Making Bristol better for cycling

Safety – or “feel good” safety?

We enjoy it when members pen their thoughts, observations and evidence about cycling in Bristol. (If you’d like to contribute something, please do contact us.) But occasionally something comes along from “outside” which we really want to share.

Here is a remarkably well thought-through article from a woman – Marjut Ollitervo – from Finland. It challenges us to think about the superficially simple word “safety” from a cultural perspective. It’s not a quick read – please set aside 10 minutes – but Marjut writes with such a Greta Thunberg-style clarity and lucidity that we suggest it could justify a small slice of your day.

Click here for Marjut’s article.


  1. Beverley Gibbs

    Excellent article. A month ago, a car pulled out of a parking space, into oncoming traffic, ie me, and ran into me head on. I strongly suspect the driver was texting/ talking on her phone, as I made frantic efforts to get into her line of sight.
    I broke my wrist and have continuing pain in my pelvis/ thigh. I had extensive bruising which is finally fading. I also had mild to moderate concussion for the rest of the day, as I had not been wearing a helmet.
    The police’s main response was to emphasise their standard advice that cyclists wear helmets at all times. They did not explain how this would have prevented the bruising, leg injury or broken wrist.

  2. Mark Brough

    Thank you for letting us know about this Beverley. Exactly the same happened to another member about 6 months ago, thankfully without injury as serious as yours. Despite our member persisting tenaciously with Avon & Somerset Police, no one even spoke with the motorist to check their fitness to continue to drive.

    It is indeed strange that in such a risk-averse society, it is nonetheless completely accepted by society, and even condoned by some, that certain out-groups can suffer violence at the hands of certain in-groups, with no sanction whatsoever.

    Bristol Cycling meet occasionally with Avon & Somerset Police, in part to resist the ongoing normalisation of such casual responses to violence as that you describe. Please get in touch at info at if we are able to help.

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