February 6, 2012

Withy King backs national cycling safety campaign

A Withy King solicitor has added his voice to the growing national concern over the dangers of cycling on Britain’s roads, led by the Times’ high profile ‘Cities Fit for Cycling’ campaign.

The Times campaign, launched following news reporter Mary Bowers’ near-fatal accident on her way to work, has received support from a number of famous faces including Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, Lord Alan Sugar and former Olympic rower James Cracknell.

Mark Hambleton, a solicitor at Withy King and keen cyclist, hopes to drum up local support for the campaign, which has received more than 17,000 signatures of support. “With the number of cycling accidents and fatalities rising year on year in the UK, it is important that we continue to push the Government to prioritise its road safety policies.

“High profile campaigns, like the one currently being run by the Times, are central to achieving the necessary changes to make the roads safer. Withy King represents a large number of injured cyclists following accidents on our roads and with the increasing popularity of cycling it is clear that something must be done to improve road safety.”

“The effects of accidents can be devastating for cyclists. Not only are there physical injuries to deal with but often financial losses too, such as loss of earnings and rehabilitation, not to mention damaged bicycle equipment. In terms of the wider economy, businesses lose time from the workforce as a consequence of time off work and we all end up paying higher motor insurance premiums.”

Jeff Jones, editor of online publication, BikeRadar.com, said: “The recent debate around cycling safety is incredibly positive. It is so rare to see cycling on the front page of a national newspaper, never mind two days in a row. It is this kind of campaign that appeals to the general public, which is precisely why it is so important; perhaps now we can elicit real change.

“I would encourage all cyclists to join the campaign. Cyclists are vulnerable road users and we need to put pressure on the Government to fund cycling-centric infrastructure and educate motorists on sharing the road.”

Mark continues: “There are a number of ways to reduce the risk of accidents while cycling many of which are now legal requirements. This includes fitting and illuminating front and rear lights and displaying a red rear reflector and amber pedal reflectors. Whilst it is not a legal requirement to do so cyclists should wear reflective clothing and display a white front reflector. Personally, I think that all cyclists should wear a helmet, as someone who cycles to work regularly I would not leave home without my helmet. When I am out on my bike or in my car I can never understand why so many cyclists take the chance and fail to wear a helmet, especially on our main roads.”

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