Future Increased Investment for Cyclists on the Road?
Ask any driver what their biggest peeve about being on the road is and many will simply say, “cyclists.” Similarly, cyclists complain of aggressive driving from those in cars, speed limits not being enforced properly and junctions that haven’t been brought up-to-date with modern times. In fact, those who alternate between cycling and driving who were asked which they dislike the most: cyclists when driving or drivers when cycling, the response was often “both”.
According to the latest cycling safety report from the Transport Select Committee, to improve safety for cyclists on the road, investment needs to be increased by five times what it currently is, as well as a cultural change being needed to improve the relationship between cyclist and driver.
The report detailed how although 2013 saw fewer fatalities of cyclists on the road than the year before, 2012 saw the highest number of cyclist deaths in five years and an increased number of those seriously injured for the eighth consecutive year.
“Transport ministers must demonstrate clear political leadership by championing cycling and the Department for Transport must coordinate action across our government on this vital agenda,” said the Committee chairperson Louise Ellman.
She explained that an estimated £2 per person is currently spent on cycling, but to make the necessary improvements to cycling training and infrastructure, this needs to be increased to £10 per person within a minimum of six years. “Investing in cycling will make the roads safer for all users,” she added, “and encourage more people to cycle and walk.”
The Committee also argued that bike training should be made more readily available for more schoolchildren, while also making sure that the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency tests motorists on their approach to sharing the road with cyclists.
“The positive recommendations made by the Select Committee are good news,” said national cycling charity CTC’s president, Jon Snow. “But we need our government to go one step further and make the commitment to at least £10 per head funding to make safe cycling in the UK with immediate effect, not six years from now.”
With more people taking to two wheels – or two feet – and seeking to either get more fit, reduce their “carbon footprint” or simply save money, there are more cyclists on the road than ever before. If the proper investment is given towards cycling, then the roads can be improved for everyone, cyclists and drivers alike.