Bike Week is an annual opportunity to promote how cycling can a part of everyday life for all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Delivered by Cycling UK, this week is a platform for the many health and environmental benefits of cycling, with hundreds of events taking place across the UK.
As the biggest nationwide cycling event in the UK, Bike Week encourages over half a million people to join in events, rethink their everyday journeys and switch to cycling as the most convenient way to get around.
Cyclists are among those most vulnerable on the road. Because of that, raising awareness of road safety is intrinsic in encouraging more people to cycle – especially in cities where the risk is greater.
The Future of City Cycling
When it comes to city cycling, how does the UK compare to Europe?
This week it has been announced that Manchester and Salford will be the latest UK cities to embrace bike-hiring schemes, similar to that of London and European cities such as Amsterdam and Paris. The two North West cities will be the first to adopt the Mobike service. The bike-hire scheme will see users leave bikes at allocated sites across the cities, as opposed to being confined to docking stations.
In terms of green-thinking, the cycling initiative cuts the dangerous CO2 emission of car pollution while tackling congestion and gets more people hitting the road on two wheels for shorter trips.
It is up to us as a community to be vigilant when it comes to vulnerable road users.
People are often surprised to learn that when it comes to laws surrounding road traffic collisions where cyclists are involved, the UK is behind other countries in Europe. In certain European jurisdictions an injured cyclist would not need to establish the fault of the involved motorist; it would be presumed that the defendant driver was at fault unless proven otherwise. This system is known as “presumed liability” – something that we in the UK are without. In English and Scottish law, a cyclist must prove that a defendant driver was negligent on a balance of probabilities. This is something that can be difficult to prove.
Because of that it is up to us as a community to be vigilant when it comes to vulnerable road users. Car-dooring and passing too close to cyclists are just two things that motorists should be aware for the many cyclists of Britain to enjoy the roads in safety.
The cycling lawyers at Slater and Gordon can provide you with free legal advice on cycling injury claims in an online guide that you can download and print.
Call us for a free consultation on 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.
Richard Gaffney is Slater and Gordon’s principal lawyer for Cycling UK (previously CTC), the national cycling charity.