The Westmorland GazetteBritish Cycling seek Government action (From The Westmorland Gazette)

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National Sport

British Cycling seek Government action

The Westmorland Gazette: Bradley Wiggins, pictured, and Shane Sutton were involved in two separate accidents in the past 24 hours Bradley Wiggins, pictured, and Shane Sutton were involved in two separate accidents in the past 24 hours

British Cycling have called for a new Government-led safety drive after Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins' road accident was followed less than 24 hours later by a serious injury to their head coach Shane Sutton.

Wiggins has been released from hospital after a vehicle collided with him on Wednesday but Sutton suffered bleeding on the brain following a road accident while on his bike in Manchester on Thursday morning. The two accidents prompted British Cycling to call on the Government for immediate action.

A British Cycling spokeswoman said: "British Cycling is calling on the government to put cycling at the heart of transport policy to ensure that cycle safety is built into the design of all new roads, junctions and transport projects, rather than being an afterthought."

The spokeswoman added: "It is extremely rare that our riders and coaches are hurt while out cycling on the road, even rarer that two incidents should occur in a short space of time, and we wish Shane and Bradley a speedy recovery.

"Cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity but there is much more to be done to improve conditions for cyclists on the roads."

Sutton was wearing a helmet when he was in collision with a Peugeot 206 being driven by a 61-year-old man in Levenshulme.

The British Cyclist spokeswoman added: "Shane was taken into hospital where it was identified he has suffered bruising and bleeding on the brain. Shane was wearing a helmet. He is set to undergo more tests, and is likely to stay in hospital for the next few days."

British Cycling director of policy and legal affairs Martin Gibbs believes that Britain has a lot to learn from abroad where there is greater provision on the roads for cyclists.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "These incidents do remind you that we've got a long way to go we need to look to our cousins abroad and [Denmark capital] Copenhagen and see what they've done. Around 30% of people making journeys there do so on their bike. We need the department of transport to stop thinking of cycling as an add-on."

Wiggins, 32, was thrown off his bike when a white Vauxhall Astra Envoy is thought to have pulled out of a petrol station and collided with him. A police source said his injuries from the crash were thought to be very serious at first, but later it appeared he suffered a number of broken ribs and cuts and bruises.

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