David McWilliam
Partner, Solicitor and Head of Personal Injury & Sports Law
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Date Published:10 Jul 2019 Last Updated:18 Jan 2022

Leading Cycling Solicitor Condemns Channel 5 Documentary – Cyclists: Scourge of our Streets?

Personal Injury Claims

Last night, Channel 5 aired a documentary ‘Cyclists: Scourge of our Streets?’. What followed was in my view a totally inappropriate reflection of the cycling community as a whole. They were described as “lawless” and “aggressive” by some
drivers. Whilst I accept that there will always be a minority of cyclists that do not obey the Highway Code, the vast majority do.

Channel 5 showed cyclists in a very bad light and did nothing to help the public’s perception of them. I accept that some jump red lights, go across pedestrian crossings when they shouldn’t or ride 3 abreast on country roads but every day you see examples of bad driving. Drivers using mobile phones, not indicating and speeding are all too apparent on our congested roads.

Chris Boardman, World & Olympic Gold medal winner made a short film for British Cycling in advance of the documentary and said “cyclists aren’t the scourge of the streets. They are mothers, fathers, grandparents all doing their bit to make Britain a healthier, greener and more liveable place.”

See his short film here.

The only positive to come out of the documentary was the input from PC Mark Hodson from the Traffic Unit at West Midlands Police who despite wearing a high vis jacket and clearly marked as Police, had drivers passing him far too close and not allowing the safe pass distance of 1.5 metres. He caught one driver on her mobile as she passed too close to him. He said “cyclists don’t cause us problems, drivers do.”

I have dealt with 1000’s of cycling injury claims and the vast majority involve shocking examples of bad driving from vehicle users. Examples involve :-

  • Pulling out of junctions into the cyclist’s path
  • Turning into a side road across the cyclist’s path
  • Pulling onto a roundabout when the cyclist is established on the roundabout
  • Failing to give enough room when overtaking
  • Opening a car door into the cyclist’s path

The injuries can be life changing.

If you have been involved in a cycling accident, please do not hesitate to call our expert Personal Injury team on 01202 525333 or email us at personalinjury@ellisjones.co.uk