Brake and British Cycling have issued a joint plea for action from national and local Government to improve cyclists’ safety by introducing widespread 20mph limits in towns and cities.
The two organisations have today (28 March) published a survey of 1,000 cyclists in which 88% of respondents think traffic is too fast on roads in their area, and 98% said more should be done to make local streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. 68% of respondents said that widespread 20mph limits are needed in their area to make cycling and walking safer.
The survey also suggests that if roads were safer: 46% of respondents would use a bike more frequently for local journeys; 44% would cycle more for leisure or exercise; and 40% would cycle more often to work.
In an earlier survey, 65% of British Cycling members said reducing residential speed limits to 20mph would reduce injuries to cyclists.
Brake and British Cycling are part of GO 20, a coalition of 11 charities and organisations calling for: more local authorities to implement 20mph limits across towns, cities and villages; the Government to work towards 20mph being the norm in all communities; and drivers to pledge to GO 20 around homes, schools and shops.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, says: “As we move into British summertime, more people will be taking to their bikes to commute, exercise, or enjoy the longer days. But this survey shows what a long way we have to go before the UK’s streets are truly cyclist-friendly. It remains that fast traffic and inadequate safe routes have a major impact on people’s ability to choose and enjoy cycling.
“We believe everyone should be able to cycle or walk in their community or to get to work or school without fear or threat. Anyone who drives can help bring this about: pledge to GO 20 around homes, schools and shops, and take great care to look out for cyclists and pedestrians this summer and year-round.
“We’re also appealing to more authorities to recognise the huge demand for safe walking and cycling, and enormous benefits of widespread 20mph limits and safe routes, and GO 20.”
Martin Gibbs, British Cycling’s policy and legal affairs director, said: “We know from listening to our members and from the results of this survey that reducing speed limits where people live is an important part of encouraging more people to cycle more often.
“We need the DfT to take the findings of this survey seriously and to really make a commitment to putting cycling at the heart of transport policy so that through measures like lower speed limits and well designed roads, junctions and cycle lanes cycling becomes the norm our towns and cities.”
Contact Brake on 01484 559909 for more information.