September 2010

Cycling, safety and sharing the road


This report presents findings from qualitative research carried out with cyclists and other road-users in June 2009. That research was itself part of a larger programme for the Department of Transport. (You can download the full report at the foot of this page.)

The report is quite broad ranging, but my favourite part – if a researcher is allowed such a thing – is the Section 6 on sharing the road. And here’s my favourite quote:

“Whatever the law may say on the matter, the norms of road sharing, on roads with lane widths and speeds designed around cars, mean that cyclists are treated as anomalies.”

They’re not in the report, but I later created two simple pictures – below – to explain this point visually. In the first image the ‘cyclists’ look untidy and all over the place. In the second image the ‘cars’ look greedy. All that has changed is the ‘road markings’.

Untidy ‘cyclists’
Greedy ‘cars’