Roads must be cycling safe for all, says Leeds cycling champion

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Roads needs to be made safer in a bid to transform Leeds into a “safe cycling city”.

That’s the plea from the city’s cycling champion just days after the Tour de Yorkshire rolled through Leeds.

Cycle crash survivor ''Nick Turnbull with his cycling group in Burley-in-Wharfedale

Cycle crash survivor ''Nick Turnbull with his cycling group in Burley-in-Wharfedale

Roger Harington, chairman of the Cycling Starts Here Partnership Board, has warned the city’s streets need to be safer for cyclists in a bid to encourage more people to get on their bike.

The board was set up to ensure a cycling legacy is created after the Tour de France and to make Leeds a safer place to travel by bike.

Mr Harington told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Hosting wonderful global cycling events such as the Grand Depart of the Tour de France last year and the recent Tour de Yorkshire and possibly the World Cycling Championships in future is all very well, but the main priority is the make the city a safer place to cycle and to encourage more people to do it.

“I envisage within a decade we must work together to make Leeds a safer place to use your bike.

Burley-in-Wharfedale Bike Club members l-r: Rob Leach, Richard Robinson, head on collision survivor Nick Turnbull, Stewart Taylor, John Henney

Burley-in-Wharfedale Bike Club members l-r: Rob Leach, Richard Robinson, head on collision survivor Nick Turnbull, Stewart Taylor, John Henney

He added: “At present people do not want to go out for fear of what might or could happen.

“Roads must be made safer in a combined effort.”

Mr Harington is now working to ensure that the Tour de France has left a cycling legacy for the region. The board hopes to drive forward and ensure long term health, travel and environment benefits are made a reality.

Work has also started on a £30 million ‘cycling superhighway’ that will help to boost connectivity between Leeds and Bradford.

It is expected to open later this year.

The cycling scheme, which extends from east Leeds to Bradford, includes the creation of 20mph zones alongside the route.

There will also be improved cycling routes in Leeds City Centre as well as increased cycle parking in both Leeds and Bradford.

A cyclist who survived a head-on collision with a 4x4 in the Yorkshire Dales is urging fellow cyclists to be vigilant on the roads.

Nick Turnbull, 54, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, was able to ride the Tour de Yorkshire route ahead of Sunday’s race after a lucky escape and remarkable recovery from the accident in January 2014.

The former policeman and scout leader was riding around a bend on a country road near Bolton Abbey, when he saw the car and was unable to brake in time.

He suffered a punctured lung and broke his shoulder blade, wrist and nine ribs in the crash.

Luckily the passenger in the car was a member of a fell rescue team and a trained first aider.

When Nick – unaware of the extent of his injuries – began to get up, the first aider insisted he did not move.

He covered Nick with blankets to protect him from the cold and continued to check his condition until the ambulance arrived 40 minutes later.

Nick believes it was the man’s knowledge of first aid and his subsequent actions that prevented a life-threatening situation from developing.

He said: “As soon as he said, ‘I’m a first aider’, I thought at least somebody here knows what to do.

“The situation could have been become much more serious.

“I’d advise all cyclists to download the St John Ambulance First Aid for Cyclists app.

“It’s simple to use and you never know when you might be faced with a situation like mine.”

Nick is raising money for St John Ambulance.

Update: Five arrests after Bradford to Leeds police chase crash