CTC President Jon Snow
CTC President Jon Snow

Road safety inquiry highlights lack of Government leadership on cycling

A report from the Transport Select Committee has criticised the Government over the handling of cycle safety. The report emerged following evidence given by CTC and CTC's President Jon Snow earlier in the year.

CTC has called for concerted action after MPs have criticised Government policy on road safety, demanding stronger leadership on road safety and cycle safety in particular.

The Transport Select Committee report comes after evidence sessions given by CTC earlier this year, and then by CTC President, Jon Snow, and Vice-President Josie Dew following the launch of The Times’s ‘Cities fit for cycling’ campaign. The report has highlighted the weaknesses in leadership from the Government on road safety in general, and on cycle safety in particular.

There is no leadership in Government in cycling at all. It is a completely neglected area.” 

Jon Snow, at the Transport Select Committee

CTC welcomes the Committee’s call for the Government to show stronger leadership on cycling, after recent evidence showed that the risk of cycling was rising. In one year alone there has been a 16% increase in serious injuries to cyclists - a far higher increase than the 2% increase in cycle use. Casualties also increased amongst other road user groups, with a 6% increase in car occupant serious injuries and a 12% increase in pedestrian fatalities. CTC has attributed the deterioration in road safety for all transport modes to a decline in road traffic policing and the consequence of the Government’s rhetoric of ‘ending the war on the motorist.’

CTC’s Campaigns Director Roger Geffen said: “With cycle casualties now increasing faster than cycle use and with worsening safety for other road users too, it is clear that the Government needs to show far stronger leadership on reducing danger on our roads.  It is all very well asking local authorities to consider more 20mph limits, and providing the occasional spurt of funding for a few cycle-friendly junction improvements.”

He continued: “What is really needed is a concerted, properly funded action plan to get councils, police forces and the freight industry pulling together to reduce traffic speeds, ensure cycle-friendly design for all roads and junctions and reduce the threats from lorries.  Police forces must give the safety of pedestrians and cyclists the priority it deserves.”

Chris Peck