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The Times Launches 8 Point Cycle Safety Manifesto
Wednesday 01 Feb 2012
In November, Times journalist Mary Bowers was just yards from arriving at work on her bike when she was hit by a lorry. Mary, 27, is still not conscious and is making a slow recovery in hospital.
Tragically, such an accident is far from rare. As you can see from our cycle accident map, (screenshot below right) it is a problem that is endemic throughout the country. More than 27,000 cyclists have been killed or seriously injured on British streets in the past 10 years.
Tim Beasley, Partner at our Birmingham office says, " Cycling nowdays you find yourself assuming that other road users are all idiots and that they will break the rules. I wear a helmet, a high visibilty jacket and I have lights but still you sometimes feel that you are invisible."
"I hardly see any children cycling to and from school. I am a parent myself and I would hesitate to let my children cycle to school because although I am confident in my ability to stay out of trouble, I am not sure that my children would have the same confidence."
"As a nation, we have got to get over this love affair with the motor car and we have got to find ways to keep lorries away from cyclists."
Whilst Kevin O'Sullivan, Partner at our London office remarked, "Crossrail have set a good example by ensuring their lorry drivers have cycle training and stay on designated routes.These designated lorry routes should be communicated to TFL and to LCC so that cyclists can ,where possible, be diverted away from large vehicles and find alternative quieter cycle paths."
"Lorry sensors and alarms is something for which i've been campaigning for some time.Parliament needs to legislate on this and it won't cost the HGV manufacturers very much at all.Similarly, trixi mirrors at junctions would be very inexpensive to fit and look at what they could save."
The Times has launched a public campaign and 8-point manifesto calling for cities to be made fit for cyclists:
1. Trucks entering a city centre should be required by law to fit censors, audible truck-turning alarms, extra mirrors and safety bars to stop cyclists being thrown under the wheels.
2. The 500 most dangerous road junctions must be identified, redesigned or fitted with priority traffic lights for cyclists and Trixi mirrors that allow lorry drivers to see cyclists on their near-side.
3. A national audit of cycling to find out how many people cycle in Britain and how cyclists are killed or injured should be held to underpin effective cycle safety.
4. Two per cent of the Highways Agency budget should be earmarked for next generation cycle routes, providing £100 million a year towards world-class cycling infrastructure.
5. Each year cities should be graded on the quality of cycling provision.
6. The training of cyclists and drivers must improve and cycle safety should become a core part of the driving test.
7. 20mph should become the default speed limit in residential areas where there are no cycle lanes.
8. Businesses should be invited to sponsor cycleways and cycling super-highways, mirroring the Barclays-backed bicycle hire scheme in London.Every city, even those without an elected mayor, should appoint a cycling commissioner to push home reforms.
To support this fantastic campaign please visit http://thetim.es/cyclecampaign and register your support.
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