Drivers have stated that the 60mph speed limit on single-carriageway A roads is too fast to assure the safety of cyclists and that both the warning signs and space available for cyclists are inadequate. This sense of risk is echoed by the overwhelming majority of survey respondents stating that they would advise children or teenagers never to cycle on single-carriageway A roads or only to cycle with an adult.

Drivers have called on the Government to address these concerns by prioritising investment on building segregated, tarmacked cycle paths alongside the single-carriageway A road network, over and above any expansion of the road itself. Brake and Direct Line’s survey finds that such investment would significantly increase the numbers of those cycling, as whilst 70 per cent of drivers state that they currently never cycle on single-carriageway A roads, more than half state that they would be persuaded to if there was a demarcated space for cyclists.

The Government is currently consulting on billions of pounds of investment in both the Strategic Road Network [2] and the Major Road Network [3]. Every road death is a preventable tragedy and the Government must focus investment on delivering safe, sustainable transport options across the UK.

Joshua Harris, Brake’s director of campaigns, said: “Getting more people cycling is a win-win for the Government, delivering both personal and public health benefits. Contrary to popular opinion, our survey shows that the majority of drivers are willing to switch modes and cycle if safe facilities are available. We echo the call from drivers and urge the Government to prioritise investment in safe, segregated cycle routes in the upcoming Road Investment Strategy.”

Gus Park, managing director of motor insurance at Direct Line, said: “All road users should be able to undertake their journeys safely. Many who would cycle, choose to drive instead as they feel some roads are just not safe enough for them to use. Single-carriageway A roads are vital arteries within our road infrastructure, but they need to ensure they can accommodate all road users regardless of their preferred method of transport now and in the future.”

[1] Full survey data available in Brake and Direct Line report “Our Strategic Road Network - Part 1: Safe roads between places”.

[2] Shaping the future of England’s strategic roads

[3] Proposals for the creation of a Major Road Network