Thursday 09 December 2021

Dutch city cycle lanes overcrowded at rush hour

bikes in AmsterdamSome cycle lanes in the bigger Dutch cities are dangerous in rush hour because they cannot cope with the volume of cyclists and because cyclists are busy with their smart phones, according to a new report by road safety experts.

The traffic safety research foundation SWOV monitored four cycle lanes in Amsterdam and The Hague for several weeks and found around 20% of cyclists use a smart phone while cycling.

Most are listening to music but around 2% are typing or on the phone while cycling and that is a ‘major distraction’, director Peter van der Knaap said.

Accidents

In addition, around 5% of cyclists travel the wrong way up a cycle path at times and 80% fail to look round before overtaking. This too has major accident potential, the report said.

The big cities need to take urgent steps to improve cycle lane safety, Van der Knaap told broadcaster Nos. In particular, busy cycle paths need to be widened to cope with the volume of traffic and increasing popularity of bulky cargo bikes.

The report states that there were three collisions between cyclists during the nine-hour rush hour observation period. This means that over a year an estimated 1,000 cyclists will be hospitalised because of crashes between bikes, the report said.

Mopeds accounted for around 7% of the traffic on cycle paths. Plans are currently being made to allow councils to force them onto the roads in an effort to improve cyclist safety.

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