Campaigning / Infrastructure

Get Britain Cycling

Today sees the release of the Get Britain Cycling inquiry report.

The report makes many recommendations, some I feel more strongly about than others, however today a single voice and a unified message is required so I won’t nitpick.

The recommendations are

  • Create a cycling budget of £10 per person per year, increasing to £20
  • Ensure local and national bodies, such as the Highways Agency,Department for Transport, and local government allocate funds to cycling of at least the local proportion of journeys done by bike
  • Cycle spending that makes a tangible contribution to other government departments, such as Health, Education, Sport and Business, should be funded from those budgets, not just the DfT.
  • a statutory requirement that cyclists’ and pedestrians’ needs are considered at an early stage of all new development schemes,including housing and business developments as well as traffic and transport schemes, including funding through the planning system
  • revise existing design guidance, to include more secure cycleparking, continental best practice for cycle-friendly planning and design, and an audit process to help planners, engineers and
    architects to ‘think bike’ in all their work
  • The Highways Agency should draw up a programme to remove the barriers to cycle journeys parallel to or across trunk roads and
    motorway corridors, starting with the places where the potential for increased cycle use is greatest.
  • Local authorities should seek to deliver cycle-friendly improvement sacross their existing roads, including small improvements,segregated routes, and road reallocation.
  • The Department for Transport should approve and update necessarynew regulations, such as allowing separate traffic lights for cyclists and commencing s6 of the Road Traffic Act 2004
  • Extend 20 mph speed limits in towns, and consider 40mph limits on many rural lanes
  • Improve HGV safety by vehicle design, driver training, and mutual awareness with cyclists; promote rail freight and limit use of HGVs on the busiest urban streets at the busiest times, and use public sector projects to drive fleet improvements
  • Strengthen the enforcement of road traffic law, including speedlimits, and ensuring that driving offences – especially those resulting in death or injury – are treated sufficiently seriously by police,prosecutors and judges
  • Provide cycle training at all primary and secondary schools
  • Offer widespread affordable (or free) cycle training and other programmes to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to give cycling a try, as evidenced by NICE
  • Promote cycling as a safe and normal activity for people of all ages and backgrounds
  • The Government should produce a cross-departmental Cycling Action Plan, with annual progress reports
  • The Government should appoint a national Cycling Champion, an expert from outside the Department for Transport.
  • The government should set national targets to increase cycle use from less than 2% of journeys in 2011, to 10% of all journeys in 2025,and 25% by 2050
  • Central and Local government and devolved authorities should each appoint a lead politician responsible for cycling

I think this is something we can all get behind, even if we don’t agree on every single point it would be a big leap forward for cycling in the UK. To let the government know how you feel sign the petition here

In more local news, Chris Boardman takes the opportunity of an article in The Times to use his home town of West Kirby as an example of how a small change might make a big difference. He rightly suggests that the angle of entry to Dee Lane and Banks Road should be made sharper rather than the sweeping bends they are now, this would force cars to slow down more to make the turns. He also says the pedestrian islands ought to be moved to allow better line of sight between pedestrian and driver.

WestKirby

As you can see anyone standing at the crossing point on the inside of the bend is out of sight of oncoming vehicles until the last second. Small fixes that WBC could implement quite cheaply so that our resident Olympic Hero and his family (and every other family) can walk and cycle around the village that little bit more safely.

West Kirby is a lovely village and being located down by the beach as it is, it is popular with people on all modes of transport, particularly in the summer when there will be hundreds of pedestrians in the area along with hundreds of cars. Perhaps WBC can implement Chris’ fixes in time for this summer?

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