A group of cyclists has called for better protection for cyclists following a clash between Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and a cyclist who left the latter in need of hospital treatment.
Starmer is said to have collided with the cyclist while driving an SUV in Kentish Town in north London on Sunday afternoon. The Labour leader stayed at the scene of the accident until an ambulance arrived and reported the incident to the police later that day.
Sustrans, a British charity that runs a walking and cycling charity, told Tekk.tv that its own investigations had shown the need for protective cycle paths. Rachel White, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Sustrans, said: “What really makes most people who cycle safer are protective cycle paths. That’s why you don’t come into contact with SUVs or buses in the first place, which is especially important when it comes to letting different people, such as women and the elderly, ride their bikes.
“From Bike Life research (a report on cycling), which covers 14 cities across the UK, we know that 77 per cent of the people we surveyed want protected cycle paths that are physically separate from the vehicles, and this is the best way to achieve this.
White also called for greater support for local authorities to help build safer travel routes and urged more people to take part in the open consultation on the Highways Code, which ends today, to promote safer places to walk, cycle and ride.
she said: “The UK government must continue to support local authorities and continue to provide funding for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as getting as much support as possible for changes to the Highway Code.
A Labour spokesperson confirmed that Starmer was involved in a collision. They said: “Keir was involved in a minor traffic accident on Sunday. He spoke to a British traffic police officer who was present at the scene of the accident and exchanged details with the officer and the other person involved. Since the incident, Keir has also been in contact with the other person involved.
The Metropolitan Police Service confirmed that there had been a collision between a cyclist and a car, but refused to confirm Starmer’s involvement.
A statement by the police said: “Police were alerted by the LAS (London Ambulance Service) at around 12.20pm on Sunday 25 October when a report was made of a collision between a cyclist and a car in Grafton Road, NW5, in traffic. The driver of the car had stopped at the scene and exchanged details with the cyclist, but had left before the officers arrived.
“The male cyclist suffered a minor injury to his arm and was taken to hospital by the LAS as a precautionary measure. Later, the officers tried to contact the driver of the car and left a message advising him to report the matter to the police.
“The driver of the car then visited a police station in North London. He was neither arrested nor questioned with caution. An investigation into the collision is currently being conducted by officers of the Road and Traffic Police”.