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13 March 2018

UK govt seeks cycle safety evidence as report calls for new laws

First published13/03/2018

A report from legal expert Laura Thomas has claimed that there is a strong case for changing the law to combat dangerous cycling, which if implemented, would bring offences in line with dangerous driving. It ties in with the Department for Transport's Call for Evidence, which is seeking to address issues that cyclists and pedestrians face, or perceive when using the road infrastructure.

Thomas said: “Overall, in my opinion, the present law on cycling is not sufficient. I suggest that an offence comprising an objective test focused on both outcome and standard would be more appropriate.”

The call for Evidence is asking the public for a range of views on areas such as improved infrastructure and education for all road users. It is requesting ideas, evidence of what works, examples of good practice from other countries, innovative technologies and imaginative solutions. The scheme supports the government’s plan to encourage more people to take up cycling with the intention of establishing safe and attractive routes for cycling and walking by 2040.

Jesse Norman, roads minister, said: “We need to become a nation of cyclists, and this government wants to make cycling the natural choice of transport for people of all ages and backgrounds.

“We are determined to make cycling safer and easier across the country, and we are continuing to invest. Today we’re announcing an investment of £100,000 each in three innovative cycle safety projects, in addition to the recent £7 million of funding to improve cycle safety. This is all part of the first-ever statutory Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.”

Xavier Brice, CEO of walking and cycling charity Sustrans said: “We welcome the government’s ‘Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy safety review’ and especially the inclusion of pedestrians in the review. This is something we advocated. Safety concerns are some of the greatest barriers to more people choosing to walk and cycle and we are pleased that the review is seeking to make it easier for everyone to travel on foot or by bike, and recognises the wide benefits that active travel brings to individuals and societies.”

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