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Motorists blame crash victim Dan Walker for not riding on underpass cycle lane – described by locals as “filled with broken glass”

Footage of the collision shows the driver veering into the TV presenter’s lane before hitting him from behind

Motorists have reacted to footage of the collision which left broadcaster Dan Walker “glad to be alive” by accusing the Channel 5 presenter of “putting himself in danger” by “ignoring” a nearby cycle lane – described by local cyclists as “filled with broken glass”.

On Monday, Walker, who took up cycling last year, revealed on Twitter that he had a “bit of an accident this morning” and was “glad to be alive after getting hit by a car” while riding his bike to Sheffield Station as part of his morning commute.

The former BBC Breakfast host also shared pictures of his facial injuries, which he described as a “mess”, though he added that he does not think he suffered any broken bones in the collision.

> Dan Walker "glad to be alive" after being hit by a driver while cycling 

Footage of the crash, captured by a motorist’s rear-facing camera, has since been shared by the Sun, and shows Walker cycling on a busy roundabout in Sheffield before a motorist veers across into his lane and hits him from behind, sending him clattering to the ground.

The 45-year-old was left unconscious for 25 minutes before police and paramedics arrived, and told the Sun that he has “zero recollection” of the collision.

“I thought I was a goner to be honest,” he said. “My face is a proper mess. I might need some surgery.”

> Video emerges of Dan Walker being hit by driver, but MailOnline claims “rear wheel caught car’s front wing” 

While Walker has attracted criticism since the collision from some road safety advocates after claiming on Twitter that “the helmet I was wearing saved my life” and imploring other cyclists to “get one on your head”, the publication of the crash footage has now resulted in the presenter being targeted by social media users unhappy that he seemingly “ignored” a nearby cycle lane.

Some motorists on Twitter have pointed out that Walker was riding on Moore Street roundabout, near Sheffield city centre, at the time of the collision, which is situated next to a cycle lane located on an underpass.

Why don't cyclists use cycle lanes? 

“This is insane, who attempts to cycle round a four-lane highway when there’s a completely separate cycle way especially built right beside it? Honestly, some cyclists really do not help themselves,” wrote one Twitter user.

Another claimed that they have “zero sympathy” for the presenter after watching the footage, and argued that the collision was evidence that “cyclists feel they can cycle anywhere they like with scant regard to theirs or anyone else’s safety for that matter”.

“Ah, so it turns out instead of Dan Walker using the designated cycling path away from a busy roundabout, he put himself in danger and by cycling foolishly hit the car rather than the car ‘hitting’ him as he claims,” the South Coast Captured Twitter account wrote, echoing MailOnline’s rather dubious headline which claimed that Walker’s rear wheel “caught [the] car’s front wing”.

However, local cyclists have defended the Channel 5 presenter’s choice to avoid using the subway, photos of which were published by the Mail, which has been described on Twitter as a “dank tunnel”. 

Moore Street underpass cycle lane, Sheffield (Google Maps)

Moore Street’s shared use underpass

According to Arbarthista, the ‘cycle lane’ in question is actually a shared use underpass, designed for pedestrians to cross under the roundabout, with “a few bits of paint to make it shared use”.

Another cyclist who has used both the roundabout and the shared use infrastructure described the underpass as “pretty good for surfacing, sight lines out are good but not entering so you can encounter nefarious characters”.

“I know this road well,” added Jack. “That underpass they reference is generally filled with broken glass, hence why a lot of riders avoid it.”

Sheffield-based CyclingInASkirt also claimed that the shared use lane “has been filled with broken glass for days”.

“It very often is,” she continued. “Maybe Dan Walker knew this, so went via the roundabout instead.

“Cyclists only use lanes fit for purpose – most of them are not. We aren’t doing it just to piss off motorists.”

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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Owd Big 'Ead | 334 posts | 6 months ago

I used to live less than a mile from the site of the accident a decade ago and still cycle in Sheffield on a regular basis when up visiting friends. The cycling infrastructure in the vicinity hasn't changed much, if at all in that time and has always been inadequate for what is an extremely well used cycling corridor in and out of the city centre, but also heading north to both the university and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
At the time of the incident the underpass would be thronged with pedestrians walking to work or their studies. Eccleshall Road which Dan will have cycled down to reach the roundabout is at the best of times bumper to bumper driving that walking and cycling are by far the quickest way to travel over shorter distances.
I note that some commenters think that he could easily have taken a different route to avoid the roundabout and the underpass, but the reality is that even with an E-bike this would require tackling some climbs or chancing it on other major roundabouts. They call Sheffield the Rome of the North for good reason, its built on 7 hills, resulting in both motor vehicles and cyclists being funnelled into the various valleys that offer the least gradient to move over.
Whichever route he had taken to reach his destination, Sheffield train station, would have required him to cross or join the inner ring road at some point. Unbelievably to some, the roundabout where the collision happened is probably the safest that he would have to negotiate had he chosen an alternative route.

PhilipH | 3 posts | 7 months ago

He was hit from behind, that driver should have been 6 foot away from Dan at ALL times. It's in the Highway Code, all those rules drivers are legally obliged to follow.

That said, (as car drivers are more often than not, a bunch of inconciderate morons when it comes to cyclists), I wouldn't dare ride on that road as it's just asking for trouble.

Poor Dan, I hope he recovers quickly.

Motdoc replied to PhilipH | 9 posts | 7 months ago

More people in the UK are killed in cars than on bikes. F1 drivers wear crash helmets, because they save lives. Why don't car drivers and passengers have to wear helmets? Why aren't cars all fluorescent colours?

Because people like choice, don't understand statistics and don't like being told what to do. You do you, let others get on with their lives. 

ktache replied to Motdoc | 5909 posts | 7 months ago

Felipe Massa was very glad for his helmet.

That was one of those "helmet saved my life" stories I can really get behind.

Edited to correct my horrendous mistake, thanks Awavey.

ktache replied to ktache | 5909 posts | 7 months ago

Nomex fire suits, in flouresent colours of course, to add to their safety when they leave the cocoon of the motor vehicle too.

5 point safety harnesses and HaNS for the extra weight of the helmets.

Mandatory fire extinguishers and external engine kill switches...

I mean, why wouldn't you?


Awavey replied to ktache | 3782 posts | 7 months ago
1 like

Felipe Massa ?

Rendel Harris | 5436 posts | 7 months ago

Why won't cyclists use the underpass? Umm...


Steve K replied to Rendel Harris | 1730 posts | 7 months ago

Even leaving aside the debris, that path looks designed to put cyclists and pedestrians in conflict.  The position of the street furnishing is going to lead to pedestrians straying into the cycle lane. 

Awavey replied to Rendel Harris | 3782 posts | 7 months ago
1 like

But there are two points there to make, firstly is anyone reporting the debris to the council so it's a registered issue, or just treating it as someone else's problem to deal with.

Secondly, I spent no more than 5mins on google maps and found an alternate route around that roundabout that wasnt massively of the way with no underpass, I'm sure there are far more if we knew Dans actual origin and destination points.

It is not simply a choice between the roundabout or underpass.

chrisonatrike replied to Awavey | 6799 posts | 7 months ago

On the "personal responsibility" - yes, but some people even do voluntary maintenance.  Equally, if people report stuff but it's not obvious that anything happens - or they see the same issue continue for a long time, they stop reporting or don't bother.

Different routes.  Well yes... and bravo, that's what many here would do (probably for variety).

The general point is we don't have a "network" for cycling.  Provision in the UK falls between the stools of "just use the roads" and "provide the odd bit of infra but only suitable for a couple of mph faster than walking - and cyclists will be happy to walk anyway".  We have a network for driving.  If one road is blocked your satnav will reroute you and / or locally you get advanced notice and then there is almost always a diversion signed.

You can certainly cycle on the road network - but not even everyone on this site would cycle on the roundabout mentioned.  Most people just don't, though.

If you drive somewhere new in the UK - especially if in urban places - you normally don't have to consider the likelihood that you might:
 - suddenly go off an A-road onto a single track road
 - ... or a dirt track
 - or pass through locations where you genuinely fear you'll be car-jacked
 - or might need to double-check you're ready to change a wheel
 - or have to get out of your car on several occasions (e.g. to open gates)
 - or might suddenly be driving in an environment that feels dangerous (no real car parallel to cycling on a fast busy multi-lane road here)
 - or might see a logical route between two points but know that you probably need a much more complicated, longer alternative
 - or might not be able to travel companionably with a passenger, or take your children.

When cycling it's definitely "adventure travel".  I personally like the fun of "finding a route" but most people do not.  (I've some relatives who simply do not read maps - it's almost "sat nav or don't travel").

JustTryingToGet... | 487 posts | 7 months ago

My perspective, and it might just be because of an unfortunate stint in Milton Keynes, but 99% of the time I'm gonna take the road and not an underpass. Glass and debris are always going to be issues and I would be genuinely worried about who is lurking in there.

I used to have to turn right at a terrible roundabout, with truly appalling driving standards and I used to hug the outside lane exit to exit... not my proudest moments cycling but kept me alive.

Shocking, murderous level driving, I hope he fully recovers soon.

wtjs | 3081 posts | 7 months ago

My normal practice over the usual unpleasant sad gits on here is to ignore any post by them, or responding to them- this works quite well and saves a lot of time. However, some of them have become so repellent that I will now step up and repeat the recommendation of others that the usual suspects are completely disregarded until they disappear and come back under another alias. It won't take long for their habitual smell to be identified!

chrisonatrike replied to wtjs | 6799 posts | 7 months ago

Yup.  Apply duck typing.  Give it a little time, apply a "sympathetic reading" - but these folks can't help themselves - as shown by the multiple returns / personas.  If someone's poking most other people for a reaction / attention you know what it is.  The argument that because they're trotting out a collage of views that other people also hold doesn't change what the basic behaviour is.

Edit - I should add that a quick perusal of this informative article and the "see also" linked list should help distinguish "having a different opinion (especially if connected to strong emotions)" from other cases.

ibr17xvii | 521 posts | 7 months ago

I used to ride with a GoPro on the front but a few months ago stopped bothering as Lancashire Constabulary just simply aren't interested in any video submissions so I thought what was the point? Nothing will happen so I am wasting my time.

Appreciate in certain circumstances video footage can be vital but I was so disillusioned with LC that any enthusiam I had for at least trying to do my bit was knocked out of me.

giff77 replied to ibr17xvii | 2127 posts | 7 months ago

Keep using your go-pro. Even if you don't report incidents it means if something serious happens then there is some form of witness.  

cyclisto | 729 posts | 7 months ago

The case is super simple for me.

The roads is filled with careless, drunk, smartphone users, new, mentally challenged drivers driving 1,5 ton steel cages. In that video there is clearly one of them, fortunately the driver was going slow and fortunately wearing a helmet meant only face damage (yeah yeah I know, helmets are not good, he would still be safe without, there are studies that make them useless etc etc)

In such a dangerous environment people who want to live and commute like me and Dan should try to use their segregated infrastructure. I undestand the broken glass and muggers issues, but a flat tire or getting you bike robbed is less pain than getting killed or stuck in a wheelchair. I wear heavy urban tires and have practically inexistent punctures on correctly fitted tires, so to me punctures is more of a choice rather than a mishap. I understand the safety issues, but when in my previous work commute I had an option of a big 3-lane urban road and a night return ride at a park with drug users and other dubious people, I would definitely prefer the park option rather than having the risk of getting injured and inevitably and every time breath the diesel exhausts of motor vehicles.

So use segregated infrastucture, demand and lobby for it to be created, report and even personally try to maintain it in good working order and use it to showcase how good it works, so more of it gets constructed. Until at least all cars get fully emissions free and perfectly autonomous driving.

Mungecrundle replied to cyclisto | 3022 posts | 7 months ago

Damned right. Anyone who leaves home with less than NCAP 5* passenger protection is their own worst enemy. 15 minute cities are a sick joke when the government should be legislating for anyone without a car to not leave their house except for arranged collection by armoured convoy which can take them to the nearest park for some traffic free exercise safe inside some sort of heavy duty truck proof fence.

eburtthebike replied to Mungecrundle | 4644 posts | 7 months ago

Just to be clear, and despite claims to the contrary, I for one, called for it.

ChrisB200SX replied to eburtthebike | 1622 posts | 7 months ago

Me too  1

Steve K | 1730 posts | 7 months ago

I've not discussed the incident at work, but one of my colleagues has just posted on our team's Teams chat:

"My other musing today is how Dan (from the telly on his bike) - has gone from poor Dan nearly died to Dan should have worn brighter clothes and used the subway under the junction."

Steve K replied to Steve K | 1730 posts | 7 months ago
Steve K wrote:

I've not discussed the incident at work, but one of my colleagues has just posted on our team's Teams chat:

"My other musing today is how Dan (from the telly on his bike) - has gone from poor Dan nearly died to Dan should have worn brighter clothes and used the subway under the junction."

I'm glad to be able to add that, following a bit more discussion, she concluded 

"I know.....awful.....its completely the driver!" [to blame]

Oldfatgit | 745 posts | 7 months ago

No LiGhTs ...

And yet, you don't see the *back* of the bike#

# I've watched the version linked in the Hackney Cyclist twitter feed (above) that someone has increased the brightness on ... and you still can't see the back of the bike. No fecking way am I boosting the Fails viewing figures, and i aint too keen on the Bun either.

No front light <> no rear light.

Follow up ...
The video is evidence, so how are these organisational able to publish on their international websites?
Has this now prejudiced any potential court case?

Rendel Harris replied to Oldfatgit | 5436 posts | 7 months ago

I'm not so sure that he doesn't have a front light, it's difficult because the video is so dark but there is certainly a white patch at the front of the bike. From other pictures released by Mr Walker he is riding a GoCycle White electric bike which, if it's the 2022 model, has integrated daylight running lights.

Oldfatgit replied to Rendel Harris | 745 posts | 7 months ago

My comment is based more of the assumption by commentators that just because *they* can't see a front light, automatically means that he wasn't using a rear light ... when in fact we never see the rear of the bike.

But I do agree, it is difficult to ascertain if the front light is on, especially as it seems to *visually*[1] have the same luminosity as the reflective detail on his gloves.

[1] to my eyes and on my viewing device.

BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 920 posts | 7 months ago

How nasty must one be to blame the cyclist for being hit from behind? 

hutchdaddy | 172 posts | 7 months ago

The wise Daily Express Also talking out of the wrong end of it's body...

AidanR replied to hutchdaddy | 401 posts | 7 months ago

"Dan Walker has been criticised by safety campaigners who have argued he and the driver were jointly responsible for the Channel 5 News presenter's recent crash."

Ah yes that well respected organisation, tirelessly campaigning for road safety *checks notes* the Alliance of British Drivers.

wycombewheeler replied to hutchdaddy | 4053 posts | 7 months ago
hutchdaddy wrote:

The wise Daily Express Also talking out of the wrong end of it's body...

Even worse below the line, with swivel eyed loon brexiteers claiming Dan moved in front of the driver.

Is it any wonder that drivers don't get convicted when there will always be jury members ready to blame the cyclist fur any collision. Even with clear video evidence of the driver changing lanes into a cyclist and hitting him from behind, they still say "cyclist cut him up"

AidanR | 401 posts | 7 months ago

I suspect that Dan Walker was obscured from the driver's view by the car's A pillar just before they took him out. I'm not saying that to excuse the driver - they should have observed the cyclist prior to that - but to highlight how terrifyingly easily such collisions can occur. Drivers are generally looking out for other vehicles (which would have been too big to be obscured in such a way) and not for us lot on bikes. Dan Walker was doing everything right, and he nearly got killed.

NOtotheEU replied to AidanR | 821 posts | 7 months ago
AidanR wrote:

I suspect that Dan Walker was obscured from the driver's view by the car's A pillar just before they took him out. . . . . Dan Walker was doing everything right, and he nearly got killed.

Exactly. Drivers cannot be trusted so A pillars have to be built thick enough to survive a roll over and protect . . . . the driver (& screw everyone else).


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