CTC demands real ministerial leadership after feeble response to Commons safety inquiry

The Government's response to the Select Committee inquiry

CTC demands real ministerial leadership after feeble response to Commons safety inquiry

CTC, the national cycling charity, urges Ministers to show much stronger leadership on encouraging more and safer cycling, after a lamentably weak response to the Commons Transport Select Committee’s inquiry earlier this year on road safety.

CTC’s President Jon Snow was one of the witnesses at the inquiry in February this year, along with Times editor James Harding, and CTC’s Vice-President Josie Dew. He used the occasion to make a strong call for leadership on cycling and cycle safety, stressing that “Leadership means joined up Government with all departments working together to further cycling.” His calls for leadership and strong cross-departmental collaboration were strongly echoed by the Committee’s report, issued in the summer.

Commenting on the Government’s response, published today, CTC’s Campaigns & Policy Director Roger Geffen, who also gave evidence at the inquiry, said:

“The Government’s actions so far on cycle safety are pretty feeble compared with the drastic action needed if we are even to begin catching up with our continental neighbours on making a safe and normal option for day-to-day travel.  ‘Leadership’ means a lot more than providing councils with a bit of guidance, a heap of statistics and the occasional mini-spurt of cash for safety improvements at a few junctions, welcome as these may be.  What the Government really needs to do is to say it will place cycling and cycle safety at the heart of its forthcoming transport strategy. Nothing less will do”.

He continued:

“The Government needs to act to make 20mph speed limits the norm for most urban streets, act on lorry safety, act on the design of major roads and junctions, act on promoting safe and responsible use of the roads, and act to strengthen traffic law to ensure that those who use the roads irresponsibly face the consequences. It has to snap out of the habit of expecting Councils, police forces and others to do all the work on improving cycle safety while their funding is being cut. Recent increases in cyclist show clearly that this approach just isn’t working.”

Contact information 

CTC Press Office
Email: publicity@ctc.org.uk
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

Notes to editors 

Government figures published earlier this year showed a 16% increase in serious injuries to cyclists in 2011 compared with 2010, even though there was little difference in cycle use. 2011 was the 7th successive annual increase in cyclists killed or seriously injured (KSI). The Government claimed, entirely reasonably, that this was at least partly due to warmer weather in the winter months of 2011 compared with 2010 – a factor which also adversely affected the 2011 casualty figures for other road user groups, including pedestrians. However CTC suspects that previous ministerial rhetoric about “ending the war on the motorist” has also played a part. The numbers of traffic police officers have fallen 29% in the last ten years, whilst overall policing figures have remained constant. See http://www.ctc.org.uk/blog/chris-peck/16-increase-in-serious-injuries-so... and http://www.ctc.org.uk/traffic-police-numbers-fall-29-in-10-years

The Transport Select Committee’s inquiry commenced in January 2012, with the full report published in July 2012. . It – together with the Government’s response (available 26/10/12) - can be downloaded here:

CTC responded to the inquiry in written form early in 2012. CTC’s submissions are available for download: http://www.ctc.org.uk/news/2012-03-05/ctc-gives-evidence-to-select-commi...

CTC’s Campaigns and Policy Director Roger Geffen gave oral evidence to the Committee on the 17th January.  Jon Snow, CTC’s President, Josie Dew, CTC Vice President, and James Harding, the editor of the Times, gave evidence on the 24th April: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmtran/506/12...

CTC, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.

• We provide expert, practical help and advice.
• We support individuals and communities.
• We protect cyclists’ interests.
• We campaign to make cycling mainstream and to remove the things that stop people cycling.
• We help people develop the confidence and skills to cycle.
• We promote the benefits of cycling to individuals, to society and to the economy.

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