From: Paul Humphreys
A very interesting letter, last week from Ron Spicer (‘Cyclists have no consideration’, February 23), which shows the negative attitude, of a few car drivers, towards cyclists.
Unfortunately, the recent data from the Department for Transport shows Eastbourne is in the bottom 10 per cent for cycling ‘trips’, of all the 320 English local authorities.
Even worse is, based partly on this DfT data, Eastbourne is the 16th worst local authority, for cycling accidents. The theory is that as numbers drop, drivers become unused to cyclists. Those few remaining cyclists are then in even more danger.
One problem is that vehicles overtake without leaving enough space.
To counteract this, many UK police forces now use “cycle passing mats”, which are laid on the road. Drawn on the mat, 75cm from the kerb is a line, where the bike is, and then at a further 1.5m, or around 7 foot from the kerb, another line which is the passing distance.
When police officers stop drivers, most are totally unaware that they have passed the bike much too close.
All I can hope is, if the poor cycle numbers ever increase, drivers will get more used to cyclists.