The Government should set a cycling budget of £10 per head by 2020 to improve the safety of cyclists, according to the Transport Committee.
This is a key recommendation in a Transport Committee report published today (18 July) which examines how roads can be made safer for cyclists.
The Committee says this level of investment “is essential to fund long-term development of cycling infrastructure and to make our roads safer for cycling”.
It also calls for a “cultural change across Government, so that all departments work together to fund and facilitate support for cycling”.
Louise Ellman MP, chair of the Transport Committee said: “Cyclists have told us the dangers they face every day from a lack of cycling infrastructure, poorly-designed junctions and aggressive driving.
“Spending on cycling is currently estimated to be just £2 per head. To make the necessary improvements to cycling infrastructure and training, we call for spending to be increased to £10 per head by 2020.
“Investing in cycling will make the roads safer for all users, and encourage more people to cycle and walk.
“Drivers and cyclists should be encouraged to share the road safely, to treat each other with respect and to comply with the law.
“The DfT should support local authorities to make it easier and cheaper for them to introduce 20 mile an hour speed limits in high-risk areas.
“The road haulage and construction sectors must pursue best practice to improve their road safety record. It’s vital they curb the high number of big vehicles – such as concrete and tipper lorries – involved in fatal collisions with cyclists.
“Transport ministers must demonstrate clear political leadership by championing cycling and the DfT must coordinate action across Government on this vital agenda.”
The report says that road safety measures should “aim to curb the number of cycling casualties while increasing the overall number of cyclists on the road”. It says that achieving both these goals will require steps to improve “actual and perceived levels of safety for cyclists”.
Other recommendations include:
• Safe cycling should be made an integral part of the design for all new infrastructure projects. Local authorities should be required to demonstrate that cycling was considered and incorporated into the design of new roads at the earliest stage, and that local cyclists were consulted as part of this process.
• The disproportionate number of HGVs involved in collisions with cyclists demonstrates that the industry must improve its road safety record.
• Cycle training should be available to all cyclists: children in primary and secondary school, adults seeking to gain confidence, and those looking to refresh their road skills.
• DVSA must ensure that drivers are tested—in the practical test if possible, and certainly via the theory test—on their approach to sharing the road with cyclists.
• Government should reassess its approach to road safety awareness and set out the steps it will take to ensure a clear and consistent message of mutual respect between all road users and compliance with the law by cyclists and drivers.
• Government should consider amending the Highway Code to promote cycle safety and ensure that it reflects the rights of cyclists to share the road with drivers.