Most regular cyclists in the UK believe that people riding bikes on the road should be required to undergo training before doing so, according to a new survey.
Commissioned by Kwik-Fit Insurance Services, the survey also found only a quarter of people who had ever ridden a bicycle on the road – who made up 63 per cent of the sample – say they feel safe when doing so.
The survey, conducted by YouGov last month among 2,161 UK adults aged 18-plus, found heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are the type of vehicle most likely to make people feel unsafe when riding on the road.
Across all respondents, 75 per cent agree that there should be a compulsory test before people can take their bike onto the road – rising to 80 per cent among those describing themselves as frequent drivers, compared to 56 per cent of people who cycle frequently (as opposed to “sometimes,” “rarely” or “never.”
The survey shows that cyclists and motorists are more often than not one and the same person, with 68 per cent of frequent drivers having ridden a bike on a road at some point.
Respondents were also asked about education of motorists and cyclists about road safety issues.
88 per cent of both cyclists and non-cyclists agree that “More should be done to educate cyclists on how to deal with and be more aware of motorists on public roads in the UK.”
Meanwhile, 84 per cent of all respondents say that “More should be done to educate motorists on how to deal with and be more aware of cyclists on public roads in the current UK driving tests.”
By gender, men are more than twice as likely as women to feel safe riding a bike on a public road, at 34 per cent versus 16 per cent, while 41 per cent of under-25s said they do, compared to 21 per cent of the over-55s.
Regionally, only 11 per cent of people in Wales feel safe, compared to 29 per cent of those riding on the streets of London.
Previous surveys have shown that the perception of danger is a major barrier to increasing levels of cycling in the UK, something confirmed in this latest research with 71 per cent of people who believe public roads are “very unsafe” being lapsed cyclists.
You can read the full Kwik-Fit Insurance Services report on cycle safety on their website.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.