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Dear DfT, stop obstructing active travel measures

Rik Andrew, London, SE6
30 August 2019

The DfT, whose recent review of cycling safety produced zero proposals to actually change anything, is once again obstructing progressive highway authorities, such as Transport for Greater Manchester, who are trying to reduce our unacceptable number of killed and serious injuries by trialling zebra crossings without belisha beacons in an artificial environment (‘Can Boardman deliver gold for Gtr Manchester’s streets?’ LTT 16 Aug). Nobody is going to be run over on the test track at TRL. Only real world trials will prove whether this minor change is okay.

Witness the previous false conclusion that ‘early start’ signals for cyclists at junctions ‘work’, following trials at TRL, when they manifestly don’t in the real world.

It took Transport for London ten years to persuade the DfT to accept that exempting cyclists from No Entry signs is okay – despite it being common throughout the EU. Now even the most conservative London boroughs have exempted cycles and, as far as I know, the exemptions have all been beneficial.

Belisha beacons are of no value in daylight, which is when our most vulnerable users (children) use them. Secondly, their installation across minor junctions is only reinforcing the Highway Code – drivers know they should give way. In contrast to main road crossings, the zebras will not change priorities.

This should be a no-brainer – just get on with it. 

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