in general in towns and cities in the UK

This. There's a lot of envy and hatred out there and it's the natural consequence of the infection of every aspect of our lives with politics. Identity politics in particular. Everyone is carved up into their special interest group, whether that be based on race, sex, age, party preference, view on the EU, mode of transport, all quietly (or not very quietly) seething at eachother because everything is always the fault of some other group of people and never due to one's own personal choices.

I mean, look at this thread. It's barely twenty posts old and people are suggesting in all seriousness that the current escalation in road rage is the fault of a politician who hasn't been in power for almost three decades.  If we are going to blame everything on Thatcher, it seems to me that we are letting every government since 1990, and all future governments, off the hook for failing to invest in cycling infrastructure, failing to deter reckless driving through suitable sentencing, failing to make motoring sufficiently expensive to cover its external costs, and the rest.

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Kadinkski [740 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:

Arguably she also pushed the idea that anyone not in a car isn't a real person: she's on record saying that any adult using public transport is clearly a failure in life, for example.

Is she? Please post the definitive link.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1938 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
Kadinkski wrote:
brooksby wrote:

Arguably she also pushed the idea that anyone not in a car isn't a real person: she's on record saying that any adult using public transport is clearly a failure in life, for example.

Is she? Please post the definitive link.

 

I'm sure you know there isn't one.  Though that questionable 'quote' in various forms has been in circulation for a very long time - I think I first heard it when the band Fatima Mansions called an album 'only losers take the bus' after it.

 

On the whole, Tories are a bit more prone to be petrolhead car supremacist evil motor-fascists than are other political groups, but it's only a general tendency and modest correlation - they exist in all parties (other than, probably, the Greens).

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FluffyKittenofT... [1938 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
srchar wrote:
brooksby wrote:

Arguably she also pushed the idea that anyone not in a car isn't a real person: she's on record saying that any adult using public transport is clearly a failure in life, for example.

She was referring to buses, which, let's face it, are hateful things. Wait for ages and three come at once. Slow. Stop every 300 yards. Circuitous routes. Rub shoulders with the general public. Slow down all the other traffic. 'orrible machines! Whenever I cycle past a huge queue at a bus stop, my first thought is the same as when I ride through a traffic jam - how do you do this every day? Get on your bike! (to quote a friend of Mrs. Thatcher...)

 

The same friend who recently blamed cycle lanes for air-pollution?

 

Anyway, buses are indeed completely useless, but that's in large part due to their being constantly and massively delayed by cars.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1938 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
srchar wrote:
Bluebug wrote:

People are just rude and aggressive in general in towns and cities in the UK

This. There's a lot of envy and hatred out there and it's the natural consequence of the infection of every aspect of our lives with politics. Identity politics in particular. Everyone is carved up into their special interest group, whether that be based on race, sex, age, party preference, view on the EU, mode of transport, all quietly (or not very quietly) seething at eachother because everything is always the fault of some other group of people and never due to one's own personal choices.

I mean, look at this thread. It's barely twenty posts old and people are suggesting in all seriousness that the current escalation in road rage is the fault of a politician who hasn't been in power for almost three decades.  If we are going to blame everything on Thatcher, it seems to me that we are letting every government since 1990, and all future governments, off the hook for failing to invest in cycling infrastructure, failing to deter reckless driving through suitable sentencing, failing to make motoring sufficiently expensive to cover its external costs, and the rest.

 

Nah.

 

Politics is a concequence of real conflict, you have it back-to-front.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1938 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Drivers are probably more aggressive simply because  there are more of them (in much larger vehicles taking up much more space) and they wind each other up by getting in each other's way.  Then they displace that anger on to those not of their 'tribe'.

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srchar [717 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

Politics is a concequence of real conflict, you have it back-to-front.

That's genuinely thought-provoking. What do you think is the root cause of the conflict that led to our current political landscape?

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fukawitribe [2088 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

Drivers are probably more aggressive simply because  there are more of them (in much larger vehicles taking up much more space) and they wind each other up by getting in each other's way.  Then they displace that anger on to those not of their 'tribe'.

Please tell me that's intended as a joke ...

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FluffyKittenofT... [1938 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes
fukawitribe wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

Drivers are probably more aggressive simply because  there are more of them (in much larger vehicles taking up much more space) and they wind each other up by getting in each other's way.  Then they displace that anger on to those not of their 'tribe'.

Please tell me that's intended as a joke ...

 

Don't get you.  Which element do you think isn't true?

 

  That there are more motorised vehicles than there used to be, that they are larger than they used to be, that the increasing number and size leads to increased delay and aggravation for each driver, or that they don't have a tendency to direct the resultant frustration disproportionately at those road-users not like themselves?

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