Mark Tami, MP for Alyn and Deeside, May 2007

may07Mark Tami, MP for Alyn and Deeside
Mark Tami MP is campaigning to stop the horrifying number of deaths and injuries of cyclists in his constituency, and around the UK.

Several cyclists have been killed in recent high-profile crashes on roads in North East Wales, including roads in Alyn and Deeside. In January 2007, a crash in Mark’s constituency killed one cyclist and seriously injured another. Some of Mark’s constituents are also members of the Rhyl cycling club, involved in a crash in January 2006, in which four people died. These tragedies have prompted local people to urge Mark to take action to stop deaths and injuries of cyclists on local roads.

Mark has worked with organisations representing road users throughout May, lobbying Government departments and campaigning in Parliament to improve safety for cyclists.

Organisations representing lorry drivers, taxi firms and courier services have agreed to raise driver awareness of cyclist safety, including overtaking at a safe speed and distance:

  • The Road Haulage Association, which has more than 10,000 members, has agreed that the issue is important and urgent, and plans to educate its drivers to be more aware of cyclists.
  • The National Taxi Association, which represents taxicab operators, has already urged all 100 of its members to make sure their drivers watch out for cyclists and give them a wide berth when overtaking.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is currently updating the Highway Code, and has recently released a draft of the updated version. Mark is working with British Cycling to lobby DfT for improvements to the new Code. They want to make sure that the Code advises cyclists to make safety-based decisions on when to use facilities such as cycle lanes and advanced stop lines. DfT has responded by running a consultation proposing amendments to make it clear that cyclists are not obliged to use cycle facilities, and should make safety-based decisions. Brake has issued a response to this consultation.

In Parliament, Mark tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling for organisations to educate drivers about safe driving around cyclists. He is raising awareness of problems caused by drivers not watching out for cyclists and overtaking dangerously. Cyclist deaths increased by an alarming 30% between 2003 and 2005. EDM 1305 has 55 signatures to date.

Read Brake’s advice for cyclists on staying safe on the road, and Brake’s ‘Are you a safe driver’ booklet, which is packed with practical tips on safe driving, including looking out for cyclists (pg 19).

Tags: cycling parliamentarian road deaths cyclist crash road crash campaign