Friday, 15 May 2009

Safety in Numbers

Following on from yesterday's rant, here's something that we can all do that is positive and can help change perception of safety when cycling in traffic.

Support the Cycle Touring Club's ‘Safety in Numbers’ campaign to improve safety for cyclists.

The campaign was launched in Parliament last week by CTC President and broadcaster Jon Snow – see video. MPs from all 3 main parties attended the launch. After a presentation from Chris Watts of the Department for Transport outlining the Government’s draft Road Safety Strategy, CTC’s Roger Geffen unveiled new CTC research showing that cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are and called on the Government to aim for more as well as safer cycling.

The CTC is urging all cyclists to contact their MPs asking them to sign an Early Day Motion (EDM 1431) which has been tabled by Gwyn Prosser MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, in support of CTC’s “Safety in Numbers” campaign. You can do this automatically with just a couple of clicks . I did and this is the letter to my MP.

Dear Nigel Evans,

I am writing to ask you to sign Early Day Motion 1431, which acknowledges the evidence that cyclists gain from safety in numbers.

Cycling can play an important role in meeting Government targets relating to health, carbon reduction, safety, social inclusion and conservation of the natural environment.

There is abundant evidence to support the idea that cycling is safer the more cycling there is. CTC's Safety in Numbers report demonstrates this effect amongst UK local authorities. Cities with high levels of cycling, such as York, Hull and Cambridge, appear to be safer for cyclists than those where cycling is less common.

The main reason people don't cycle more is that they feel that cycling is dangerous. To get more people cycling the source of this fear - the danger on the roads - must be tackled. CTC's Safety in Numbers report calls for measures that encourage safer driving, make the road environment safer and more welcoming for cyclists and fund schemes that promotes cycling positively and promotes cyclists' confidence.

Please sign EDM 1431 in support of CTC's Safety in Numbers, which says that more and safer cycling go hand in hand.

The exact text is: "That this House acknowledges the evidence that cyclists gain from safety in numbers, in other words cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are; welcomes the target in the Government's draft Road Safety Strategy to halve the risks of cycling within 10 years; believes that this target can best be met by also aiming for substantial increases in cycle use in order to maximise the safety in numbers effect, thereby also benefiting health, communities, the economy and the environment; urges that the Road Safety Strategy should tackle the fears which deter people from cycling, such as traffic speeds, irresponsible driving, hostile roads and junctions and lorries; and calls for cycle training to be made available to people of all ages so as to achieve more as well as safer cycling."

Yours sincerely,

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