British Cycling has welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement in today’s Budget, confirming that he is going to invest an extra £15 million into making safety improvements for cyclists at key London road junctions.
The announcement of £15 million for Transport for London to spend on urgent improvements, comes just weeks after British Cycling and others in the cycling community came together to call for a change in approach from the Government to make cycling safety a greater priority.
The Government found itself under pressure to invest in infrastructure changes during the recent parliamentary debate on cycling safety in Westminster Hall. Transport Minister Norman Baker’s response at the time was that the DfT had given local authorities permission to improve junction safety with measures such as Trixi mirrors but did not commit to specific investment.
Today’s announcement indicates that the government is beginning to take the matter of cycling safety at junctions more seriously. However, junctions that pose unacceptable risk to cyclists should not have been built in the first place and top-down political leadership, as well as financial investment, is essential to ensuring that the needs of cyclists are integral to future road policy.
British Cycling Chief Executive Ian Drake responded: “This announcement is a good step in the right direction and shows that the Government has listened to British Cycling on the issue of making sure junctions are designed safely. We want to get more people on bikes and, while cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity, we know that the perceived risks are a major barrier to participation. We will continue to push for the government to put cycling at the heart of policy so that this country gets the Olympic legacy it deserves.”