Cycling has grown in popularity in recent years, and deservedly so: it’s a healthy, cheap, green, socially responsible way to get about. But sadly, as cycling levels have risen, so have cyclist deaths, most notably in the capital, and the UK lags behind other EU countries in protecting cyclists. It’s vital we make our roads safer for cyclists, to protect those already cycling, and enable more people to do so.
What needs to be done?
The government has committed to encouraging people to cycle to improve health and reduce CO2. But Brake is concerned it is not doing enough to improve cyclist safety: it has a responsibility to ensure cyclists are not subject to unacceptably high risks. We need investment in engineering measures to protect cyclists: more traffic-free and segregated cycle paths on commuter routes and connecting homes with local facilities, and widespread 20mph limits in communities.
The government should provide greater funding and direction to local authorities on implementing these measures. We also need greater awareness among drivers, who should look out, slow down and give a wide berth for cyclists, especially at junctions, on busy commuter routes, and on bends on rural roads. Commercial vehicle operators should ensure drivers are well trained in this, and have the latest devices fitted to vehicles to reduce blindspots.
Brake also urges cyclists to do everything they can to reduce risks, including wearing a helmet and high vis gear, and choosing the safest routes possible. Brake supports compulsory cycle helmet wearing among children in particular, in line with evidence it reduces head injuries. This should be introduced alongside measures that help prevent cyclist crashes happening in the first place.
What you can do:
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