Drivers urged to slow down by road safety charities

Slow down and give plenty of space advises Cycling UK and Brake
Cycling UK and Brake make appeal after reports of speeding and fatalities - as quieter roads should be an opportunity for families to get much needed exercise.

Road safety charities, Cycling UK and Brake have joined forces to appeal to all drivers to slow down and take more care, as families and individuals across the country take advantage of quieter local roads for their daily exercise.

Keir Gallagher, Cycling UK campaigns manager said:

“Over the past weeks one of the few positives has been seeing families and individuals discovering the joys of riding or walking on largely empty rural lanes and roads.

“However, Cycling UK is receiving regular reports of a minority of people driving way too fast. While reports of collisions are few, with so many families venturing out for their daily exercise especially on narrow rural roads, the consequences of dangerous driving now more than ever is a burden our NHS can ill afford.”

Traffic counts across the UK show there the number of people driving has dropped, but the charities are concerned a minority of people are using the empty roads as an opportunity to drive at excessive speeds, following reports from the police and the wider public.

Unfortunately, in some cases this behaviour has led to fatalities and serious injury to people walking, cycling and horse-riding.

Mr Gallagher said:

“Cycling UK would appeal to drivers to give plenty of space when overtaking walkers, cyclists and horse riders and slow down as you never know who could be just around the corner.”

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake said:

“Breaking the speed limit is dangerous, selfish and never acceptable. With driving limited to essential journeys we would hope to see speeding decrease but sadly the opposite appears to be true.

“We implore all drivers to always keep well within speed limits and to be extra vigilant as people use local roads for their daily exercise. We particularly urge drivers to slow down on rural roads, some of which have 60mph speed limits and dangerous blind-bends that can hide people walking or cycling ahead.

“Every crash impacts lives and increases the burden on our stretched emergency services and NHS.”

The two charities are specifically asking drivers:   

  • To only drive if essential and always keep well within speed limits, slowing down around cyclists and in places where people live and exercise
  • Not to become complacent about quieter roads, doing so risks injury and puts extra pressure on the NHS and police.
  • To pay attention on country lanes, as people are getting their daily exercise walking or cycling, and are often families with young children
  • To be aware that pedestrians may move out into the road to follow social distancing guidance as they pass one another, both in cities and on country roads.

Notes to editors

  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.
  2. Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.

Press contact information


For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email