CycleDigest October 2013
From the Editor
Congratulations to the Welsh Assembly for passing a law that should make forgetting about walking and cycling harder for all local authorities in Wales (see headlines).
We hope the new legislation will set an example for the rest of the UK in the future and, at the same time, demonstrate how vital it is to back up policy commitments with funding.
Sustainable transport can't do without the support of politicians and over the last few years cycling has certainly benefited from a dedicated cycling minister in Norman Baker MP. We wish him well for his new post in the Home Office, and look forward to working with his successor, Robert Goodwill MP.
Report commissioned by the Government looking at the evidence for interventions to improve the safety of novice drivers and reduce the number of casualties and collisions associated with them.
Concludes that a form of Graduated Driver Licensing is one of the best ways forward - including a 12-month learner stage and a minimum of 120 hours' supervised practice, progressing to a ‘probationary’ licence with certain restrictions (e.g. curfew etc).
Given that 17-20 year-old drivers are about twice as likely than any others to kill a cyclist, CTC agrees that the training and testing of young drivers needs to be toughened up and include elements of cycle awareness. A Green Paper on the training of novice drivers is expected from the Government soon.
(Campaigns for Better Transport/CPRE)
Research report looking at how the new ‘Local Transport Bodies’ (LTBs) set up in England are distributing funding. Finds that out of £billion+ worth of proposals, almost two thirds are purely for road building or widening - and that there are no dedicated cycling schemes prioritised anywhere in the country. The report also says that only twelve out of 38 LTBs have carried out any consultation.
CBT is calling on people to write to the Transport Minister to reject the proposals – a tailored letter is available.
The revised, official code of practice covering safe working at streets and road works has been updated and comes into force in a year’s time. The new version includes a section on cyclists and advises supervisors to assess the works’ impact on them and consider preserving access to the carriageway even if it needs to be closed to motor vehicles. It also says that portable traffic lights should be configured to give cyclists enough time to clear the controlled area. The code is an improvement on the last version (2001).
(COLIBI & COLIPED)
Detailed figures relating to the cycle industry in Europe. The report says that the UK market has remained remarkably stable at about 3.6m units p.a. for the last six years. Olympic enthusiasm made little overall difference, although sales of road bikes did experience a surge. Happily, though, 20 million bikes are sold annually across Europe which, the report says, “exceeds that of any other means of mobility (cars, motorcycles etc.).”