Cycle campaign news October 2020

Proposed changes to the Highway Code include new rules to tackle car-dooring amongst many other safety issues for cycling

Cycle campaign news October 2020

Cycling UK’s round-up of recent campaigning news.

While large parts of the country are returning to some form of lockdown, there's still plenty happening in the world of cycle campaigning. October has seen Cycling UK's biggest ever campaign engagement in response to the Highway Code review, and we also have updates on our local Cycling Advocacy Network, the Spaces for People scheme in Scotland, and 2019's road casualty statistics.

Keir Gallagher

Campaign News editor

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16,500 people support safer cycling in the Highway Code

The Highway Code Review consultation closed yesterday at midnight, with 16,500 people taking part in Cycling UK’s action to support the changes, our largest campaign response ever. Thank you so much for supporting our call to make our roads safer for cycling. Throughout the campaign, we’ve highlighted why each of the various rule changes will make cycling safer, but there’s still plenty to do to make sure that any changes are well communicated and understood by all road users – watch this space!

Cycling UK demands reform after assaulted cyclist warned for swearing 

Cycling UK member David Brennan was assaulted while cycling to work. The driver was not prosecuted and shockingly, David himself was given a police warning for swearing. Now he’s teaming up with Cycling UK to call for significant changes in the way vulnerable road users are treated in Scotland.

Casualty statistics highlight the cost of failing to pay attention

"Failing to look" is a key causal factor in collisions
"Failing to look" is a key causal factor in collisions

The 2019 casualty statistics, released at the end of September, highlighted the tragic impact of road users failing to pay proper attention, with ‘Driver or rider failed to look properly’ accounting for about 40% of contributory factors assigned by police at the scene. Overall, casualty figures continued to remain relatively stagnant.

Other stories 

Six reasons to build bike lanes

Infographic showing the benefits of cycle lanes for individuals and the economy

With the next round of the Emergency Active Travel Fund due to be announced shortly, some councils are struggling in the face of a 'bike lane backlash'. To counter these claims, it's time to highlight why cycle lanes are so important – not just for people who cycle, but for entire communities. 

Evidence suggests coronavirus boost to cycling and walking will be maintained.

Statistics from across Great Britain show that 38% of people report cycling more than they did before the pandemic, and even more importantly, 94% of those people indicated that they would continue walking and cycling more after social distancing and travel restrictions are moved.

What's in a word? Cycling UK helps draw up new media guidelines for reporting road casualties – and asks for your input.

Collaborating with journalists, academics and lawyers, the new guidelines will look to tackle lazy and dehumanising language in the media which makes our roads less safe for cyclists. You can have your say on the proposed guidelines, which is currently open for consultation.  

New laws to address a loophole in mobile phone laws, yet nearly one-in-five young people admit to video calling while driving

A staggering number of young drivers admit to video calling while driving
A staggering number of young drivers admit to video calling while driving

The Government has launched a consultation on new rules to close the loophole which allows drivers to use their phones at the wheel provided they are not using ‘interactive communication’. However, recent statistics from the RAC show that a shocking 18% of young drivers admit to video calling while driving (which is already unlawful), highlighting that changing the law isn’t enough without effective enforcement. 

The Government's 'Roads Policing Review' is asking the wrong questions 

The Roads Policing Review closed in early October, and while it’s good that such a review was undertaken, unfortunately the review failed to cover many of the key areas of road policing which need urgent improvement to effectively prevent road casualties. 

Belfast to get new 12km Greenway costing £5m 

Northern Ireland's greenways provide a great way to get around away from traffic
Northern Ireland's greenways provide a great way to get around away from traffic

The new shared space route will help connect the north and west of the city with the town centre. The route joins a growing network of 'greenways' which aim to link up the whole off the county, and are perfect for getting around away from traffic.

Cycle Advocacy Network builds - this is not a drill 

Since the Cycle Advocacy Networks launch last month it’s been going from strength to strength – if you haven’t signed up already, why not consider doing so today? You can check out our update on the Network and also read about why the Towns Fund in England could be an accelerator for change on a local level.

Spaces For People temporary infrastructure in Scotland – how does your council measure up? 

 John Berry
Temporary infrastructure on Union Street in Dundee. Photo: John Berry

The Spaces for People scheme has enabled local authorities to rapidly create pop up cycle lanes and pedestrianised streets in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but measures have varied across the country, with some councils like Dundee pushing ahead with pedestrianisation and creating popular schemes, while others are making slower progress. Check out how your council measures up.

Scotrail unveils first pictures of its new active travel carriage for the West Highland Line 

Cycling UK advised on the new carriages, which will set a high bar for bike space on trains by providing space for up to 20 cycles. If successful, the carriages will help highlight the value of providing significant cycle space on trains throughout the UK. Meanwhile, rail in Wales is due to be nationalised next year, which should provide greater opportunity for Transport for Wales to demonstrate their commitment to creating a truly integrated and sustainable transport system

Flood protection scheme in north Wales shows how to incorporate active travel in larger infra projects

The works – which will provide 4km of cycling and walking route - provide a good example of how active travel measures can be integrated into other infrastructure projects, something Cycling UK has long called for.

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Have your say

Cardiff launches a trial of cycle parking hangers

After campaigning by local groups, Cardiff Council are asking for input into where new cycle hangers should be located.

Phones behind the wheel

Have your say on making activities like taking photos and playing games on hand-held mobile phones illegal while driving 

North East City Ways

Consultation has begun on a proposed project to transform cycling in North East Glasgow. 

The consultation covers everything from speed limits to junction design to cycle lanes, and can be responded to in a number of ways online.


Diary dates

Road Safety Week, 16-22 November

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