Lockdown leads to friendlier roads

Cyclists on busy London street.

Could the age-long feud between drivers and cyclists finally be starting to calm?

A new survey by Green Flag suggests we’re becoming more patient with those travelling on two wheels, after bike retailers saw an estimated 1.3 million people investing in bikes over lockdown.

However, two-thirds still feel frustrated by having to share the roads.

Easing tensions

According to research involving 1,000 British drivers, a third of us believe we have a better relationship with cyclists on the roads.

Meanwhile, 36% of cyclists say they’ve also noticed an increase in respect from drivers.

Easing tensions are most noticeable in London, where over half of drivers say they have a better awareness of cyclists that they did before the pandemic.

However, not all of us feel the same – many drivers continue to feel frustrated by poor road etiquette.

Cyclists skipping red lights was named by 41% of drivers as their top frustration, followed by 39% who are irritated by cyclists travelling in groups.

For cyclists, the number one frustration was cars driving too close to their bike, with 49% highlighting the irritation.

Mark Newberry, commercial director at Green Flag, said: “There has always been somewhat of a rivalry between drivers and cyclists competing for space on UK roads.

“While this research does show that there is still some existing tension amongst both, it is promising that with cycling gaining such popularity during the lockdown period, there is an increased understanding between them.”

Increase in cyclists

Cycling in England reportedly doubled during weekdays and trebled at weekends during the height of the coronavirus lockdown.

The Government are now investing in more protected cycleways to help all road users feel safe while travelling.

Newberry has urged us all to look out for each other on the roads: “It is important to remember that the safety of each group relies on the actions of the other.

“Ultimately, the roads are there for everyone to share, so it is important for all road users to always be vigilant and remain aware of each other as we all start to travel more, perhaps using a new method to normal, as lockdown continues to ease.”

Do you feel nervous driving around cyclists? Here’s our top tips for keeping pedestrians and cyclists safe on the roads.