Potential cyclists put off by safety concerns, says transport minister

Norman Baker admits cycling sometimes overlooked in transport policy

Potential cyclists are being put off riding a bike because they feel unsafe, the transport minister responsible for cycling Norman Baker has admitted.

Asked in an interview with The Times newspaper about the relative low levels of cycling in the UK, Mr Baker said the reason why "43 % percent of people own bikes but only two percent of journeys are by bike” were complicated.

“I think the answer is a delicate balance to try to make sure that we do address genuine safety issues … and at the same time as identifying serious safety problems not putting people off but encouraging them to be out there cycling and to recognise that statistically it is quite safe to be out on the road cycling,” he added. “I don’t think it is a dangerous activity, particularly if they have good training.”

Along with other factors such as a lack of bike maintenance skills and poor winter weather, he told the paper that cycling had traditionally been the “Cinderella” part of transport policy and was overlooked in favour of other modes of transport.

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