The results of road.cc’s latest poll show that nearly all cyclists have experienced some form of road rage.
The shocking result was gained after more than 200 people responded to the question: “Have you ever been the victim of road rage?”, on the road.cc website, showing that while cyclists may be hate figures in some quarters, they are far more sinned against than sinning.
Of the 222 people responding to the poll only nine per cent have never had a problem.
The majority (61 per cent) have suffered occasional verbal abuse, nine per cent have suffered regular verbal abuse and 22 per cent - almost a quarter of voters – have suffered worse than verbal abuse while cycling on the nation’s roads.
Comments on the website detailing specific incidents include a driver deliberately driving into a cyclist at a roundabout, drivers abandoning their cars to chase or confront cyclists on foot and a London cycling commuter who was punched in the face on two separate occasions after telling motorists they were driving the wrong way down a one-way street.
Commenting on the results, road.cc editor Tony Farrelly said: “ Although cycling has got a vast amount going for it sadly all too often the attitudes of other road users aren't one of them. The poll result won't be a surprise to many cyclists for whom a certain level of abuse is a part of daily life, there is an awful lot of resentment towards cyclists out there, but then our roads are very angry places anyway.
"What is worrying is the high proportion of people, more than 20 per cent, who said they had been the subject of 'worse than verbal abuse'. It just shows how compelling the case for cycling is that despite all of this the numbers of cyclists continues to grow.”
The road.cc poll was conducted in response to recent stories on the website showing that anti-cyclist feelings run high amongst motorists and can be sparked by relatively minor cycling-related matters.
Last week road.cc ran stories about a filter lane on a York Street - which attracted a massive amount of anti-cycling comment in a very short time on the local paper's website, and a Guardian blog - supposedly a cycling one - which invited much the same response to a story about a cyclist as the victim of some pretty extreme violence.
We've also seen how different things are in Holland, which does make you wonder if Britain's roads are just angry places or whether cyclists are a particular target of that anger?
And the results are interesting when looked at against the increasing number of stories about police “crackdowns” against errant cyclists.
In Brighton and Hove, police have pledged to crack down on cyclists who ride irresponsibly saying cyclists themselves are to blame for a third of the accidents they are involved in. And who’s responsible for the other two-thirds?
A recent report in the Bath Chronicle says police issued 100 fixed penalty notices in the past six months to crack down on cyclists who break the rules, while cycling campaigners say the long-term answer is to create more cycle lanes in the city.
And here's a road.cc story about Edinburgh police’s crackdown on cyclists.
As always, the remedy to this situation is complicated and, cycling organisations say, a combination of improved road conditions combined with campaigns to increase the numbers of cyclists thereby increasing safety levels and general acceptance of cycling, as has happened in other countries.
What our road rage results show very clearly, however, is that cyclists in Britain suffer more than their fair share of abuse.