The Grand Depart begins in Leeds on Saturday, but half of British adults believe their local roads are too dangerous to cycle on according to a BBC poll.
The poll showed older Britons were more likely than their younger counterparts to believe the roads were too dangerous: 61% of those aged 65 and over, compared to 45% of 18 to 24 year olds.
Chris Boardman, Olympic medallist and British Cycling policy adviser, said: “It’s clear…people don’t feel safe when riding their bikes on our roads. “In order to rectify this we need a clear commitment from government and local authorities to prioritise the safety and needs of cyclists in all future transport schemes.”
A Department of Transport spokesman said “Cycling isn’t just great exercise, it has wider benefits for the environment and the economy, which is why we are committed to ensuring more people feel safe enough to use two wheels. They added that the DfT doubled funding for cycling to £374m to help deliver safer junctions”.
Nationally, only one in five of people interviewed said the Tour de France had encouraged them to cycle more – but with the Grand Depart happening in Leeds, nearly a quarter of people in Yorkshire and the Humber said they had been inspired to spend more time on their bike.
Ed Clancy, a double Olympic gold-medal cyclist, said: “I live in Yorkshire and the Tour de France is a massive deal up there right now. “Perhaps it’s now the next step in making cycling more popular having a home Tour de France if you like. It’s the sort of thing that’s once in a generation…so it’s definitely worth giving it a watch.
“We’re really riding the crest of the wave and the more people that get involved in cycling, not just as a sport but for the commute to work or just having a laugh on the maintain bike at the weekend, is good all round.”
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