CTC and The Times take cycle safety message to Parliament


CTC President, Jon Snow, has called on the Government to provide proper funding and a plan of how to improve cycle safety and get more people riding. He was giving evidence to a special session on cycling of the Transport Select Committee alongside CTC Vice President, Josie Dew, and The Times’ editor James Harding.


CTC's Josie Dew outside the houses of parliment


Jon Snow said: “There is no leadership from central government on cycling. Leadership means joined up government with all departments working together to further cycling. There needs to be much more funding for cycling – perhaps £300 million a year from central government – a diminutive sum of money even in an age of austerity.”


Josie Dew explained that: “I have ridden five hundred thousand miles in fifty countries and in my experience driver behaviour is getting worse. Drivers should have to ride a bicycle before they get behind the wheel – the best way would be to have cycling as part of the driving test.”


The Whitehall invite to the trio follows the campaign ‘Cities fit for cycling’ launched by The Times in February after one of their reporters, Mary Bowers, was left severely injured following a collision with a lorry. The paper proposed 8 points which the Government should implement to improve cycle safety, ranging from funding better infrastructure to 20 mph speed limits and improved driver training.


Tens of thousands of people have pledged their support for the campaign. Working with CTC’s network of local cycle campaigners, The Times asked cyclists and drivers to highlight the worst roads for cycling – black spots that need changing to make cycling in Britain better. Today, The Times has suggested that the 10,000 reports of badly designed junctions, roundabouts and roads should be used to start an audit of cycle conditions across the country.


James Harding: “It has been amazing to us how people have responded to our campaign. Cycling is one area where people are now looking to politics and politicians for answers. ”


CTC is disappointed that the Ministers in the Department for Transport defended their approach to cycle safety, but yet again made no commitments about new policies or funding to improve the situation.


At the end of the session there was considerable confusion spread when the Minister for Road Safety appeared to suggest that cycling in Britain was safer than the Netherlands because there were more cyclists killed per head of population, forgetting that the Dutch cycle three times further than the British do, with just one quarter of the population. Per mile travelled cycling is at least twice as risky in Britain.


CTC's Jon Snow outside the houses of parliment



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