CTC launches 'safety in numbers' campaign
A new campaign for cyclists to promote ‘Safety in Numbers’ is being launched in Parliament today by broadcaster and CTC President Jon Snow.
CTC President Jon Snow said: “My own experiences as a regular cyclist tell me that London’s streets have started getting a lot safer, thanks to the growth in cycling over the past decade. We all know that more cycling is good, not just for our own health but also for our communities and the environment. I hope decision-makers throughout the country will now heed CTC’s message that more cycling will improve road safety too.”
In a comparison of cycle use and cyclists’ safety in English cities and counties, CTC – the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation, has found new evidence that cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are. The data show that the places with the highest cycle use – York, Cambridgeshire and Hull – are also the safest places to cycle.
Also, in London there has been a 91 per cent increase in cycle use since 2000, together with a 33 per cent reduction in the actual number of cyclist casualties over roughly the same period. This adds weight to international evidence that the best way to improve cyclists’ safety is to encourage more people to cycle.
CTC’s campaign comes just a fortnight after the Government began consulting on a new Road Safety Strategy for the next decade. The draft strategy already includes a target - called for by CTC - to halve the risks of cycling within 10 years and CTC believes the best way to meet this target is to double cycle use over the same period; so it is urging MPs to sign a parliamentary motion backing its call for the Road Safety Strategy to aim for more as well as safer cycling.
More as well as safer cycling, can be achieved by tackling the fears which deter people from cycling, such as the speed of traffic, irresponsible driving, hostile roads and junctions and lorries. CTC are also calling for a commitment to making cycle training for all ages widely available.
Roger Geffen, CTC’s Campaigns and Policy Manager, said: “There is good evidence that cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are. Yet despite this, local councils are often reluctant to encourage cycling for fear that this would lead to more casualties – and some even think the best way to meet their safety targets is to scare people off cycling altogether!
"So I’m delighted the Government has taken on board CTC’s suggestion that new targets for cycle safety should be measured in terms of the risk per mile cycled, not simple casualty numbers. We hope this will encourage local authorities to aim for ‘more’ as well as ‘safer’ cycling, in order to maximise cycling’s health and other benefits."