1. ITV Report

Wiggins sparks cycle helmet row

Bradley Wiggins would like helmets to be made compulsory. Photo: PA, John Giles

Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Bradley Wiggins has sparked a row over whether cycling helmets should be made compulsory.

Last night, he was asked for his views on bike safety, after a cyclist was killed in an accident outside the Olympic Park.

He said he would like to see a new law introduced, which would make it compulsory for cyclists to wear helmets.

"Cycling's a dangerous sport....and London is a busy city [with] a lot of traffic," he said.

"I think we have to help ourselves sometimes.

"I haven't lived in London for 10 to 15 years now and it's got a lot busier since I was riding a bike as a kid round here, and I got knocked off several times.

"But I think things are improving to a degree - there are organisations out there who are attempting to make the roads safer for both parties.

"But at the end of the day, we've all got to co-exist on the roads."Cyclists are not ever going to go away, as much as drivers moan, and as much as cyclists maybe moan about certain drivers, they are never going to go away, so there's got to be a bit of give and take."

But his comments have created a stir among communities of cyclists, many of whom vehemently disagree.

Darren Johnson, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, said: "Calling for cyclists to wear a helmet completely misses the point - a helmet is not an issue when a person is killed by massive body injuries. We need to focus on the solutions to the problem of left-turning lorries and other big vehicles in London."

Cycling charity CTC tweeted: "Mandatory helmets would not be helpful - everyday cycling would collapse and there would be no change in driver attitude/behaviour. "

They continued: "Not sure it is useful to give so much credence to views of gold medallist on road safety - how about Steve Redgrave on the Costa Concordia?"

The London Cycling Campaign also weighed in, saying: the "Helmet debate is [a] damaging diversion from real issues".

Hear Bradley Wiggins' comments in full in the video clip below.

Department for Transport figures on the Number of Cyclist Road Casualties (where an accident occurred) for 2011

  • Barking and Dagenham - 44 casualties
  • Barnet - 71 casualties
  • Bexley - 29 casualties
  • Bracknell Forest - 32 casualties
  • Brent - 81 casualties
  • Bromley - 88 casualties
  • Buckinghamshire - 96 casualties
  • Camden - 284 casualties
  • City of London - 149 casualties
  • Croydon - 115 casualties
  • Ealing - 110 casualties
  • Enfield - 67 casualties
  • Essex - 229 casualties
  • Greenwich - 77 casualties
  • Hackney - 259 casualties
  • Hammersmith and Fulham - 171 casualties
  • Haringey - 95 casualties
  • Harrow - 30 casualties
  • Havering - 44 casualties
  • Hertfordshire - 279 casualties
  • Hillingdon - 63 casualties
  • Hounslow - 120 casualties
  • Islington - 279 casualties
  • Kensington and Chelsea - 177casualties
  • Kent - 365 casualties
  • Kingston upon Thames - 87 casualties
  • Lambeth - 285 casualties
  • Lewisham - 142 casualties
  • London Airport (Heathrow) - 1 casualty
  • Merton - 66 casualties
  • Milton Keynes - 68 casualties
  • Newham - 97 casualties
  • Reading - 103 casualties
  • Redbridge - 60 casualties
  • Richmond upon Thames -129 casualties
  • Slough - 63 casualties
  • Southend-on-Sea - 53 casualties
  • Southwark - 283 casualties
  • Surrey - 529 casualties
  • Sutton - 48 casualties
  • Thurrock - 29 casualties
  • Tower Hamlets - 205 casualties
  • Waltham Forest - 113 casualties
  • Wandsworth - 258 casualties
  • Westminster - 371 casualties

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