Safe Drivers and Vehicles

Cherry Allan's picture

Level crossings

When it comes to level crossings, cyclists need to be assured of at least two things: that they will get across safely; that convenient crossing points are kept open or created.
Level crossing

Safety

Incidents at level crossings have a particularly serious impact on the operation of UK railways.

Whilst the number of signals passed at danger, trains derailed and workers injured have all been going down, level crossings - the only place where the closely controlled movements of trains meets the random and less regulated activity of other transport modes – are still the main, high risk locations. Indeed, there has been no effective solution to cutting the 'crash rate’ amongst road users, who have, unfortunately, included cyclists.

Chris Peck's picture

Success! The Government are now measuring perceptions of safety

15 March 2012
Instead of measuring numbers of injuries and deaths to cyclists, CTC believes Government should measure risk to cyclists and the perception of safety. The Department for Transport has now agreed to measure against both indicators. This will give a clearer picture about changes to cycle safety.
Bikes outside parliament

Why is measuring risk rather than numbers of casualties important? Without this subtle change government and local authorities have conflicting incentives: they want to increase cycle use whilst simultaneously reducing overall numbers of casualties.

Why is measuring risk rather than numbers of casualties important? Without this subtle change government and local authorities have conflicting incentives: they want to increase cycle use whilst simultaneously reducing overall numbers of casualties.

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Cherry Allan's picture

Motorcycles in bus lanes

For new and existing cyclists, being able to use bus lanes has a lot to offer. There's less traffic to negotiate and it also feels safer than riding outside the lane, between buses and general traffic.
Two cyclists in a bus lane
Headline Messages: 

For new and existing cyclists, being able to use bus lanes has a lot to offer. There's less traffic to negotiate and it also feels safer than riding outside the lane, between buses and general traffic.

CTC believes that allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes too undermines these benefits, because:

  • It encourages motorcycle riders to go faster – with worrying implications for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.
  • It could well make motorcycling more attractive. As pedestrians and cyclists are more likely to be injured by motorcycles than by cars in general, this is not good news.  
  • They make bus lanes more intimidating, especially for less confident cyclists.

We have therefore consistently objected to any proposals to permit motorcycles into bus lanes.

However, a number of authorities, including Transport for London, have experimented with the idea and subsequently allowed motorcycles to use bus lanes on a permanent basis.

London trials

Well-enforced bus lanes have been a much valued ‘safe haven’ for cyclists in London, doubtless helping to fuel the 150% growth of cycle use on major roads there since 2000.

Transport for London (TfL), however, decided to give motorcycles permanent access to bus lanes on the majority of red routes from 23 January 2012.  This followed two trials which, TfL states, reduced journey times for motorcyclists and resulted in less CO2. TfL also claimed that the trial did not affect the safety of motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users, something that both CTC and the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) disputes on the basis of data gathered by TfL itself.

CTC and the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) opposed both the experiments and the final decision.

 

CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 

Motorbikes should not be allowed in bus lanes, advanced stop lines (ASLs), vehicle-restricted areas or locations where pedal cycles enjoy exemptions from vehicle restrictions. This must necessarily apply to all motorbikes, as larger, faster and more polluting machines make up the majority of the motorbike fleet and it is not practical to provide traffic regulation benefits for the safest and cleanest machines alone.

For more on CTC's views on motorbikes, see our Campaigns Briefing:

Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs)

Publication Date: 
March 2012
Chris Peck's picture

20mph pilot in Bristol finds slower speeds and enthusiastic residents

15 March 2012
A trial of two 20mph speed limit areas in Bristol has resulted in lower speeds, more reported walking and cycling and residents even more enthusiastic about lower speeds than they were at the start of the trial. Injuries, bus journey times and air quality have remained constant.
Cycling has increased even on 20 mph main roads

The two areas in the trial covered around 500 streets from the south and east of Bristol. The project aimed to test whether the success achieved in Portsmouth could be replicated on Bristol streets.

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20 mph: lower speeds, better streets

20 mph
Lower speeds lead to safer streets which are easier for cycling and walking. Reducing the speed limit to 20 mph is one of the simplest ways to reduce road casualties and make streets feel safer.
Chris Peck's picture

Government to go ahead with longer lorries trial despite cyclists' objections

The Department for Transport is pressing ahead with a ten-year trial of longer lorries, despite acknowledging the potential danger to vulnerable road users and the impact on road infrastructure. During its first year, the trial could see 1,800 of the larger vehicles on the roads of the UK.
25m long lorry in Sweden (proposed British ones are shorter than this!)

CTC campaigned against the proposed trial, with more than 1,300 cyclists writing to their MPs to object to the plans. As a consequence the trial is smaller than it might have been, but will still increase the risks to all road users.

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Chris Peck's picture

Has the Minister misled Parliament over longer lorries?

Mike Penning MP, the Road Safety Minister, suggested to Parliament that the risks to cyclists from longer lorries had been assessed. There is no evidence from any published document that it has.
25m long lorry in Sweden (proposed British ones are shorter than this!)

Questioned about the longer lorries trial in the House of Commons in September 2011, road safety Minister Mike Penning MP claimed that:

"We considered carefully whether longer semi-trailers posed a risk to cyclists in particular, and the risk is not there."

A subsequent written question (the reply to which was drafted by officials) established that no such 'careful consideration' took place.

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Chris Peck's picture

CTC gives evidence to Select Committee inquiry into road safety

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee scrutinises the Department for Transport's spending and policy decisions. Following the launch of a new policy on road safety the Select Committee chose that topic to investigate.
CTC gives evidence to Select Committee inquiry into road safety

The Transport Select Committee's Inquiry was conducted in early 2012, taking oral evidence from a range of transport and road safety organisations, including CTC.

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On your head be it? Bicycle helmets and recent legal cases.

Many cyclists were seriously concerned when a High Court Judge recently remarked that un-helmeted cyclists who suffer head injuries may not be entitled to full compensation if it can be shown that a helmet would have reduced or prevented their injuries.

After all, it is not compulsory to wear a helmet whilst cycling and there is no clear or conclusive evidence to support the view that compulsory wearing would either advance the cause of cycling, or necessarily improve cyclists’ safety on the road.

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Cycle helmets: the evidence

Cycle helmets: the evidence
CTC wants to keep helmets an optional choice. Forcing - or strongly encouraging - people to wear helmets deters people from cycling and undermines the public health benefits of cycling. This campaign seeks to educate policy makers and block misguided attempts at legislation.
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  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Gordon Seabright
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541
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