THE majority of roads in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have been branded unsafe for cyclists by an independent residents group. 

BH Active Travel, a residents group which have been campaigning for safer walking and cycling infrastructure in the conurbation since the 1990s, say the roads within the BCP Council area are ‘not safe at all’. 

According to CrashMap, a website which gathers the latest data from the Department for Transport, there have been 598 road traffic incidents between Parkstone and Mudeford involving a pedal cyclist casualty within the last five years. 

Of the 598 pedal cyclist casualties, 500 of the incidents involved a car between 2016 and 2020. 

Lucie Allen, chair of BH Active Travel said: “The only way to keep safe is to be separated from motor traffic in dedicated, segregated cycle lanes or in 'quiet zones', 'low traffic neighbourhoods' or by using road tracks such as the Castleman Trailway.  

“We have to rely on policy makers, decision makers and funding streams to ensure that changes are made locally to keep those who are able to, and choose to cycle, safe.  

“Safety should not be a political issue but sadly it often is.”

Lucie said: “The dangers for people cycling within the BCP area are predominantly due to the current lack of safe, segregated cycle lanes, severe congestion, speeding and close passes. 

“The conurbation has many narrow, painted 'advisory' cycle lanes which no longer meet LTN 1/20 government guidelines and have been proven to be more dangerous to cyclists than no cycle lane paint, as cars perceive the cyclist to have the space they need.  

“Cars should allow at least 1.5m from the cyclist when overtaking but many don't when they see a cyclist in one of these lanes.

“This is why at BH Active Travel, we are delighted that BCP Council are committed to applying for Active Travel funding from the central government to implement schemes such as the Transforming Cities Fund improvements to build safer cycling and walking infrastructure in BCP.  

“You have to be a pretty confident cyclist in busy road conditions to cycle in the conurbation at present.  

“We'd love to see more people cycling and only by providing safe, separate cycle infrastructure will this happen.” 

Bournemouth Echo:

New cycleway in Christchurch

There have been a number of cycling safety schemes rolled out across the conurbation including the new cycleway in Christchurch and on Wimborne Road. 

A spokesperson for BCP Council said: “Cyclists are regarded as vulnerable road users and the Council is working hard to make our roads as safe as possible.

“The council helps to improve safety through a range of engineering, educational and enforcement activities working with its Dorset Road Safe (DRS) partners.

“Through their ‘No Excuse’ campaign,  Dorset Police are continuing to deal with a range of dangerous driver behaviour including speeding, using mobile phones and also cycling offences where appropriate, all designed to help make our roads safer for everyone.”

Dorset Police have taken part in initiatives to ensure the safety of cyclists on our roads in recent years including Operation Close Pass which sees officers target drivers who don’t give cyclists enough room when overtaking.

A Dorset Police spokesperson said: “The initiative aims to improve the safety of cyclists and raise awareness among all road users on how to behave courteously toward each other.

“The operation sees police officers wearing cycling clothes take to the road on bicycles fitted with cameras to record the behaviour of drivers who overtake them.

“If offences are found to have taken place, colleagues are alerted, the vehicle is stopped and the driver is spoken to by officers. If they refuse roadside education, motorists face a fixed penalty notice of £100 and three points on their licence.

“As well as this initiative, Dorset Police takes part in a number of other operations and campaigns to raise awareness of road safety and consideration for other road users. Our traffic officers, including the No Excuse team, regularly carry out patrols on our roads and will take action against motorists committing offences as well as offering education where appropriate.

“We also offer guidance and safety advice to those organising cycling events in the county and cyclists can submit helmet camera footage of any offences through our Operation Snap initiative. For more information visit”