Thursday, 2nd February 2012: As of last night the wires were buzzing with news of the Cycling Initiative in The Times – well here is my paper copy of The Times. The Times has operated a paywall for some time, however this initiative is not hidden behind those links – jump in at Save our 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.
I personally believe that this is an issue that transcends politics, I also acknowledge that there are many bodies that have been campaigning tirelessly on behalf of cyclists and would-be cyclists. (The Cambridge Cycling Campaign being one such body – with its 100th edition of their Newsletter.)
I do feel that our challenge is to make cycling attractive to non-cyclists. I know that cycling has gotten safer, I know that it is both practical and fun – but I also have heard inhabitants of the necklace villages around Cambridge say how if only it were safer they would return to their bikes as a form of transport (in formal presentations). I like that the manifesto focus on improving the safety of the roads for cyclists rather than focus on training and visibility and crash helmets. I believe that cycling is a safe activity made dangerous by the motorised road users and the road infrastructure. We need to focus on the problems and not the symptoms.
I also feel that this goes beyond the cities.