ROAD users need more respect for each other, according to Pendle Council boss and British Cycling President Brian Cookson.

Mr Cookson, who accompanied Bradley Wiggins and Team GB on their Olympic victory events, said better education is needed for all road users to prevent avoidable accidents.

However Mr Cookson, president of British Cycling, the governing body for the sport, said he did not feel cycling helmets should be made compulsory.

The call comes after Bradley Wiggins, the Olympics and Tour de France hero, was hit by a van while on a training ride in Wrightington, near Chorley.

Shane Sutton, the head coach of the GB Cycling Team, was also hit by a car in Manchester.

Mr Cookson, who knows both Bradley and Shane, said: “Everybody’s life and limbs have the same value, but when this happens to a Tour de France, Olympic gold medal winning national hero it brings cycling safety to everyone’s focus.

“Penalties for motorists who hit cyclists should be seen as a more serious issue by the courts, but at the end of the day all we want to see if everyone taking more care on the roads.

“We all have a right to be on the road - cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and motorists. We need to start respecting each other rather than wanting to make a journey at any cost.

“We want to see better education and training for young cyclists and for drivers. I think there’s a need for everyone to be a bit more careful on the road.

“We also want to see the government to spend more on infrastructure to promote cycling, which has plenty of health and environmental benefits.”

Speaking about cycling safety, Mr Cookson said he did not believe helmets should be made compulsory.

“Despite the two recent incidents, it’s not a dangerous sport. Accidents are a very rare occurrence despite these two recent high profile incidents.

“We encourage people to wear helmets. They are designed to protect your head if you fall from your bike, but if you are run over by a bus or a truck a helmet isn’t going to do much.”

He said Bradley is now at home recovering, and Shane was due to spend another night in hospital last night because of his head injuries.