The “life-changing” injuries suffered by a Bradford firefighter have prompted police to issue a warning to cyclists visiting the Dales.
The 48-year-old officer, who has not yet been named, is still in hospital after colliding with a car in Askrigg, Wensleydale, on April 5.
The man was riding a section of the Tour de France’s opening stage route on a mountain bike, with friends and colleagues from the Leeds Road central station in Bradford, when the accident happened. Great North Air Ambulance staff anaesthetised him at scene before he received treatment for severe spinal, pelvic, chest and internal injuries.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said the man was conscious and in a stable conditionon Thursday, adding: “The firefighter has suffered life-changing injuries and is being treated at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
“His wife is by his side and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is providing ongoing welfare support.”
The incident has led to a warning from North Yorkshire Police for cyclists to take care on the county’s roads, particularly in the build-up to the Tour de France, which arrives in the Dales on July 5.
Traffic Sergeant John Lumbard, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, said: “With the roads likely to get busier and busier with cyclists over the next few months, it is important that we try and prevent any further casualties.
“The narrow country roads and steep hills in the Dales can be very challenging, even to experienced riders, and it is vital that cyclists are aware of this before they visit. It is not uncommon for long straights or steep descents to be followed by tight bends or T-junctions, and it is imperative that cyclists have the skills and knowledge to negotiate these obstacles.”
Officers are giving out leaflets and posters around bike centres, cafe stops and assembly points throughout the Dales in an effort to get the message across – highlighting the importance of well-maintained brakes and the need to wear a helmet. The information also highlights other rural hazards such as cattle-grids, animals in the road, mud from agricultural vehicles, loose gravel and undefined kerb lines.
North Yorkshire County Council’s Road Safety and Travel Awareness Team has also produced a “Cycle Yorkshire: Ride the Routes” free app for cyclists.