COMMONS

Calls for cycling budget of £10 per head by 2020

18 July 2014

The Transport Committee's report on cycling safety says a cycling budget of £10 per head by 2020 is essential to fund long-term development of cycling infrastructure and to make our roads safer for cycling.

Chair's comments

Launching a report examining how roads can be made safer for cyclists, Louise Ellman MP, Chair of the Transport Committee said:

“Last year 109 cyclists were killed on our roads, and over 3,000 seriously injured. Cyclists have told us the dangers they face every day from a lack of cycling infrastructure, poorly-designed junctions and aggressive driving.

Spending on cycling is currently estimated to be just £2 per head. To make the necessary improvements to cycling infrastructure and training, we call for spending to be increased to £10 per head by 2020.

Investing in cycling will make the roads safer for all users, and encourage more people to cycle and walk.

Drivers and cyclists should be encouraged to share the road safely, to treat each other with respect and to comply with the law.

The DfT should support local authorities to make it easier and cheaper for them to introduce 20 mile an hour speed limits in high-risk areas.

The road haulage and construction sectors must pursue best practice to improve their road safety record. It’s vital they curb the high number of big vehicles - such as concrete and tipper lorries - involved in fatal collisions with cyclists.”

The Committee calls for a cultural change across Government, so that all departments work together to fund and facilitate support for cycling.

“Transport Ministers must demonstrate clear political leadership by championing cycling and the Department for Transport must coordinate action across government on this vital agenda,” adds Louise Ellman.

Conclusions

The Committee also concludes: 

  • Road safety measures should aim to curb the number of cycling casualties while increasing the overall number of cyclists on the road. Achieving both these goals will require steps to improve actual and perceived levels of safety for cyclists on the road.
  • Central government, regional and local authorities, should use all the tools at their disposal to promote the safer sharing of the road between drivers and cyclists.
  • Safe cycling should be made an integral part of the design for all new infrastructure projects. Local authorities should be required to demonstrate that cycling was considered and incorporated into the design of new roads at the earliest stage, and that local cyclists were consulted as part of this process.
  • The disproportionate number of HGVs involved in collisions with cyclists demonstrates that the industry must improve its road safety record.
  • Cycle training should be available to all cyclists: children in primary and secondary school, adults seeking to gain confidence, and those looking to refresh their road skills.
  • DVSA must ensure that drivers are tested—in the practical test if possible, and certainly via the theory test—on their approach to sharing the road with cyclists.
  • Government should reassess its approach to road safety awareness and set out, in its response to this report, the steps it will take to ensure a clear and consistent message of mutual respect between all road users and compliance with the law by cyclists and drivers.
  • Government should consider amending the Highway Code to promote cycle safety and ensure that it reflects the rights of cyclists to share the road with drivers.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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