The Times: Cities Fit for Cycling

by Jaymi Mccann

Photo: The Times

In November 2011 Times reporter Mary Bowers, 27, was cycling to work when she collided with a lorry in Wapping.  She is still unconscious and it is unclear if she will ever recover.

Using Mary as their inspiration The Times have launched a campaign to improve safety standards for cyclists on all of the UK’s city roads.

In the last decade approximately 27,000 cyclists have been involved in accidents resulting in serious injury or even death.

Their 8 point plan for cycle safety is:

  1. Trucks entering a city centre should be required by law to fit censors, 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. Every city, even those without an elected mayor, should appoint a cycling commissioner to push home reforms.

The Times have temporarily taken down their paywall to help promote the campaign, so to read more and sign the petition go here!

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2 Responses to “The Times: Cities Fit for Cycling”

  1. The Presumption is that motor vehicles take priority on our roads and this has to be turned on its head. Why on earth is it effectively far too risky to use many roads to cycle when the question should be: why are motor vehicles able to share roads until the safety of cyclists and pedestrians is made paramount? The status quo has to change. If a Martian were to have an objective view of the situation (or even a Dane) then there might be some head-scratching.

    And just before anyone pipes up, the majority of cyclists pay road tax. It is a tax for the damage caused and for the luxury of driving a car, and not an entry fee.

    Joseph Cullen
    Otley, West Yorkshire

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