"Put cycling at the heart of transport policy" call after cycling road accidents coincide


Following the Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and his team coach Shane Sutton falling victim to 2 separate cycling road accidents, British Cycling has called on the government to institute new safety measures.

Wiggins was discharged from hospital after a vehicle collided with him near his home in Eccleston, Lancashire at around 6pm on 7 November. The following morning, Sutton was in a collision with a car in Manchester.

Wiggins, 32, fell from his bicycle when a white Vauxhall is believed to have collided with him as it left a petrol station.

According to police, his injuries were thought at first to be very serious. However, it was later reported that he suffered cuts and bruises and some ribs were broken. Wiggins was released from hospital on Thursday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for British Cycling said Sutton, 55, was admitted to hospital with bruising and bleeding on the brain. "Shane is making steady progress but is likely to remain in hospital for one more day under observation. He has fractured his cheekbone which will require surgery. He is expected to make a complete recovery and will be back in work shortly."

Wiggins has been feted since July 2012 for becoming Britain's first winner of the Tour de France, widely regarded as the world's toughest sporting event. To this victory and many others he added a gold medal in the Olympic Time Trial in August.

Sutton, who has coached with the British cycling team for more than 10 years, has been credited with playing a major role in boosting the fortunes of UK cycling. For his services to sport he received an OBE in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours list.

British Cycling added that while cycling is not intrinsically risky, much could be done to improve road safety for cyclists. "It is extremely rare that our riders and coaches are hurt while out cycling on the road, even rarer that two incidents should occur in a short space of time, and we wish Shane and Bradley a speedy recovery," said the spokeswoman.

"British Cycling is calling on the government to put cycling at the heart of transport policy to ensure that cycle safety is built into the design of all new roads, junctions and transport projects, rather than being an afterthought."

Team GB's cycling performance director Dave Brailsford said more awareness of cycling safety should be a "legacy" of the Olympic Games and that drivers should recognise cyclists' vulnerability on the roads.

"It's very rare that we have too many accidents, but we've got to put safety first and I think we would encourage our riders to ride as safely as possible."

"Maybe a legacy of the Games could be a greater awareness and understanding of cycle safety and just how vulnerable they can be on the roads."

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