Some drivers deliberately intimidate cyclists says councillor who was assaulted by a lorry driver

Some drivers are deliberately intimidating cyclists on Oxfordshire’s roads, according to a city councillor who was once beaten up by a lorry driver. Green group shadow member for transport Dick Wolff is the latest cyclist to give his views after the Oxford Mail asked people with bikes to come forward and share their experiences. Share your cycling experiences

The councillor for St Mary’s ward in East Oxford spoke out after Dr Alison Hill, chairwoman of cycling campaign group, revealed she had been the victim of a “punishment pass”, in which a driver got too close in order to give her a fright. Her views have been supported by other cyclists but frustrated drivers have also spoken online of the difficulties they sometimes face sharing road space with cyclists. Read again: ‘I was victim of driver’s punishment pass’

Mr Wolff said he started cycling aged five to get to school. He added: “Aged 12 I could visit my grandma nine miles away across London, unaccompanied.”

Dick Wolff When the councillor was asked if drivers should be more aware of the need to share road space with cyclists, he said: “Most drivers in Oxfordshire (of whom I’m one) are excellent and very patient, given that they’re forced to crawl behind me along the B4044 for instance. “Much, much better than my experiences in Coventry 1985-95.

“But of course there is the very occasional dangerous idiot. “The problem with them is not that they’re not aware of cyclists – they set out to intimidate.” After being a keen cyclist for many years Mr Wolff has acquired a number of different bikes.

Read more: Gym forced to close due to coronavirus pandemic They include a Raleigh Record Tourist from 1933, a Carlton Corsair from 1967 which cost GBP27, a Brompton from 1987, and a Velotechnik Grasshopper electric recumbent which cost about GBP5,000. Mr Wolff said he loved cycling for a number of reasons including the freedom it offered, the way it kept him in touch with the environment and the chance of getting around Oxford more quickly than if he was in a car.

Some drivers deliberately intimidate cyclists says councillor who was assaulted by a lorry driver Dick Wolff He added: “I have been riding about 100 miles a week all over Oxfordshire and beyond – regularly to East Oxford along the river.”

Problems he has encountered include potholes and punctures. He added: “And on one occasion, many years ago, a serious assault by a lorry driver.” Read more: Laurence Fox has lockdown lunch with group of friends

During lockdown new road markings have been funded in part by a GBP298,500 grant from the government. But local cycling campaigners are not convinced that the new markings alone will make cyclists feels safe. When asked if the government was doing enough to make cycling safer in Oxfordshire, Mr Wolff said it was not.

Tom Trower said he regularly cycles on country roads around Thame and during non-Covid times cycles from Thame to central Oxford and back every day for work. He rides a Genesis Delta and added: “My old bike got stolen from my bike mechanic’s workshop so they got this one for me from their insurance – I think it’s around GBP750.” Some drivers deliberately intimidate cyclists says councillor who was assaulted by a lorry driver

Tom Trower Read again: Oxford residents stockpile ahead of Brexit When asked which problems he experienced as a cyclist, he said: “Close passes from vehicles when on the road.

“Punctures and potholes less so as you can expect those as part of cycling.

It’s harder to accept someone putting you in danger with a metal box that weighs over a tonne.”

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