A coalition of travel and transport organisation, including British Cycling, Campaign for Better Transport and Living Streets, have urged the government to put cycling and walking into the motor-centric Infrastructure Bill. The amendment they seek will help ensure cyclists and walkers are recognised when direction and spending commitments are decided for the infrastructure developments for the future.
At present there is no mention of future plans for cycling and walking in the Bill and there are real hopes that this will be changed and amended to ensure both groups of travellers get the representation they deserve, for their own safety and the safety of the roads in the UK in general.
If the amendment goes through there will be a legal obligation on the government to create strategy specifically focused on cycling and walking and this is something which the companies and organisations behind the idea are hoping for. Speaking on behalf of the group, the policy adviser for British Cycling, Chris Boardman, has told the press that this amendment marks a genuine shift in thinking and commitment to accepting the different ways we travel and is a great move for British Cycling’s commitment to the UK as a cycling nation.
#ChooseCycling is a ten-point plan for the UK which has been put together by British Cycling and there is hope that it will lead the UK to be on par with other European nations, including Germany and Denmark, when it comes to the cycling stakes. The ten point plan is as follows:
- Cycle-proofing: accommodate cycling in everything we do
- Meaningful and consistent levels of investment
- Consistent political leadership for cycling
- Improving the justice system to protect and support vulnerable road users
- Adding cycling safety to the driving test
- Strengthening cycling safety provisions in the Highway Code
- Road and cycle safety awareness
- Reducing the risk to people on bikes from HGVs
- Cycle training made available for all children
- Reducing speed limits saves lives of all road users
Many thousands of cyclists across the UK are committed to this plan and there is hope that is amendment is a step forward towards a safer road network. A cycling and walking investment strategy will help ensure our roads are safe for both groups on our roads and hopefully ensure those using other vehicles develop a better understanding and awareness of the other road user around them.
Ensuring cyclists and pedestrians are safe isn’t often something which other vehicle users keep in mind as a priority. It’s taught as a key element when learning to drive but most road users are long past their driving test and this is why so many people feel unsafe and uncomfortable using the roads if not in a car or motorised vehicle. The number of accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians is falling but there needs to be much more change before many people are confident on the roads.