A Plymouth frontline NHS doctor has written an urgent plea to Plymouth motorists putting cyclists’ lives in danger by driving too fast on the empty roads.

Dr Suzy Connor is a consultant in the Emergency Department at Derriford Hospital and has written this plea in the hope drivers ‘give cyclists a wave rather than show their fists’.

The doctor says some motorists are taking advantage of the empty roads and driving “extremely fast, which could put cyclists’ lives – many of whom are travelling to the hospital as key workers – at risk”.

Dr Connor, a cyclist herself, asks people to stop and think, “What is the hurry?”.

“Please give us a wave rather than show your fists,” she wrote. “Be kind.”

This is her plea in full.

I wanted to share with the people of Plymouth some of my experiences of cycling to work recently, in the hope that some people might change their behaviour and maybe we can help make Plymouth a safer place to cycle for all.

This is Suzy's plea
This is Suzy’s plea

 

I am a Consultant in the Emergency Department at Derriford Hospital. Unfortunately I have seen many injuries over the years when cyclists come off bikes, often having being struck by cars. Sadly, the outcome for the cyclist is often not good.

I am a keen cyclist, and try and cycle in and out of work as often as I can.  It helps to get fresh air and exercise after a busy shift in the ED, especially at the moment.

The roads are definitely quieter at the moment, but there are a number of drivers on the road (and it is not delivery drivers) who think that it is therefore OK to drive extremely fast.

I will give you several examples of recent personal experience.

Cycling home on a Sunday evening after a shift in ED, 6.30pm, cycling on the A386 past Tesco Roborough, where the dual carriage way goes into one lane at the moment.  A car had to slow down behind me, probably for all of 20 seconds to get to the round about, then as he passed me, he showed me his fist and shook his head. Now I just can’t get my head around that behaviour. There are no shops open, no trains or buses to catch. What was the hurry? 

The second episode was also last week, at about 9.30pm, I was cycling up the A386, I had my bright jacket on, Hi Vis ruck sack cover, and four bike lights flashing. Clearly I was not out for a ‘leisure ride’ at that time of the night. I was cycling home from a shift in ED. Yet someone thought it was OK to overtake me with a vehicle coming in the opposite direction at the same time.

I would just like people to know many NHS frontline workers are trying to commute to work by bike. Please give us a wave rather than show your fists. Be kind.

If anyone could design me a ruck sack cover that says “NHS worker cycling to work”, maybe that would help!

Please join my campaign to try and make Plymouth a place were we can safely cycle to work.

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