A Scottish road safety campaign which encourages mutual respect between cyclists and motorists should be scrapped, according to the convener of Holyrood’s all-party cycling group (Scotsman).
Alison Johnstone, MSP for Lothian Green, has called for the £424,000 Nice Way Code to be replaced with a campaign which “takes the subject seriously”. She said a “considerable” number of constituents had complained to her that the campaign was “insulting and patronising”, while others found the adverts “misleading and even dangerous”.
The Nice Way Code urges drivers to give cyclists more space, overtake them with care and to look carefully for pedestrians crossing, while cyclists are asked to obey red lights and not cycle on pavements.
Ms Johnstone said: “I support those who have called for the withdrawal of the Nice Way Code campaign advertisements and suggest an approach that takes the subject seriously and seeks to embed safe and respectful behaviour across all road user groups.”
However, Neil Greig, research director of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, disagreed with Ms Johnstone, saying: “What a ridiculous thing to call for. Cyclists are at risk until the Scottish Government can deliver safer infrastructure. Anything that raises awareness of the need to share the road safely should be welcomed by the cycling lobby.
“Using humour and memorable images will also help to defuse any tensions.”
A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “The Nice Way Code, which was designed and promoted by Cycling Scotland, aims to raise awareness of the issue among all road users through education, enforcement and engineering."
A Cycling Scotland spokesman said: “The Nice Way Code campaign was designed to encourage greater respect between all road users and to help protect more vulnerable users like pedestrians and cyclists.
“The campaign was developed in partnership with a wide range of organisations and individuals. Alison Johnstone was invited to the stakeholder consultation sessions but was unable to attend.
“However a wide range of stakeholder organisations did attend to consult on both the key messages and creative direction of the campaign including CTC, Sustrans, Scottish Cycling, Pedal on Parliament, Spokes, Paths for All, the Institute of Advanced Motorists, Scottish Taxi Federation, Road Haulage Association and many more.
“The campaign will now be evaluated by an independent research agency so that we can analyse the impact it has had on road behaviour.”
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