The DfT has unveiled a two-year road safety action plan which features 50 measures designed to protect vulnerable road users, combat road rage and increase levels of walking and cycling.
The action plan, published on 22 November, takes into consideration feedback from more than 14,000 people and organisations who responded to the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy safety review call for evidence.
Under the plan, councils will be given powers to tackle parking in cycle lanes, and encouraged to spend around 15% of their local transport infrastructure funding to boost walking and cycling.
In a further effort to increase levels of active travel, the DfT will appoint a new cycling and walking champion, to ensure new policies meet the needs of all road users.
The action plan will assess whether insurance companies could offer discounts to drivers and motorcyclists who have passed Bikeability training, and explore incentives for courier drivers who undergo training to learn how to drive safely alongside cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.
The DfT will also set up a new back office unit so that police can analyse video evidence submitted by the public.
Jesse Norman, road safety minister, said: “The protection of vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders is essential.
“We want to improve air quality, encourage healthy exercise, reduce obesity and boost our high streets and economic productivity.
“That means more support for cycling and walking, and that’s why these new measures are designed to deliver.”
The new action plan has been welcomed by two of the charities who provided feedback as part of the Government’s call for evidence – Brake and Living Streets.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake, said: “People who choose to cycle or walk should be able to do so in a safe and welcoming environment; active travel is not only great for personal health but public health too.
“With cyclists and pedestrians among the most vulnerable on our roads, safety, and the perceptions of safety, need to be addressed to encourage more people to leave their cars at home and get active.”
Joe Irvin, chief executive of Living Streets said: “Too often people walking pay the ultimate price on our roads. This is unacceptable and we need opportunities like this to make our roads safer.
“Looking to improve the Highway Code for walking and cycling, and appointing a cycling and walking champion can help make our streets safer for everyone.
“Lower speed limits in urban areas, more time to cross at light-controlled crossings, better street maintenance and constraints on pavement parking can all help encourage people to choose these cleaner and healthier ways to travel.”