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Can 5,000 cyclists be wrong about cyclist safety on our roads?

Cycle Safety in London

In September, the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) organised a protest whereby 5,000 cyclists pedalled their way across the capital to Parliament Square, to show their support for the Get Britain Cycling report which MPs were debating at the time.

This shows the depth of feeling about the inequality with which cyclists are being treated, and echoes the comments made in our earlier blog around the £94m funding that’s been allocated to support cycling infrastructure.

The Government has responded more recently by rolling out a new Think! Poster campaign that was trialled in London over the Summer, and has been extended to cover five more UK cities over the next month.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson wants to fine lorries driving into London without side impact bars – because he thinks this is the best way to improve cyclist safety.

In an alternative interview with Highways Magazine, Michael Conway, CEO of FM Conway and operator of one of the largest HGV fleets in London, admitted that whilst his company had spent over £1,200 to make each of their vehicles cyclist-friendly, this would not be affordable for smaller haulage firms.

No such thing as joined-up thinking?

To make matters worse, Eric Pickles wants to make it easier for everyone to park on double yellow lines, and the DfT is putting pressure on local authorities to ditch using double yellow lines.

Is that really a sign of progress, or transport in equilibrium, with a real sense of balance and of a shared space for all road users? Or is it a throwback to the 1980s, and a focus on the needs solely of the private car user?

It seems to us that if motor vehicles are suddenly allowed to park throughout town and city centres again, surely we’re just creating more hazards for cyclists to navigate, putting them at increased risk. It doesn’t look like joined up thinking.

All is not lost!

There are other measures that can – and are – being taken to improve cyclist safety.

Successful campaigns by group such as 20s Plenty For Us, have driven recent moves by a number of major UK cities including London to reduce speed limits and adopt 20mph zones. This is to be encouraged further.

In addition, many local authorities are investigating and trialling the use of technology such as M100BR at key cyclist danger hotspots such as traffic junctions, to make the presence of cyclists more visible – and enable them safer passage across junctions.

To find out more about how our M100BR product works, visit here.

To find out more about our cyclist safety and road safety solutions, please feel free to get in touch here.

Author: |Date Published: November 2013

Links: Route Safety Cycle Safety

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