Politicians Back Safer Cycling Measures

Cycling Week Marked With Bike Friendly Measures Call

24.06.2014

A cross-party panel of MPs has agreed that the government and should do more to make the UK cycle-friendly.

The All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group was promoting the annual Parliamentary Bike Ride to launch Bike Week 2014, with members of the group taking the opportunity to call for their parties to do more to make riding safer, cycling charity CTC reports.

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, the secretary of the group, said she wanted to see cycling discussed on the main stage of the Conservative Party Conference and called for the recommendations of the group's Get Britain Cycling report to be reflected in its manifesto.

Following this, Labour's shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh MP pledged that measures to "cycle-proof" all roads would be implemented by a future Labour government and called for measures to promote safe driving and increase the use of 20 mph limits.

Liberal Democrat member Julian Hibbert MP argued for guaranteed funding of £10 per person for cycling, stating that calls for "an end to stop-start funding for cycling must leave us in start mode". 

The politicians were followed by 1992 Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman, British Cycling's policy advisor. He said: "It's not just about segregation, we also need 20 mph limits and a change of priority for road space. That's what's needed to persuade more women, more children, more people with disabilities, to take up cycling".

Acknowledgement by politicians and experts that more needs to be done to make cycling popular and safe may act as an indication that there is a long way to go at present. 

The all-party group's cycling report listed 50 recommendations aimed at increasing the number of journeys made by bike from two per cent in 2011 to ten per cent by 2025 and 25 per cent by 2050.

Ideas included considering more 40 mph limits on rural lanes, stronger enforcement of road traffic laws, better driver training and vehicle design to reduce the risk of HGVs and the adoption of "continental" practices for cyclist-friendly road designs.

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Expert Opinion
Having represented injured victims and the families of cyclists killed as a result of collisions on the UK’s roads, we have seen first-hand the terrible consequences and risks that such road users can face.

"It is very welcome to see these steps taken to improve standards in the UK, with the ultimate aim of improving the situation for cyclists and – in turn – other drivers and road users too.

"Cycling has arguably never been more popular in the UK following the sporting successes which have been seen. However, it is vital that the growing number of people choosing to travel by two wheels is reflected in a more concerted effort to boost safety."
Colin Ettinger, Partner