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Short stretch of off-road path to be installed where rider thrown from bike after being struck by wing mirror

A cyclist in North Yorkshire has won a campaign to have the layout of a road changed to improve safety. Zdenka Rosolova began fighting for the changes after she was thrown from her bike after being clipped by a vehicle’s wing mirror as she rode to work towards the end of 2011, reports the Craven Herald and Pioneer.

North Yorkshire County Council has said that it will now lay a small section of cycle path at the point where the incident took place on the A59 as it approaches Broughton Hall, where Ms Rosolova works, from Skipton, where she lives.

“I was cycling along thinking about Christmas and what I was to bake for my colleagues when the next thing I knew I was on the floor,” explained Ms Rosolova.

“I was wearing all the proper lights and hi-vis clothes, but still the driver hit me with his wing mirror at full speed.

“Luckily, I fell into the ditch and not into the road where I could have been run over. I was not seriously hurt but very shocked.

“The driver stopped immediately and drove me to work at Broughton Hall and the accident was reported to the police.

“It was a very frightening experience so I was determined to try to get something done about it because a lot of people cycle along there to work.

“After nearly a year of communication and emailing, they promised to implement the changes. I was amazed,” she added.

Ms Zdenka, who competes in triathlons, says that as a thank you to the council, she plans to bake a cake for staff at the council’s highways department, adding: “Being from the Czech Republic, it’ll possibly be chocolate sponge and spicy,” she said.

A North Yorkshire County Council spokesman told the newspaper: “There is a short length of the A59 on the approach to the Broughton Hall turning where there is no ‘metre strip’ of tarmac behind the white edge line.

“We are going to build a short length of cycle track on the verge, about 20 metres long and one metre wide, so that cyclists can keep out of the line of traffic.”

While it’s encouraging that the council listened to Ms Zdenka’s appeal for safety improvements at the location where the incident took place, the one-metre wide strip on the A59 itself that the council refers to – it’s unlear if it’s designated as a cycle lane – is less than those stipulated by the DfT’s Cycle Infrastructure Design guidelines, which state:

7.4.1 A cycle lane offers cyclists some separation from motor traffic. Under the National Cycle Training Standards, cyclists are trained to ride in a safe position in the carriageway which is usually at least 1 metre from the kerb edge to avoid gulley grates and debris, and to ensure that they are within the sightlines of drivers waiting at side roads.

7.4.2 Cycle lanes should be 2 metres wide on busy roads, or where traffic is travelling in excess of 40 mph. A minimum width of 1.5 metres may be generally acceptable on roads with a 30 mph limit. For cycle feeder lanes to advanced stop line arrangements, a minimum width of 1.2m may be acceptable. Cycle lanes less than 1.2 metres wide cannot easily accommodate tricycles or child­carrying cycle trailers wholly within the lane.

The A59, designated a important east-west cross route, has previously featured in the Road Safety Foundatoin's list of Britain's most dangerous roads, compiled annually for EuroRAP. 

If Broughton Hall rings a bell, it's because the venue hosted a round of the Rapha Supercross Series last autumn.

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.