CycleDigest May 2013
From the Editor
Welcome to the May issue of CycleDigest. No apologies for mentioning the 'Get Britain Cycling' e-petition four times (this is the first mention) - it's doing very well, but still needs more people to sign it. Our headline below explains why and how.
Improved infrastructure, justice for victims of collisions and lorries are never far from our minds, and the stories we've covered this month reflect this. So does our 'Get Britain Cycling' campaign - I hope you've signed the e-petition as a result of my first mention, but if not, please do so now and encourage your friends to do the same!
The CycleDigest is a free resource for anyone with a voluntary or professional interest in cycling. New subscribers are always welcome at www.ctc.org.uk/cycledigest - if you sign up to that, you'll receive a bulletin letting you know when the latest issue is online.
With best wishes
The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) has published a set of 18 recommendations based on six weeks of oral evidence and pages of written submissions to its Get Britain Cycling inquiry earlier this year.
The report calls for cycling levels of 10% by 2025 and 25% by 2050 - at the moment the figure is less than 2%. To achieve this goal, it stresses that 'vision, ambition and strong political leadership’ is crucial, along with a spend of at least £10-£20 per year on cycling per head of the population.
The petition has already attracted more than enough signatures to receive an official response, but there's still a few thousand more to gather to help ensure a Parliamentary debate on the subject - and we really want this to happen before George Osborne announces the results of the Comprehensive Spending Review on June 26 so that the £10+ per head spending proposal turns into a reality. Please sign up and spread the word!
Around 4,000 cyclists gathered in Edinburgh last Sunday 19th May and rode to Holyrood to deliver an 8-point manifesto calling for more investment in cycling, slower speeds, and better facilities for cyclists on Scotland’s roads.
The presence of the families of Andrew McNicoll and Audrey Fyfe (see below), both killed on Edinburgh’s roads in recent years, made the 2013 ride especially poignant. Read CTC Councillor for Scotland Peter Hayman's blog.
In August 2011, Audrey Fyfe, 75, a mother, wife and much-valued member of CTC Scotland, was hit by driver Gary McCourt whilst she was riding her bike near her home in Edinburgh. On 3 May 2013, McCourt was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and a 5-year driving ban for causing death by 'careless' driving. It transpired that Mrs Fyfe was the second cyclist killed by McCourt's driving.
CTC is campaigning for a review of McCourt’s lenient sentence, and thousands of supporters have already written to the Lord Advocate asking for an appeal. Please join them (deadline 31 May 2013).
Changes to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS - England & Wales) guidance on prosecuting acts of bad driving should go some way to stop prosecutors downgrading cases of bad driving from 'dangerous' to 'careless' driving. For example, the guidance now explicitly includes failing to have a proper and safe regard for vulnerable road users as a criteria for 'dangerous' driving. More needs to be done, however, to stop 'dangerous' driving being dismissed as nothing more than carelessness, says CTC.