CycleDigest July 2013
From the Editor
It's been hard to settle on an accurate level of optimism for cycling lately.
We've just welcomed the fact that a date has been set for Westminster MPs to debate the findings of the 'Get Britain Cycling' report - an important development as not only had we been suffering from serious disappointment that the Treasury forgot about cycling in the Spending Review, but we'd also found that the risk of cycling appears to be going up.
It's good, then, that most Police and Crime Commissioners gave our first Road Justice report a positive reception; that the Department for Transport has said that the major road network is to be 'cycle-proofed' in future; and now we're eagerly anticipating an announcement about cycling from PM David Cameron in August.
Indeed, we like to think that happier times for funding are round the corner and that in next month's Digest, we'll be able to report that the outlook for cycling is brighter as a result. The ladies on the right are happy at the prospect, as well as enjoying a summer cycle ride.
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Published as part of CTC’s Road Justice campaign, this report explains how important it is for the police to investigate collisions thoroughly to make sure that victims are fairly treated by all sections of the justice system.
Includes eight case studies of cyclists who suffered serious injuries, illustrating some of the all-too-common failings of roads policing in the aftermath of road crashes.
This is the first in a series of reports on the justice system. The next two will focus on: charging and prosecution; and courts and sentencing. A report covering Scotland will also follow.
Department for Transport
A useful barometer of attitudes, showing that the public is still very concerned about cycle safety, and only a third ever ride a bike.
59% of people agree or strongly agree that "it is too dangerous for me to cycle on the roads", but 39% say they could just as easily cycle many of the journeys under two miles they now make by car, if they had a bike.
20 mph speed limits still attract significant support - 72% approve of them. Read further analysis by CTC’s Chris Peck.
The Mayor's Roads Task Force (RTF)
With the prospect of a huge growth in the population of London, this report makes recommendations on how the roads and streets could meet the challenge.
It comes out in strong support of 20 mph speed limits, re-timing deliveries outside peak hours and shifting HGV freight to vans, bikes or motorbikes. This is welcome news to those who want action on the risk that lorries pose to cyclists.
However, the report also suggests building tunnels for arterial roads, including the North and South Circulars, to clear space for cyclists and pedestrians on the surface. The RTF claims that this will keep traffic moving while improving the environmental quality of London's public realm, but tunnelled roads still have to have large space-consuming junctions - did the Task Force think about this?
TfL welcomed the report in a press release on the same day that it was published. It follows the publication of London's Road Safety Action Plan last month - the specific targets this set to increase cycling and reduce casualties struck CTC as internally inconsistent.
Environmental Audit Committee
Report on the Committee’s Inquiry into transport and accessibility to public services.
Says that: “Existing transport funding could be better coordinated and directed to 'accessibility'-focused initiatives, which will have a swifter impact on people's well-being than large infrastructure projects. The social value of transport and accessibility needs to be explicitly considered in policy-making and in the planning system and should no longer be seen as a second-order criterion."
Cycling, of course, could make an important contribution to helping people access local services, public transport, jobs and training.