CycleDigest November 2013

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Lorries pose a serious risk to cyclists in urban areas
Lorries pose a serious risk to cyclists in urban areas
CTC's monthly round-up of cycle campaigning news
Contents Summary: 

From the Editor

The number of cyclists and pedestrians who have died in collisions with large vehicles in London over the past few weeks is shocking. And when the media publish the names and ages of the people involved, each death turns even more poignantly into the human tragedy that it is. It's got to stop.

If you'd like to write to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, asking him to take urgent action, we've set up a letter-writing facility that we hope will help.

We want to see improvements in road infrastructure, cycle-friendly lorry design and restrictions on HGVs at the busiest times. CTC has also written to Transport Minister Robert Goodwill calling on him to hold hauliers to account whenever a lorry is involved in a cyclist's fatality.

Please join us in asking the Mayor to apply the most fundamental principle of safety management to this dreadful situation and tackle the danger at source.

Cherry Allan
CTC Campaigns

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Action on lorries needed now, says CTC

Cyclists and non-cyclists alike have been appalled by the number of cycling fatalities in London over recent weeks – six cyclists have died since 5 November, three of whom were involved in collisions with lorries.

CTC believes that the first thing to tackle is the source of the danger, in accordance with the fundamental principles of safety management. In other words, major roads and junctions should be designed to optimise safety for cyclists and other road users, rather than the flow of motor traffic; hauliers should operate vehicles of the most cycle-friendly design; and there should be restrictions to reduce the number of lorries on the busiest roads at the busiest times.

Training and awareness activities, both for lorry drivers and for cyclists, come next and their purpose should be to minimise whatever risks cannot be eliminated at source by the measures listed above.

CTC also believes that the Government should hold the haulage industry to account whenever a cyclist dies or is seriously injured in a crash with an HGV, and we have written to transport minister Robert Goodwill urging him to do this.


Planning to fail?

While the Get Britain Cycling report, published in April, calls on the Government to aim for 10% of trips by 2025 and 25% of trips by 2050 to be cycled, Department for Transport (DfT) technicians are forecasting that cycling will fall for decades to come. The average person, they predict, will be cycling 12% fewer miles in 2040 than in 2010, while motor vehicle mileage will go up by 43%.

The DfT insists its National Transport Model (NTM) is simply a prediction based on current policy - not a statement of the aims it wants to achieve. Yet its predictions tend to be self-fulfilling, providing a justification for road building while undermining the case for cycle provision.

This means that instead of saying 'Build it and they'll come', the Government is effectively saying, 'Assume the cars will come but no cyclists, so don't build anything for cyclists.' CTC is concerned that this could have a serious impact on funding, and has highlighted some flaws in the NTM and is asking the DfT to re-think the assumptions on which it is based.

  • A blog from CTC's Chris Peck explains more.


Road Justice and the Police: map shows which forces support CTC's campaign

The Road Justice campaign, led by CTC and sponsored by Slater & Gordon Lawyers, has published a map showing which police forces in England and Wales are committed to improving road safety for cyclists.

When the map was first published, most areas were coloured red, meaning that either the force had not yet responded or disagreed with what Road Justice is calling for. However, several police forces have since responded positively, prompted in some cases by local campaigners - thank you to those who have been involved.

The map shows that over a third of forces support at least one of the campaign’s recommendations, which focus on three areas of roads policing: road collision investigations; resources and training; and victim support.

We are continuing to press police forces and Commissioners to sign up, as well as preparing to put the spotlight on prosecutors and the courts in the New Year.

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