Crashes involving cyclists increase in Colchester

First published in Local News

CYCLISTS in Colchester face daily danger with many inspired by the Olympics getting on and then being knocked off their bikes.
 

While the number of deaths and serious injuries (KSIs) on the roads are falling dramatically the number of cyclists being hurt in Colchester is rising sharply.
 

Adam Pipe, the casualty reduction manager for Essex, revealed the number of KSIs have halved in the last ten years but cyclists are now one of the highest at risk groups.
 

He said: “Our priority are motorcyclists who account for 26 per cent of KSIs and cyclists.
 

“Since the Olympics we have seen a dramatic increase.
 

“Lots of people are returning to cycling and Colchester [a cycle town] has the highest problem.”
 

He revealed Colchester firefighters have become aware of the problem and some are now training to be bikeability instructors to help teach people how to ride safely.
 

In 2011 there were 69 KSis involving cyclists.
 

This rose to 88 in 2012 and this year is already up to 42 since April.
 

For all KSIs there were 669 in 2012/13 with 42 deaths.
 

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “Essex has a long and proud history policing the roads but 42 is 42 too many.
 

“Cyclists and young people are being killed.”
 

One of those hit earlier this year was Alan Lawrence.
 

He was on his daily bike ride when he collided with two cars driving at at 60mph.
 

The accident was pure fluke for the experienced cyclist, whose front tyre skidded on a stone when he was braking in January.
 

He had a lucky escape, suffering only minor injuries.
 

Alan, 46, of Haddon Park, Colchester, said everyone needed to take responsibility for their own safety.
 

He said: “It’s so easy to get into a situation where you’re in danger, as I well know.
 

“Sometimes it is stupidity though.
 

“From a car driver’s point of view there has been an influx of people on bikes just to get about.
 

“Some of them ride on paths and jump the lights.
 

“I don’t know if we have the police officers to do it now but these people should be taken to one side and given the rap on the knuckles or a fine.
 

“Personally I think people who are new to cycling should get to know their bike and know what it is capable of.
 

“They should also avoid rush hour and stay away from the centre during these times.
 

“Colchester is safe for cyclists but there are steps you can take to make it easier.”

 

Comments (6)

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2:06pm Wed 7 Aug 13

greenbroker says...

“They should also avoid rush hour and stay away from the centre during these times. What a ridiculous statement. That's when they need to use their bikes most of all. It all looks like the cyclists fault according to your article IMO. Teach motorists to give cyclists more room.
“They should also avoid rush hour and stay away from the centre during these times. What a ridiculous statement. That's when they need to use their bikes most of all. It all looks like the cyclists fault according to your article IMO. Teach motorists to give cyclists more room. greenbroker
  • Score: 3

4:42pm Wed 7 Aug 13

romantic says...

I cycle a lot, and survive by assuming everybody else is a blind, deaf idiot. But I´m also a motorist and pedestrian and sometimes you see the other side.

Cyclists have to remember that they have a lot less protection on a bike than the metal boxes they are weaving around. I see lots of good cyclists, but also substantial numbers who come tearing along busy pavements, or straight across red lights, or riding without lights at night. These are the ones who will end up in these stats. If you query them about it, they just give abuse back. Doesn´t help other cyclists, because it makes some motorists more aggressive in the way they deal with them.

Rush hour is not so bad, as the traffic tends to be slower anyway. Most motorists deal OK with cyclists, a few pass too close, or misjudge how fast a bike is going and turn across them. Roundabouts seems to cover cyclists in some kind of invisibility cloak. You have to be prepared to slam on the brakes and then get stared at by the driver even though you have the right of way.

I try to get off the main roads as much as possible, onto side streets or bike paths. Colchester has a pretty good network overall, and if you know the back-routes a bit, you can cross the town without having to deal with too many busy stretches. It´s also up to the cyclist to make sure brakes work, lights work at night.

It´s true that some onus falls on the motorist, but cyclists do have to be aware of the road and make sure they are seen by drivers.

I think it´s great that more people are cycling. It´s good for health, fitness, wallet and environment. Just got to stay safe!
I cycle a lot, and survive by assuming everybody else is a blind, deaf idiot. But I´m also a motorist and pedestrian and sometimes you see the other side. Cyclists have to remember that they have a lot less protection on a bike than the metal boxes they are weaving around. I see lots of good cyclists, but also substantial numbers who come tearing along busy pavements, or straight across red lights, or riding without lights at night. These are the ones who will end up in these stats. If you query them about it, they just give abuse back. Doesn´t help other cyclists, because it makes some motorists more aggressive in the way they deal with them. Rush hour is not so bad, as the traffic tends to be slower anyway. Most motorists deal OK with cyclists, a few pass too close, or misjudge how fast a bike is going and turn across them. Roundabouts seems to cover cyclists in some kind of invisibility cloak. You have to be prepared to slam on the brakes and then get stared at by the driver even though you have the right of way. I try to get off the main roads as much as possible, onto side streets or bike paths. Colchester has a pretty good network overall, and if you know the back-routes a bit, you can cross the town without having to deal with too many busy stretches. It´s also up to the cyclist to make sure brakes work, lights work at night. It´s true that some onus falls on the motorist, but cyclists do have to be aware of the road and make sure they are seen by drivers. I think it´s great that more people are cycling. It´s good for health, fitness, wallet and environment. Just got to stay safe! romantic
  • Score: 1

4:51pm Wed 7 Aug 13

Say It As It Is OK? says...

There's considerate motorists and inconsiderate motorists. There are considerate cyclists and inconsiderate cyclists.

The question is how many of us admit to being the inconsiderate motorists or cyclists?

My gripe is with those blessed mobility scooter riders. Haven't, seen a considerate one yet. They are on a mission riding along pavements at Three times walking speed! and they just expect everyone to get out of their way, while they barge on through!
There's considerate motorists and inconsiderate motorists. There are considerate cyclists and inconsiderate cyclists. The question is how many of us admit to being the inconsiderate motorists or cyclists? My gripe is with those blessed mobility scooter riders. Haven't, seen a considerate one yet. They are on a mission riding along pavements at Three times walking speed! and they just expect everyone to get out of their way, while they barge on through! Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 2

10:49pm Wed 7 Aug 13

Taj says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
There's considerate motorists and inconsiderate motorists. There are considerate cyclists and inconsiderate cyclists.

The question is how many of us admit to being the inconsiderate motorists or cyclists?

My gripe is with those blessed mobility scooter riders. Haven't, seen a considerate one yet. They are on a mission riding along pavements at Three times walking speed! and they just expect everyone to get out of their way, while they barge on through!
That is just about right, I had a near miss with a cyclist at the junction with Brook Street and Magedelan Street when a cyclist put out his left arm to stretch it giving what I understood to be a left turn signal and then he veered across in front of me making me slam on the brakes ,it was at Greenstead roundabout before I could pass him because he was all over the place totally oblivious to all around him.
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: There's considerate motorists and inconsiderate motorists. There are considerate cyclists and inconsiderate cyclists. The question is how many of us admit to being the inconsiderate motorists or cyclists? My gripe is with those blessed mobility scooter riders. Haven't, seen a considerate one yet. They are on a mission riding along pavements at Three times walking speed! and they just expect everyone to get out of their way, while they barge on through![/p][/quote]That is just about right, I had a near miss with a cyclist at the junction with Brook Street and Magedelan Street when a cyclist put out his left arm to stretch it giving what I understood to be a left turn signal and then he veered across in front of me making me slam on the brakes ,it was at Greenstead roundabout before I could pass him because he was all over the place totally oblivious to all around him. Taj
  • Score: 0

2:00am Thu 8 Aug 13

Boris says...

greenbroker wrote:
“They should also avoid rush hour and stay away from the centre during these times. What a ridiculous statement. That's when they need to use their bikes most of all. It all looks like the cyclists fault according to your article IMO. Teach motorists to give cyclists more room.
Spot on, greenbroker. I'd like to see a breakdown of where cyclists are killed or injured. I suspect in a lot of cases it is on country lanes, where there are no pavements as a refuge for cyclists, and roadhogs in their wide 4x4s drive far too fast because they know there are no speed cameras.
[quote][p][bold]greenbroker[/bold] wrote: “They should also avoid rush hour and stay away from the centre during these times. What a ridiculous statement. That's when they need to use their bikes most of all. It all looks like the cyclists fault according to your article IMO. Teach motorists to give cyclists more room.[/p][/quote]Spot on, greenbroker. I'd like to see a breakdown of where cyclists are killed or injured. I suspect in a lot of cases it is on country lanes, where there are no pavements as a refuge for cyclists, and roadhogs in their wide 4x4s drive far too fast because they know there are no speed cameras. Boris
  • Score: -1

12:57pm Mon 12 Aug 13

MisterSmith says...

As a cyclist who does his level best to integrate with traffic I am surprised to still be alive after riding in this once civilised town. Some car drivers genuinely believe that bicycles shouldn't be on the road. They defend this position by shouting, in the most colourful language, how cyclists should 'pay road tax' before cutting in to try and dismount the cyclist they terrorise for their own amusement. They have no idea how taxation pays for roads (general and local taxation pays for roads), and that there is no such thing as road tax. There is vehicle excise duty which is based on emissions - of which there are none from a bicycle.

It feels like civil war out there and frankly, only the cyclists can lose. When products of a failed education recklessly drive vehicles with no regard for the safety of other people high "KSI's" are inevitable. I often ask, what if the silverback drivers' child was killed by a feckless motorist. Would the silverback accept this as intolerance of cycles isn't just acceptable - it's preferable!

I use cycle paths where possible but in reality these are miserable. They are often little more than 100 yard stretches of an otherwise long street. They are disjointed so much that in a 5 mile journey through built-up areas I have approximately 0.5 mile of cycle path. And yet, some car and white van drivers insist I 'get on the footpath'. Perhaps it would be better for everyone if they failed to get out of their stable in the morning and not bother everyone else.

Colchester, I used to be able to tell people that this was a nice town. But, without any reservation, I can confidently tell people to avoid it - it's people are often ill-mannered and foul mouthed. Thugish and poorly educated. Unfortunately, that quiet majority of decent folk are not heard or noticed and the town is more easily judged on it's most vocal and terrible residents. And to the swamp-dwellers who shout abuse to cyclists, I hope you suffer terribly when your kin are victims of the abuse and physical damage you so willingly extol.
As a cyclist who does his level best to integrate with traffic I am surprised to still be alive after riding in this once civilised town. Some car drivers genuinely believe that bicycles shouldn't be on the road. They defend this position by shouting, in the most colourful language, how cyclists should 'pay road tax' before cutting in to try and dismount the cyclist they terrorise for their own amusement. They have no idea how taxation pays for roads (general and local taxation pays for roads), and that there is no such thing as road tax. There is vehicle excise duty which is based on emissions - of which there are none from a bicycle. It feels like civil war out there and frankly, only the cyclists can lose. When products of a failed education recklessly drive vehicles with no regard for the safety of other people high "KSI's" are inevitable. I often ask, what if the silverback drivers' child was killed by a feckless motorist. Would the silverback accept this as intolerance of cycles isn't just acceptable - it's preferable! I use cycle paths where possible but in reality these are miserable. They are often little more than 100 yard stretches of an otherwise long street. They are disjointed so much that in a 5 mile journey through built-up areas I have approximately 0.5 mile of cycle path. And yet, some car and white van drivers insist I 'get on the footpath'. Perhaps it would be better for everyone if they failed to get out of their stable in the morning and not bother everyone else. Colchester, I used to be able to tell people that this was a nice town. But, without any reservation, I can confidently tell people to avoid it - it's people are often ill-mannered and foul mouthed. Thugish and poorly educated. Unfortunately, that quiet majority of decent folk are not heard or noticed and the town is more easily judged on it's most vocal and terrible residents. And to the swamp-dwellers who shout abuse to cyclists, I hope you suffer terribly when your kin are victims of the abuse and physical damage you so willingly extol. MisterSmith
  • Score: 0

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