The last few years have seen a number of improvements to the cycling network in London. With more money being spent on cycling lanes, hire schemes and leisure routes, seeing the capital by bike has never been so appealing — but London is a busy city, and can still be a dangerous place for cyclists.
A lot of cycling accidents that occur in London are not the cyclist’s fault, however precautions can still be taken to minimise the seriousness of an accident if one does occur. Wearing a helmet, wearing reflective clothing and making sure your lights work are all excellent places to start.
Commuting to work or exploring the city on a bicycle are both excellent ways to keep fit and save money. Cycling in London is unlike cycling in any other city — it has its own unique benefits and risks that anyone thinking of cycling to work must consider before hopping on their bike.
And who would know this better than real London cyclists? Cycle Aid has been speaking to cyclists from all around London to gather the ultimate safety tips for cycling in the capital.
“The best things about cycling in London are the fresh air, exercise, and not being squashed like a sardine on public transport,” says Martin, a 55-year-old cyclist who has experienced first-hand the joys — and dangers — of cycling in London.
“I cycle to keep fit and to avoid the stress of being caught in traffic jams. I don’t enjoy commuting in overcrowded buses and trains.”
Martin first began cycling to work in 1978, and has since progressed to taking long-distance cycle touring holidays in the UK and Europe. In August last year, Martin was injured in a road accident in Sudbury Hill, London.
“A driver spotted a parking space and rather than wait for me to cycle past it, took me and my bike into the space with him, knocking me off my bike and causing me to clatter my head, shoulder and arm against the kerb and road surface,” he explains.
Martin contacted Cycle Aid, and is currently making a claim for damages.
Having recently got back on his bike for the first time since his accident, he is now cycling to work three days a week, as well as cycling to local shops and sports grounds.
He believes that extra caution is required in London when cycling near roundabouts, bus stops, slip roads, road junctions, and roads with shops and parking spaces.
“Always look ahead and try to anticipate possible driver actions,” advises Martin. “ For example, pulling out of parking spaces, or passengers opening car doors without paying due care and attention.”
London Cycling Safety Tips
London Cycling Resources
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