City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Times Launches 8 Point Manifesto to "Make Cities Safe For Cyclists"

By edg - Posted on 02 February 2012

Cyclists crossing High Street

The Times newspaper has launched a campaign today to make cities safer for cyclists. The campaign has been spurred by the horrific accident involving one of its news reporters, 27 year old Mary Bowers who was crushed by a lorry three months ago, and who is still not conscious in hospital.

Bowers beaming face is on The Times front page, with the story launching the campaign which sets out an eight point manifesto entitled "Cities Fit For Cycling".

The eight demands include:

  1. Fitting trucks with better sensors and mirrors, and safety bars to prevent cyclists being dragged under the wheels
  2. Make the 500 worst junctions safer - with priortiy traffic lights for cyclists if necessary
  3. Better data: a national audit of who cycles and how they get killed or injured
  4. More funding: 2% of the Highways Agency Budget and grading of cities based on their cycle facilities
  5. Better training of drivers of cyclists with cycle safety made a part of the driving test
  6. 20mph speed limit in residential areas where there are no cyclist lanes
  7. Get businesses to sponsor cycleways and cycle superhighways
  8. Every city should appoint a cycling commissioner to push through reforms

While Edinburgh has an improving network of cycleways - it even has a dedicated cycling officer - these kind of reforms would be a big step forward.

The Times campaign comes at a time that the Scottish Government is reducing spending on cycling and walking. Edinburgh cycle advocacy group SPOKES calculates that Scottish Government spending on active transport will reduce to 0.63% by 2013-2014 (half the 2010-2011 budget).

The safety measures are commendable, and it's good to see a national paper pushing for cyclists. Too many cyclists, of all ages have died on our roads. We need to do more to make roads safer.