British Cycling has welcomed the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport’s commitment to put cycling at the heart of all transport policy with the announcement of a package of measures to promote cycling and increase the safety of cyclists.
Maria Eagle MP’s proposals include a mandatory Cycling Safety Assessment for all future transport projects, a specific road budget allocation for cycling, a renewed commitment to cycle training, backing for Local Authorities on cycling promotion and infrastructure, national targets on accident reduction and a reversal of the trial of longer lorries on UK roads, together with new plans for the funding of urgent improvements to HGV safety.
Ms Eagle made the policy pledge after consulting British Cycling and other groups at the recent Labour Cycling Summit and in response to recent research which found that cyclists were more severely injured and had higher mortality rates when involved in collisions with HGVs.
She responded to the study by saying that “Instead of taking steps to reduce the risk from HGVs, the Government has given the green light to longer lorries on our roads when even the Department for Transport’s own figures show that this is likely to lead to more casualties. Ministers must stop being dogmatic, look at the evidence and reverse this reckless decision.”
Martin Gibbs, Policy and Legal Affairs Director at British Cycling echoed Ms Eagle’s views on the longer lorries trial; “We have been urging the Government to suspend this lorry trial until a proper safety assessment has been carried out.”
“What we find particularly encouraging about these policy proposals is that the Shadow Secretary of State has clearly listened to the people she consulted. In order to transform cycling in this country we must put it at the heart of what the DfT do and Maria Eagle has clearly understood this.”