Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Something for Everyone at The Cycle Show 2012

Cycling is a broad church. There is an evangelical wing, determined to spread the gospel of utility cycling on the Queen’s highway. There are those who attach their BMX or off road bikes to racks on the back of their cars and very rarely go on the highway. There are even some men (and women) who insist on wearing lycra as they ride their racing bikes at the weekends but would not dream of cycling to work every day. Whatever your personal relationship with that normally 2 wheeled object we call a cycle, the cycle show had something for you.

Levenes Cycle Injury spent the 4 days of the cycle show talking to the cycling faithful in attendance. We talked about our free to use Interactive Accident Map and how it is a tool for individual cyclists that can help identify junctions or roads on the commute to work that might need extra care or avoiding altogether.

Or for cycle groups and campaigners who want to know where cycle accidents happen in their area, a quick glance at the map will show you if there is a particular junction or road with an inordinate number of accidents. As the map uses official government data, it can be used in campaigns and presented to local press, councils and road planners for something to be done. It’s based on the familiar Google Maps and you can zoom right in on street view to see close up what might be going wrong.

We had many lively discussions about bad drivers, bad cycle lanes and bad councils that pay lip service to promoting cycling whilst they do nothing really concrete to improve things. For the most part, the people we spoke to cycle regularly on our roads and they know what happens on the streets of Hull, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, London…..What is pleasing is that things appear to be gradually changing for the better, people are not put off and remain firmly in the saddle.

Browsing the map with show goers
We also gave away our Cycle Accident Card to anyone who wanted one. It’s no bigger than a credit card but gives practical advice on what to do after an accident. There’s room to write down key details such as the name address and registration number of the other driver. One bit of advice that we were able to give out many times was the importance of getting the vehicle registration. If you can get it even if that’s all you can get, we can find out if the car was insured and who the keeper of the vehicle might be. That is often enough to get the claim under way.

Over the weekend, the reaction was positive. Most of those who talked to us all had a tale to tell. A near miss, a bad junction or in some cases how they had been hit and knocked off their bikes and knew from experience how painful it could be.

Some of them had not even considered claiming and consider it an occupational hazard that you are going to be knocked off from time to time. It shouldn't be like that. Only by drawing attention to accidents will we get those in power to make the changes needed to make the roads safe for its more vulnerable users.

written by Levenes cycling Solicitor, Tim Beasley

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