Segregated cycle lanes could be putting lives at risk, say paramedics

They stop traffic from moving out of the way, including emergency service vehicles

 
New segregated cycle lanes which are cropping up across the UK could be putting lives at risk according to paramedics.

The college of Paramedics believe these new cycle lanes could cost lives because they stop traffic from moving out of the way, including emergency service vehicles, which need to get through the traffic in quick time.

Many of the new cycle lanes on busier roads across the country now include a concrete kerb alongside the lane which is supposed to prevent motorists from veering into the designated cycle area.

They stop traffic from moving out of the way, including emergency service vehicles

Segregated cycle lanes could be putting lives at risk, say paramedics © Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 

However, this new style of kerbed cycle lane now makes it more difficult for drivers to manoeuvre out of the way if there’s an emergency vehicle flashing behind them wanting to come through.

A number of major cities across the country, including Bristol, Edinburgh, London and Manchester, now have segregated cycle lanes in place, with other councils in the UK interested in following suit.

What’s worrying paramedics, is that some of the cycle lanes are on roads that ambulances use to carry seriously ill patients to hospital and as we all know, time is of the essence.

The College of Paramedics are urging town planners to think again about introducing more fully segregated cycle lanes in congested city centres.

Paramedic and spokesman for the College, Richard Webber, said that ambulance drivers were all for designated cycle lanes but not at the risk of emergency call-outs and that a balance needed to be found.

The College of Paramedics understand how important it is to segregate cyclists following a number of fatalities but these cycle lanes should not be allowed to slow things down.

Despite the fact that a number of segregated cycle lanes don’t include a kerb to separate them from motorists, they still effect the way in which emergency services are able to deal with a call-out, says the College.

The introduction of fully segregated cycle lanes in some of our major cities over the past 10 years came about after concerns were raised about the number of fatalities, which in London reached its peak between 2001 and 2005, when 21 cyclists were killed in each of these years.

According to Simon Munk, infrastructure campaigner at London Cycle Campaign, segregated cycle lanes are not the issue, congestion is. He believes the safer we make the roads for cyclists, the more people will stop relying on cars to get about, meaning less vehicles on the road and safer journeys for all.

 

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