The British government announced on Friday that it has launched a review into cycling and walking safety, and it wants to hear from cyclists and cycling organisations to help shape future policy.
The Department for Transport’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy: Safety Review includes a ‘call for evidence’ from cyclists, which includes the opportunity to fill in an online survey to give your thoughts on cycling/walking safety in the UK.
Jesse Norman MP, road safety minister, said: “Cycling, like walking, needs to be universally seen as easy, fun and safe. Safety, and the perception of safety, are vital if we are to create a rapid increase in the use of active travel.
“The truth is that cycling is generally very safe, and serious accidents are rare. But we need to make it safer still, for all road users, so that it becomes a default mode of transport, whatever one’s age or background.
“But safety does not simply include road safety – it also includes physical health and well-being, in a clean and green environment. The evidence is clear: cycling and walking have the capacity to transform the health and well-being, not
only of people who walk and cycle themselves, but of everyone in society.”
Norman continued: “We are looking for great ideas, for evidence of what works, for examples of good practice from other countries, for innovative technologies, for imaginative solutions, and for idealism tempered with a sense of the practical. Over to you!”
The online Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) safety review survey is on the DfT’s website.
Cycling groups have welcomed the move by the DfT to ask for opinions on a wide range of issues affecting cyclists and encouraging cycling.
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Head of Campaigns, said: “We are pleased that the scope of this review reflects what Cycling UK and other groups have called for, and this now presents a real opportunity to deliver the measures that can secure more, and safer cycling and walking.
“We also hope that the Government’s request for evidence of the case for new road safety rules means they’re now open to a more comprehensive review to support its aims to encourage more people to walk and cycle in greater safety.”
The announcement of wide-ranging review has come on the same day that an independent report into cycle safety commissioned by the Department for Transport was published.
The report suggests the need for a new law for causing death or injury by dangerous cycling, and came in the wake of the death of pedestrian Kim Briggs, who died after being hit by cyclist Charlie Alliston.
British Cycling campaigns manager Martin Key said that the introduction of a new law alone would not make roads safer, and called for a full review of road safety laws.
“The trial of Charlie Alliston last year highlighted that there is a gap in the law concerning death caused by careless or dangerous cycling, and we recognise that the outdated law used to convict Alliston was not fit for purpose in the 21st century,” said Key.
“However, the adoption of this new law alone will not lead to a marked improvement in the safety of our roads. Between 2011 and 2015 the average number of pedestrian fatalities was 365, of which just three involved a bicycle, and last year the total number of fatalities increased again to 448.
“We look forward to hearing how the government plans to combat this increase going forwards.”