Government Launches Cycle Safety Campaign In Five Cities

London Cycling Scheme To Be Rolled Out Elsewhere

23.10.2013

A cycle safety scheme that proved to be a success in London is being spread to five other cities in England.

The Department for Transport confirmed its Think! programme will be rolled out in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Cambridge. These areas were chosen because they have the highest number of cyclist deaths and injuries outside the capital.

Posters and billboards will be now be erected in prominent places in order to remind motorists about the presence of cyclists on the roads.

Roads minister Robert Goodwill said that although Britain has some of the safest roads on the planet, more needs to be done to reduce the number of bikers being involved in accidents.

Figures provided by the government showed 118 cyclists were killed in 2012, which was up from 107 in 2011. There was also a four per cent increase in the number of serious injuries being suffered by bikers last year.

The vast majority of these incidents (92 per cent) involved another vehicle.

"This campaign aims to make motorists aware of the need to look out for cyclists, ensuring they take extra care when turning at junctions, for example, and encourages cyclists to think about the dangers that they could be unaware of when they are riding," Mr Goodwill commented.

Posters containing striking images were used to raise awareness of cyclists in London during the summer and they seemed to be well received.

This is just one aspect of the government's drive towards making it safer for cyclists to use the nation's roads.

It has set aside a budget of £278 million to rectify the situation, with £35 million of this money being used to improve dangerous junctions. 

New legislation has been introduced to make it easier for local councils to introduce 20 mph zones where they see fit and more Trixi mirrors - which are intended to eliminate blind spots on sharp corners and junctions - are also being installed across the country.

Expert Opinion
The Olympics and recent Tour de France successes have meant that interest in cycling has seemingly never been greater, with more and more people feeling encouraged to swap four wheels for two.

"However, the number of cyclists being seriously or fatally injured on Britain’s roads remains worryingly high and we have repeatedly called for urgent action to prevent further serious incidents.

“We welcome the wider roll out of the government’s Think! programme in cities that have a high rate of cyclist deaths and injuries, and support any scheme that raises awareness of the different types of issues road users can face.

“We hope the programme has the same positive impact in these latest cities as it has in London.”
Stephen Nye, Partner