Sunday, 5 February 2012

Times - Cities Fit for Cycling

The Times Newspaper has launched a "Cities that Fit for Cycling Campaign" .  The aim to rais ethe profile of cycling and to encourage the Govrnment and local authorities to take cycling and cycle safety seriously.

Over 27,000 cyclists have been killed or seriously injure in the last 10 years.  104 of which hapenned last year alone

The campaign Brief:
On the urban roads of Britain today cyclists need to be fit for cities. Cycling should be both safe and pleasurable. Ministers, mayors and local authorities must build cities that are fit for cycling.
The Times has launched a public campaign and 8-point manifesto calling for cities to be made fit for cyclists:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The training of cyclists and drivers must improve and cycle safety should become a core part of the driving test.
  6. 20mph should become the default speed limit in residential areas where there are no cycle lanes.
  7. Businesses should be invited to sponsor cycleways and cycling super-highways, mirroring the Barclays-backed bicycle hire scheme in London.
  8. Every city, even those without an elected mayor, should appoint a cycling commissioner to push home reforms.
     The Times received official backing from the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, which pledged to push forward the demands made in our Cities fit for cycling manifesto and will table an Early Day Motion supporting the campaign in the House of Commons on Monday morning.
    Ian Austin, joint chairman of the group, said: “I think the campaign is absolutely brilliant. The parliamentary group backs the campaign and is keen to meet people from The Times to discuss how we can get the issues on the manifesto in front of the right people.”
    Lord Sugar, the rower James Cracknell and the singer Florence Welch, all keen cyclists, have joined the pantheon of famous backers, many of whom appear in the Bike Britain supplement in The Times newspaper today. Welch said: “Me and my whole family cycle and my father was knocked off his bike last year. It was so traumatic for all of us, so understandably I am a huge supporter of the campaign for safer cycling.”
    They added their names alongside the Olympic champion cyclists Sir Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Rebecca Romero, Victoria Pendleton and Chris Boardman, the world champion cyclist Mark Cavendish, the TV presenters Gabby Logan and Jon Snow, the actress Olivia Williams, and all major candidates for the London mayoral elections

    Pledge your Support

    This Campaign comes at a time when British Cycling published its "Road Safety Report" and its call for MUTUAL RESPECT between cyclist and motorists. 

    Ian Drake, Chief Executive of British Cycling, said: “It’s essential that we get away from this sense of ‘them and us’ between motorists and cyclists. Most people who ride a bike also drive a car which suggests there should already be some mutual understanding. Now more needs to be done to build on this and create culture in which all road users can better respect each other. And it’s important to stress that cyclists have as much of a role to play in this as motorists, by ensuring they adhere to the rules of the road with regards to things like stopping at red traffic lights and signalling correctly.”

    Key Findings from surveys with its members included:

    In terms of greater cycle awareness in driving tests, the two areas highlighted for particular attention were that drivers should know how to overtake cyclists safely, and how much space to allow cyclists.
    With regards to road layouts, the most common complaint was about cycle lanes that end too abruptly.
    As well as the compulsory introduction of improved mirrors to reduce blind spots on HGVs, it was widely felt that better education for drivers to ensure they look out for cyclists and better education for cyclists about the risks of cycling on the inside of HGV would help reduce the risk of HGV-related accidents.
    The reduction of urban speed limits from 30mph to 20mph would reduce the severity of injuries sustained in any accidents, although it was acknowledged that drivers might become agitated if they had to drive at that speed.

    Download the Road Safety Report

    I urge everyone who cycles, whether it be regularly, occasionally, professionally or of fun to sign up for the campaign. Show your support or offer to help, ultimately it’s about all of our safety and improving the conditions we cycle in and helping reduce the potential risk of death for us all.

    It has been a long time coming that cycling is being discussed in detail in the House of Commons. Apparently there are 7 Million of us who cycle? 10% of that pledging support would have a huge impact of politicians! As like voting, you have no right to complain if you don't vote

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