Sir Chris Hoy calls for more respect on the roads and says Scotland can become a nation of cyclsts
Olympian wants greater investment in cycling infrastructure and end to 'them and us' attitudes on the road
Scotland can become a nation of cyclists in the manner of Denmark or the Netherlands believes Sir Chris Hoy, but to make that possible road users need to show more respect for each other and the law and to break out of the 'them and us' attitude that exists between drivers and cyclists.
In a wide ranging interview with the Herald Scotland the Olympic hero called for better cycling infrastructure, better road surfaces and more workplace cycling facilities. He also pointed out that Scotland's weather is no worse than that in Denmark where 13 per cent of all journeys are currently made by bike or the Netherlands where the figure is 27 per cent. In Scotland cycling currently accounts for 1 per cent of all journeys.
"If you look at somewhere like Denmark, for example, we can't use the excuse that it's the weather here. They have cold winters, too. It's about making cycling an easier and more pleasant thing to do. If you make things easy then people will do it.
"That means workplaces having somewhere to store bikes and changing facilities as well as creating clear bike lanes that are actually meaningful and not just a bit of paint on the side of the road which other road users aren't really aware of."
"You hear horrendous stories about accidents and people losing their lives. You want to do what you can to raise awareness and make things safer."
As well as better infrastructure for cycling Sir Chris also spoke of his belief that the attitudes of road users towards one another needed to change if cycling is to grow.
"There is a car advert, which says, 'At the end of the day, we are all just people trying to get somewhere', and that's very true.
"Ultimately, cyclists have a responsibility too. They have to obey the rules and treat the road with the same respect," he told Herald Scotland.
"That's the frustrating thing. You don't remember cyclists who are law-abiding – you remember the one that jumped a red light or who was riding on a pavement. It's about everyone having a bit more respect for other road users across the board.
"The more people who cycle, the more other road users are going to think, 'I know what it's like so I'll give more space and respect'," he said.
This is not the first time that Britain's greatest Olympian has spoken out in favour of better facilities for all cyclists and spoken of his desire to see cycling grow as a form of transport. Earlier this year he gave his support to the Pedal on Parliament campaign which saw cyclists from all over Scotland ride to the the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood House to demand more investment in cycling.
Hoy has also long been a supporter of the drive to improve road surfaces and fill in potholes and after the Beijing Olympics fronted a campaign by the Aggregates Industries to highlight the dangers of potholes on UK roads.