British Cycling revealed it is to ‘engage with the Government’ on road safety in a statement released in wake of an alleged hit-and-run incident that left double Paralympic champion Simon Richardson in a critical but stable condition.
Richardson was said to be in “good spirits” despite breaking his back in two places, and fracturing his pelvis and breast bone in the crash on the A48 in south Wales. A 59-year-old man was later arrested, before being released on bail until October 13.
“There have been too many of these incidents recently and our members expect us to be taking a lead in improving the safety of cyclists on the road,” said British Cycling’s policy and legal affairs director Martin Gibb.
“The Government is keen to see more cyclists on the road and we have been extremely successful in achieving that, but we also have a responsibility to make sure that the roads are as safe as they can be.”
“We’re currently undertaking a survey with our members to find out what they regard to be the most important road safety issues and we’ll be taking that information to engage with the government to seek the necessary changes in legislation.
“There are many issues at play here such as increasing the level of awareness of cyclists, increasing mutual respect, improving road design and layout and looking at how we can communicate the responsibility that drivers have towards cyclists and pedestrians.
“I think that too often the courts get sentencing wrong when a driver causes injury and we need to look at the content of the driving test and issues like blind spots on lorries and cars.”
Richardson was left with serious leg and back injuries after being involved in an incident with a car while riding with friends in 2001 before returning to the sport on an adapted bike, powered by his right leg, and winning two gold medals and a silver at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.
Richardson is currently at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, where he has been able to speak to his wife, Amanda, who remains at his bedside and thanked the cycling community for its words of support.
“I’d like to thank everyone in the cycling community and other well-wishers for their messages of support for Simon,” she said in a statement.
“He will be heartened to know that people are extending their positive thoughts and encouragement to him during this difficult time.”
John Morgan, executive director of Disability Sport Wales, added: “He wants to know what is going on. He is aware of what has happened, he is aware of his surroundings, and he is talking and trying to be as upbeat as possible.”
Police are appealing for witnesses following the incident. Anyone with information should contact South Wales Police on 02920 633438 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.