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.
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.
Dan Walker hit by driver on multi lane roundabout "wear a helmet!" pic.twitter.com/TrQyqzGoky
— Hackney Cyclist (@Hackneycyclist) February 22, 2023
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.”
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.
“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”.
There's a cycle path dangerous Dan should've used but chose to ignore, there again, cyclists feel they can cycle anywhere they like with scant regard to theirs or anyone else's safety for that matter.
I've zero sympathy for him.https://t.co/3xjaRqp00u via https://t.co/X1FfHqb8by
— Emma Louisa 🇬🇧❤️ (@EmmaLouisaJ) February 22, 2023
“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”.
I mapped TV's Dan Walker's route over Moore Street roundabout from the dash cam which has sadly been made exclusive to The Sunt and The Mail, who got the geographic details and the blame wrong. He was in the correct lane at all times. The driver was not when he cut the cyclist up pic.twitter.com/xYzVOucTYw
— Ben Cockayne (@benjamincockayn) February 22, 2023
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’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”.
This cycle lane has been filled with broken glass for days. It very often is. Maybe @mrdanwalker 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. https://t.co/uFwtfEKLbY
— CyclingInASkirt (@CyclingInASkirt) February 22, 2023
“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 road.cc 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.