2 February 2012
Ian Drake, British Cycling’s Chief Executive has welcomed the ‘Cities fit for cycling’ campaign launched today by The Times newspaper. An eight-point manifesto sits at the heart of the campaign, which comes in the wake of a serious accident involving a Times journalist, Mary Bowers, in November last year.
“We are delighted to see The Times take such a positive stance on cycle safety and welcome any initiative which raises the issue in the minds of the public and the policy makers,” said Drake. “Obviously the circumstances which led to the launch of the campaign are appalling and our thoughts are with Mary’s friends and family.
“We have worked closely with The Times over the past month, sharing with them the thoughts of our members gathered towards the end of last year. We have released more details on these findings today and will push on with our own efforts to influence the policy changes required to make the roads safer for cyclists.”
Brian Cookson, British Cycling's President said: "“I’m really pleased to see the Times taking a lead on the issue of road safety for cyclists and commend their manifesto. I hope that it will help us to get policy makers across government increasingly engaged as now is the time for a co-ordinated national policy on cycle safety, covering issues like HGVs and changes to the driving test.
“More and more people are cycling and we fully expect London 2012 to inspire even greater numbers to take to their bikes. As a nation we need to embrace this and ensure the roads are as safe as they can possibly be for cyclists.
“These are issues which affect everyone who cycles, from Olympic Champions such as Nicole Cooke who wrote eloquently on the issue yesterday in The Times, to commuters or recreational riders looking to keep fit. Change has to happen and it will only do so with strong political leadership and proper investment. Just as investment in the sport has made us such a successful cycling nation we urge the government to work to make Britain a great place for all cyclists.”
The manifesto published by The Times outlines what needs to be done to make cities fit for cyclists:
Trucks entering a city centre should be required by law to fit sensors, audible truck-turning alarms, extra mirrors and safety bars to stop cyclists being thrown under the wheels.The 500 most dangerous road junctions must be identified, redesigned or fitted with priority traffic lights for cyclists and Trixi mirrors that allow lorry drivers to see cyclists on their near-side.A national audit of cycling to find out how many people cycle in Britain and how cyclists are killed or injured should be held to underpin effective cycle safety.Two per cent of the Highways Agency budget should be earmarked for next generation cycle routes, providing £100 million a year towards world-class cycling infrastructure. Each year cities should be graded on the quality of cycling provision.The training of cyclists and drivers must improve and cycle safety should become a core part of the driving test.20mph should become the default speed limit in residential areas where there are no cycle lanes.Businesses should be invited to sponsor cycleways and cycling super-highways, mirroring the Barclays-backed bicycle hire scheme in London.Every city, even those without an elected mayor, should appoint a cycling commissioner to push home reforms.
As part of the launch in The Times, Olympic Road Race Champion Nicole Cooke outlined her thoughts on the topic and highlighted the need for greater mutual respect between cyclists and other road users.
British Cycling encourages all its members to back the campaign. More details on how to do so can be found at http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/contact/.