Safe Drivers and Vehicles

No Longer Lorries

25m long lorry in Sweden (proposed British ones are shorter than this!)
Lorries are disproportionately involved in the deaths of cyclists. The Department for Transport has granted a trial to allow longer lorries onto Britain's roads, a move which CTC believe will greatly increase the risk to cyclists.
Anonymous's picture

Cyclists' Defence Fund challenges Sheffield Council on dangerous roads

The Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF), a charity set up to challenge legal issues affecting cyclists, has served notice on Sheffield City Council Highways that it considers one of its iconic roads to be 'out of repair'.
Cyclists' Defence Fund

The action, brought on behalf of the charity by trustee Martyn Bolt, relates to Strines Moor in the Peak District.

The route linking the A616 from Langsett to the A57 at Ladybower has been used in stages of the Tour of Britain and is likely to feature in Sheffield's proposal to host part of the Tour de France during 2016.

In some places it is impossible to cycle the road without hitting a pothole or other defect, and as gradients are as steep as one in four, the charity fears for the safety of road users.

Contact Information: 

CTC Press Office
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

Notes to Editors: 

CDF was set up in 2001 by CTC, the national cyclists’ organisation in response to the case of Darren Coombes, a nine year old cyclist who suffered brain damage from a collision with a motorist. CTC became concerned after the driver’s insurers responded to Darren’s claim for damages by counter-suing his parents for contributory negligence because Darren was not wearing a helmet. Although the insurer’s counter-claim was ultimately defeated, CDF was formed in the aftermath to defend cyclists in similar precedent-setting cases.

CDF supported CTC in preparing a legal challenge to the Department for Transport’s proposed revisions to the Highway Code, which had the potential to leave cyclists open to both civil and criminal prosecutions if they did not use cycle facilities for any reason. The threat of legal action persuaded Ministers to clarify in the wording that the use of cycle facilities is not compulsory. 

Chris Peck's picture

Portsmouth 20 mph limits lead to lower speeds and fewer casualties

15 September 2010
Two years after implementation of 20mph speed limits on 94% of the Portsmouth street network, results have shown that speeds fell, especially on roads where speeds were already high. Casualties have declined and attitudes of people to 20mph and both walking and cycling have improved.
Children campaigning for 20mph in Portsmouth

Since speeds were already low on most of the streets in the scheme (Portsmouth has narrow residential streets with lots of car parking), the overall reduction in speeds was low - around 1.3mph. However, on the streets where average speeds were greater than 24mph a 6.3mph reduction occurred.

Comparing the 3 years before the scheme was implemented and the 2 years afterwards, the number of recorded road casualties has fallen by 22% from 183 per year to 142 per year, faster than the fall in casualties in comparable areas elsewhere in the country.


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Chris Peck's picture

Government consults on 'electric personal vehicles' and e-bikes

10 March 2010
After years of delay the Department for Transport consulted on amendments to the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) Regulations 1983 and a separate consultation on Electric Personal Vehicles (EPV). The former are now well out of date, while the latter sets out the law for 'Segway' scooters.
Electrically assisted freight cycle in Paris

The EAPC Regulations consultation proposed harmonisation with the existing regulations that apply elsewhere in Europe. In effect they will allow very slightly higher power electrically assisted bikes but restrict them to provide power only when pedalling. This creates a class usually described as 'pedelecs' rather than electric bikes, since they are principally human powered but with electrical assistance.


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New Vision for Cycling

New Vision for Cycling
A doubling of cycling use in 10 years, coupled with a halving the in risks of cycling, would generate economic benefits of £3.5 billion and save 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
Chris Peck's picture

Safety in Numbers campaign launched in Parliament

13 May 2009
CTC President and Channel 4 broadcaster Jon Snow launched CTC’s Safety in Numbers campaign in Parliament.
Jon Snow, Kevin Mayne, Roger Geffen and Gwyn Prosser MP

MPs from all 3 main parties attended the launch. After a presentation from Chris Watts of the Department for Transport outlining A Safer Way, the then Government’s draft Road Safety Strategy, CTC’s Roger Geffen unveiled New CTC research showing that cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are.


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Chris Peck's picture

Highway Code cracked - more than 40 rules changed

15 June 2007
Following a sustained and high-profile campaign by CTC in 2007, over 40 rules of the revised Highway Code were changed to the benefit of cyclists. CTC had feared that the proposed wording would have undermined cyclists' right to use the road where cycle facilities were provided.
New Highway Code

The changes made to the Highway Code vary from the mundane to the fundamental. There are many new rules for cyclists on the use of crossings and for taking care around tramways. Others offer advice on whether cyclists should use cycle facilities. 

New rules 61 and 63 were those that aroused the greatest ire amongst cyclists. A discussion of how these rules and how they changed can be found here.

Some of the most useful rules, other than 61 and 63, are paraphrased below:


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Roger Geffen's picture

Why CTC challenged the latest version of the Highway Code

We all know of examples of where cycle facilities end dangerously, throwing you out into heavy traffic. So when new wording for the Highway Code suggested that cyclists should always use such facilities, we - along with thousands of CTC members - were up in arms.
Bad cycle facility

The Code's draft wording advised cyclists to "...use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities such as advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings where they are provided, as they can make your journey safer."

We felt that this advice, if accepted, would reinforce the erroneous belief that cycle facilities are essentially safety features.


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Cherry Allan's picture

British Medical Association (BMA) and helmets

In 2004, the British Medical Association changed its stance on cycle helmets, calling for people of all ages to be banned from cycling unless wearing a helmet. The BMA had previously encouraged voluntary helmet use but had opposed compulsion. CTC immediately contested the BMA's policy change.
The BMA supports helmet laws despite their clear threat to public health


In November 2004, The British Medical Association announced that it was changing its stance on cycle helmets.

It previously believed that helmet-wearing should be encouraged but not  enforced by law, as this could reduce cycle use, undermining its wider health and other benefits.

However, it re-considered its policy and in 2004 said that it believed that helmets should be compulsory for cyclists of all ages. This change was formally endorsed as BMA policy at the BMA's Annual Representatives Meeting (ARM) in July 2005.

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  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • 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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