British Cycling has launched the next stage of its ‘Turning the Corner’ campaign, pointing to research which suggests that the average cyclist has 25 ‘near-misses’ at junctions each year.
Launched in 2016, Turning the Corner calls on the Government to create a universal rule for road users to give way when turning, in order create ‘simpler, safer junctions’.
More than 27,000 people have signed a British Cycling petition supporting the campaign, meaning that it will now be discussed in Parliament. The petition has been presented to the DfT by British Cycling’s policy adviser, Chris Boardman.
British Cycling is now calling on supporters to ask their MP to back the petition.
Research led by Dr Rachel Aldred of the University of Westminster as part of the Near Miss Project revealed that people who cycle regularly will encounter 25 near misses per year – six of which are likely to be deemed ‘very scary’ – involving vehicles turning left and right across their path at junctions.
Stakeholders call for rule change to improve safety at junctions
08 December 2016
The Highway Code, which has not been fully refreshed for nine years, currently contains at least 14 rules about junctions, often with a different emphasis.
British Cycling says the ‘simple rule change’ it is calling for would bring the UK in line with Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden where walking and cycling is much safer.
Chris Boardman said: “We know that the place where walkers – particularly the elderly and parents with children – and those on bikes often feel most vulnerable is when they are crossing junctions.
“Instead of the 14 conflicting rules in an outdated Highway Code, let’s borrow the common sense approach used in other European countries to create one simple rule that will make junctions much safer for everyone.”
“This wouldn’t cost the government money and could be implemented very easily with political will. The cost of doing nothing is far greater. As Westminster’s Near Miss project has shown, incidents at junctions are putting people off cycling for good. At a time when obesity and air pollution are at epidemic levels, surely this is the last thing that we want to see happen.”
Want to know more about cycling and road safety?
Online library of research and reports etc – visit the Road Safety Knowledge Centre
Key facts and summaries of research reports – visit the Road Safety Observatory