Against the backdrop of a country concerned about obesity levels, air pollution and congestion, the Government is keen to make cycling and walking the natural choices for shorter journeys, or as part of longer journeys when possible. Jesse Norman, Under Secretary of State for Transport, has gone further to say he wants to 'transition to a world where a 12-year-old can cycle safely'.
The key issue here, of course, is safety. The latest figures from the Department for Transport are encouraging, showing that people were cycling 26% further in 2016 compared to 2006, up to 53 miles per year from 42 miles per year, and that walking was the second most common mode choice in 2016, with 25% of trips being walked. But with our streets and roads getting busier by the year, news of incidents relating to accidents concerning cyclists, pedestrians, joggers or lorries appear all too often in the media.
Determined to act in the midst of this glare of publicity, in September 2017 Jesse Norman announced an urgent review into cycling and pedestrian safety, following a series of high- profile incidents involving cyclists and pedestrians. The review will explore the case for creating a new offence equivalent of causing death or serious injury by careless or dangerous cycling, which is aimed at protecting both cyclists and pedestrians. In March 2018, the Minister also launched a related call for evidence to make both cycling and walking safer. This call for evidence is open to the public via the DfT website, and the Minister is particularly keen that everyone, from parents to horse riders to mobility scooter users and delivery drivers, gets to have their say. If you'd like to contribute to the public Call for Evidence, visit the DfT website here
As aprt of this call for evidence, the Minister's team is also holding four free regional events, to be held in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and London, and the DfT will also stream one session over the internet so that anyone unable to attend an event in person can join in online. For further details of events in your area visit this website to register free via eventbrite, or to join the webinar, please visit TransportXtra.com
The Government has invested £7 million of funding to improve cycle safety as part of its Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy, with the aim doubling rates of walking and cycling by 2025. To help achive this aim safely, and to encourage the public to respond online to its call for evidence, which ends on June 2, the Minister's team at the Department for Transport will be touring the country to meet with members of the public who are interested in road safety issues. They will be available in your area during May to discuss their aims, share their ideas and, most importantly, listen to the public's views on the rules of the road, key safety risks, guidance and signage for all road users, changes to road infrastructure, the law, road user training, education, and equipment.
The DfT team is particularly keen to hear from vulnerable road users, and aims to explore the reasons behind common misunderstandings and differences of opinion between cyclists and other road users. And, of course, about how to open car doors safely. Apparently, cycling campaigners are already calling on the Government to include instructions in the Highway Code on how car occupants should open doors, endorsing a practice known as the ‘Dutch Reach’ after a common practice in the Netherlands. It involves drivers opening their doors with their far hand rather than the hand nearest the door, making it easier to check mirrors for oncoming traffic (including cyclists), and enables a better view of nearby traffic. So what's your idea for improving road safety for us all?
These free regional events will be held in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and London, and the DfT will also stream one session over the internet so that anyone unable to attend an event in person can join in online. For further details of events in your area visit this website to register free via eventbrite, or to join the webinar, please visit TransportXtra.com
If you can't attend in person, but would like to join a webinar (date / time to be announced) please email email@example.com
If you'd like to contribute to the public Call for Evidence, visit the DfT website here
Four free regional engagement events to be held in May 2018, all open to the public. Click on the links below to register for your chosen event. Agenda – Each event will last for 2.5 hours and follow the programme below. Starting times vary
We invite anyone with an interest in improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians to join us at one of these special events, for example age and disability groups, parents, teachers and pupils, cyclists, would-be cyclists, pedestrians, joggers, dog walkers, motor cyclists, horse riders, scooters, local, parish and district councillors, public transport operators, professional drivers and couriers...
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