Thus spoke Prime Minister Johnson in the House of Commons on 6th May 2020. Next day the Minister for Transport announced a programme which appears to signal the best chance for genuine Governmental support for cycling and walking for the last few decades. Momentous if it is – and not before time. “Should” – but will it be? I look at the prospects and continue the update of transport in the Covid crisis
We have decided to POSTPONE rather than CANCEL this conference until later this year – we will set a new date in the summer with our speakers as the COVID-19 situation develops. We have had substantial interest in the conference and think it would be wrong to abandon it. Regrettably road danger will not disappear in the meantime, and the need for such events will continue. Hopefully a new spirit of concern for public safety in the current emergency can give impetus to efforts to reduce road danger.
We look forward to re-posting details of the event later in the year.
Today the Government announced its response to the consultation on its “Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) Safety Review”. You can download it here and I suggest anybody interested in sustainable/healthy travel does so – this is a very important document.
Below I’m giving some first impressions – as I say, you should read the full document yourselves.
Here are two different books which are required reading for anybody thinking about creating cities where cycling is a genuinely mass mode of transport: which, when you come to think about it, is anybody with a view of cities which are less dangerous, polluting (whether it be from noxious, greenhouse gas or noise emissions), unsustainable and unhealthy for those living and working in them.
In broad terms, we support the ideas and recommendations set out by Cycling UK in their excellent “Cycle Safety: Make It Simple” report.
In this report we look more closely at issues such as: side road junctions and engineering convention, the issue of equality in transport design and practice, and the need for parity of spending for roads transport so that it is fairer to women, children and the disabled.
This document follows the structure set out by the Department for Transport CWIS Safety Review Survey.
1. Infrastructure and traffic signs
2. The laws and rules of the road
4. Educating road users
5. Vehicles and equipment
6. Attitudes and public awareness
We respond to questions with specific recommendations. Continue reading
First of all, an unequivocal endorsement of both these books from Island Press: They are essential reading for anybody concerned with the development of cycling as everyday transport for ordinary city dwellers – in fact anybody concerned with transport, public health, sustainability and urban life generally. And I am not someone who hands out plaudits freely! Continue reading
Following the Alliston case (discussed here and here) we have discussed the demands for parity between cyclists and motorists with regard to the response from the criminal justice system, not least from the Kim Briggs Campaign . In particular, we have studied the meaning of The Times instruction to cyclists to “respect the rules of the road like everyone else” . We showed
that this would in fact mean that “cyclists” (the term refers to everybody who may ever ride a bicycle) would actually have to break rules and laws a lot more, and have to endanger other road users far, far more. That’s the actual rule and law breaking: what about the responses of the criminal justice system once the rule and law breaking has been detected, and in particular once collisions have occurred? Continue reading
Some of the 42 delegates
On September 19th the Road Danger Reduction Forum, in partnership with West Midlands Police, held a training day on “Policing close passing of cyclists and related behaviours” courtesy of West Midlands Fire Service in Birmingham. Below is a brief report back on the current situation, a year after RDRF gave a special award to the ground breaking work done by West Midlands Police
Since that time RDRF has been acting as Secretariat for WMP’s work in this area, collecting and disseminating information to and from Police Services throughout the UK, with an information pack sent out to interested forces. There has been a flurry of initiatives during that time, with a variety of operations carried out. A particular new area is the development of 3rd party reporting, which we highlight as it is likely to involve a significant change in traffic policing.
Below is a summary of reports back from Police Services which attended the training day Continue reading
This post may seem a little late, based as it is on an Editorial in The Times from August 25th. Nevertheless, as with other comments arising from the Alliston case (here and here) its subject tells us some very revealing things about the way road user behaviour is either accepted or stigmatised by the society we live in. Any serious attempts to reduce danger on the road involve a proper conversation about what we should or shouldn’t tolerate in the road environment. So let’s take a look at The Times instruction.
The previous post has had more views than any other in our history. We have received significant support for its content in comments and on Twitter, and also – as one must expect in the age of social media – abuse and insult. Although readers will judge for themselves, it is striking how the insults have been based on a lack of evidence and – above all – misreading of what the piece was about.
So, to repudiate the insults, let’s clarify what the piece was – and more importantly was not – about. We can then move on to an assessment of where we are now after an extraordinary week.