Risk of poorly-maintained roads to cyclists' health highlighted

Date posted

8 October 2017

Cyclists are risking permanent nerve damage due to poor road surfaces, research by Edinburgh Napier University reported in The Scotsman suggests.

The research suggested that cyclists could develop Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome after pedalling for as little as 16 minutes "on the worst surfaces such as cobbles," the newpaper reported, based on Dr Mark Taylor's findings. Dr Taylor was quoted as saying that better surfaces are crucial to encouraging more people to cycle and said he would create a cycling vibration route map to help riders avoid the worst stretches and to highlight areas for improvement to road authorities.

He used a 'databike' with a camera, sensors and onboard computer to record vibration levels. Glasgow City Council was quoted saying it was keen to incorporate such data into an assessment of cycle lane quality for "smarter investment". Cycling campaigners Spokes, meanwhile, said that potholed surfaces are a serious danger because they distract cyclists' attention from traffic and that the round-topped sets on the High Street in Edinburgh were "very bad" but the flat-topped ones around the High Street/George IV junction were "quite acceptable".