Response to the Cycling and Walking Investment StategyJune 17, 2018 0 COMMENTS
Brent Cyclists responded to the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) safety review consultation which closed on on 1st June. The UK Government “[Invited] those with an interest in improving safety of cyclists and pedestrians to provide evidence, drawing on experience from the UK or other countries, that can be used to shape future policy decisions.”
Do you have any suggestions on the way in which the current approach to development and maintenance of road signs and infrastructure impacts the safety of cyclists and other vulnerable road users?– Current UK wide guidance and funding for active travel infrastructure is poor. The UK should take an internationally leading approach, inspired by experience from countries including The Netherlands, with the key Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic  and with funding levels of about £25 per person per year sustained for many years (about £1.5 billion per year) . Small positive steps have been taken, for example the London Cycle Design Standards , however these approaches are applied inconsistently, or only in small areas and therefore do little to improve active travel for the majority of the UK population.
– UK practice on pedestrian crossings (zebra crossings) is too complicated. Rules on zig-zag markings prevent crossings from being placed where they are needed for pedestrian convenience, at junctions. Zebra crossings should no longer need zig-zag markings or Belisha Beacons. This would bring UK practice into line with most of the rest of Europe, and make it easier for local authorities to install more of them.
– Road narrowings that are designed to slow motor vehicles should not cause danger to cyclists. This means that they should not be used, except where a separate cycle lane or track is provided.
– Mini-roundabouts lead to confused priorities and danger for cyclists and should not be used except in vey low-traffic situations.
– Vertical traffic calming features that are not continuous across roads (speed cushions) cause danger to cyclists as they encourage unpredictable horizontal movements by drivers and riders to avoid their effect. They should therefore not be used.
-The legal and consequent financial burdens on local authorities in terms of undertaking consultations and making Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) should be reduced to make it easier for them to introduce cycle infrastructure on major roads and take measures to reduce motor traffic flows on minor roads, such as in residential areas and outside schools.
– Standards for separation of cycles from motor traffic, based on the volume and speed of traffic, similar to those used in the Netherlands and Denmark, need to be developed and mandated by the DfT, to be applied as a default by road authorities when building new roads or making significant redevelopments of existing ones.
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publications-and-reports/ streets-toolkitSet out any areas where you consider the laws or rules relating to road safety and their enforcement, with particular reference to cyclists and pedestrians, could be used to support the government’s aim of improving cycling and walking safety whilst promoting more active travel.
-We support the ‘Turning the Corner’ campaign by British Cycling and other organisations. This refers to the priority given to cyclists and pedestrians when crossing signalised junctions. The practice is different in the UK compared to most of Europe, where cyclists and pedestrians going ‘straight on’ can do so in the green signal phase for the road they are travelling along, as they have legal priority over motor vehicles turning across their path (sometimes re-enforced by zebra markings). Our practice in the UK of allowing turning motor traffic priority over pedestrians makes walking slower and less convenient and junctions less efficient for traffic because of the need for an all-green pedestrian phase. It also makes segregated cycle paths difficult and more complex to implement safely through junctions. The European system also seems to lead to drivers being more alert and careful at junctions, as the cannot assume that a green signal means they can go. ‘Turning the Corner’ would bring UK law and practice into line with most of the rest of Europe on junction priority rules.
– Slower speeds are known to make walking and cycling safer and promote their use. Therefore the default speed limit in built-up areas should be reduced from 30mph to 20mph, and the default speed limit on rural roads should be reduced from 60mph to 40mph.
– There is weak evidence that presumed liability may make vulnerable road users safer, however this is only appropriate with investment in infrastructure as a primary concern.Do you have any suggestions for improving the way road users are trained, with specific consideration to protecting cyclists and pedestrians?– Cycle training on roads should be a mandatory part of the national curriculum, for all children except those whose special needs might make it impractical. A short period of cycle training should be mandatory for all those taking a driving test, for all those for whom it is practical.– “Exchanging places” training for professional motorists (especially HGV drivers) may improve safety for vulnerable road users.Do you have any suggestions on how we can improve road user education to help support more and safer walking and cycling?
– “Exchanging places” training for professional motorists (especially HGV drivers) may improve safety for vulnerable road users.Do you have any suggestions on how government policy on vehicles and equipment could improve safety of cyclists and pedestrians, whilst continuing to promote more walking and cycling?
– Motor vehicle blind spots are a key contributor to the death and injury of vulnerable road users. The UK could mandate that new HGVs meet the highest visibility standards.What can government do to support better understanding and awareness of different types of road user in relation to cycle use in particular?
– Build more high quality cycle infrastructure to make cycling more inviting, and therefore a more regular part of daily life.