Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Times launches a national cycle campaign

The Times newspaper has launched a national campaign to improve safety for cyclists across the country under the slogan ‘Cities fit for cycling’. It is the first time I can recall that this issue has made the front page of a national newspaper. This campaign has come from the reaction to the injury of Mary Bowers a journalist at The Times who was knocked from her bike by a lorry last November. She remains unconscious in hospital.

The launch of the campaign on Thursday was hard hitting with statistics around increases in deaths to cyclists. Yesterday the campaign was back with details of the manifesto for safer cycling.

When I returned to cycling with the Brompton four years ago, in London there was a sense that more was getting done to improve safety with new paths, a commitment to training and the plan to introduce hire bikes. Sadly only the cycle hire is going strong.

There has to be a combination of a change of attitude towards sharing the road of all users, safety measures for large vehicles, accessible training and cycles paths that actually assist cyclists. None of these concerns are new. I would also like to see a series of television adverts about the safety aspects of cycling for drivers and cyclists.

I support the idea of a national campaign but there are going to be regional concerns that have to be addressed. The London Cycling Campaign continues to work hard on the very issues outlined in the Times.

It will be interesting to see how this campaign plays out in an Olympic year given the expectation that Britain will be gaining medals in Cycling.

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