POLICE COMMISSIONER WELCOMES DEBATE ON CYCLE SAFETY / ROAD SAFETY HIGHLIGHTED AS DAYLIGHT HOURS DECREASE / DRAFT DESIGNS FOR CYCLING QUIETWAY REVEALED / ELECTRIC SURGE AS RECORD NUMBERS SWITCH TO PLUG-IN CARS
POLICE COMMISSIONER WELCOMES DEBATE ON CYCLE SAFETY
Following media reports about identifying road users who break the law, Sussex police and crime commissioner, Katy Bourne said: “Cycling is a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around our county.
“But with over 1,700 incidents involving cyclists in Sussex in the last three years, it’s vital that all road users behave responsibly. “This means respecting each other’s chosen mode of transport – be that on four wheels or two.
“With MPs’ debating cycling safety in Parliament this subject is both topical and emotive.
“At the Brighton and Hove community conversation on Monday October 6th there were a lot of questions from residents about some cyclists using pavements, jumping red lights and being hard to see at night.
“We also heard from a cyclist who said that he sometimes rides on the pavement due to the irresponsible driving of some motorists.
“Sussex Police enforce the law through regular days of action, proactive awareness campaigns and working with partners.
“But prosecution can only happen when an irresponsible road user is caught in the act.
“Effective CCTV monitoring is already helping Sussex Police to identify law breakers and I welcome the debate – and any practical suggestions – that enable people to share our roads safely and responsibly.”
FURTHER READING: Make cyclists wear identification so we can prosecute them for their misdemeanors says Sussex police boss Katy Bourne (Brighton Argus website October 8th)
New plan to get more people cycling: The Department for Transport has outlined plans to double cycling by 2025and to explore how further funding can be generated for cycle schemes across England, which has already been doubled under this government.
The government’s vision is that cycling, alongside walking, becomes the natural choice for shorter journeys, regardless of age, gender, fitness or income, beginning with encouraging children to walk or cycle to school where possible.
Cycling and walking not only cut pollution and congestion on our roads, but also have significant health and wellbeing benefits. (Source: DfT press release)
ROAD SAFETY HIGHLIGHTED AS DAYLIGHT HOURS DECREASE
With darker mornings and evenings ahead, drivers are warned to be particularly vigilant as visibility is reduced.
“At this time of year, children will be travelling to school on their own for the first time too, which is one of the reasons we’re working closely with schools on road safety. “We want to encourage everyone to be safe and be seen.”
Road accidents in Bromley involving children have declined by 36 per cent in the last three years, while road casualties overall have seen a reduction of 10pc, say Bromley.
Statistics also show that during the darker autumn/winter months more accidents occur, with casualties increasing by 13pc in 2012 January – March and October – December.
The council’s road safety team provides support and advice to schools, adults and children, and offer a range of courses for drivers and cyclists of all ages.
For newsagents and other employers of young delivery people, high visibility vests, reflective wrist and ankle bands are provided. Reflective clothing, worn in the daytime as well as at night, can significantly assist drivers in recognising child cyclists who are smaller and more difficult to spot.
More than 70 newsagents in the borough have been contacted so far. If you are a newsagent or know of one in the borough of Bromley who hasn’t been received a letter, please get in touch with [email protected] or call 020 8313 4546.
Further information is available on the council’s website www.bromley.gov.uk/roadsafety (Source: Bromley council press release)
DRAFT DESIGNS FOR CYCLING QUIETWAY REVEALED
Southwark council are consulting on proposals aimed at making a 3km route in the north of the borough more attractive to new and less-experienced cyclists.
Plans for a London-wide network of Quietways – cycle routes through quieter side streets and parks, which are designed to encourage less-confident cyclists to get on their bikes more frequently – were announced last summer by the Mayor of London. Transport for London are funding two pilot routes, one of which runs from Waterloo with Greenwich via New Cross and Deptford.
“Our section of Quietway connects Surrey Canal Road in the far north west of the borough to Creekside in the far north east” said a Southwark council statement.
“For most of the route, we will be concentrating on repairing or relaying the road surface and improving street lighting. “But greater changes are proposed for a few places, including Trundley’s Road, Childers Street, Edward Street and Bronze Street.
“We are consulting on the proposed design for the borough’s section of Quietway until 7 November. “Subject to approval from TfL, finalised plans should be implemented during early 2015.”
Further information: Southwark.gov.uk – draft designs for cycling quietway (Source: Southwark council press release)
“DEVASTATINGLY SAD” – Val Shawcross slams ‘Better Junctions’ cutbacks
Labour London Assembly transport spokeswoman Val Shawcross says it is “devastatingly sad” that only 11 of the capital’s 33 most dangerous junctions will have been improved by the time Boris Johnson leaves office.
The admission came from the Mayor’s cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan that, despite 93 cyclist deaths since 2008 when Boris Johnson came to power,
The 11 junctions are included in the Mayor’s ‘Better Junctions’ programme which identified 33 of the capital’s most dangerous junctions. At Mayor’s Question Time today (Wednesday) Val Shawcross criticised the Mayor’s slow response to junction improvements and highlighted that the original plans had been for the worst 100 junctions to see improvement works.
Speaking after the meeting today Val Shawcross said: “It is devastatingly sad that, despite almost 100 cyclists having lost their lives since Boris Johnson came to power, only 11 of the most dangerous junctions are planned to have been upgraded by the time he leaves City Hall.
“The original Better Junctions project was going to deal with the 100 most dangerous junctions.
“When that 100 was cut back to only 33, including dropping the scene of the latest cyclist tragedy at Ludgate junction, people were worried that real improvements would be limited.
“It will be devastating news to cyclists that despite the rhetoric, the Mayor’s cycling comissioner Andrew Gilligan has said that only 11 of these will be complete by 2016.” Val Shawcross is Labour London Assembly member for Lambeth and Southwark.(Source: GLA Labour group press release)
ELECTRIC SURGE AS RECORD NUMBERS SWITCH TO PLUG-IN CARS
Sales of electric cars and other plug-in vehicles continue to rapidly increase, with a record number of people taking advantage of government grants, say the DfT
The plug-in car grant reduces the price of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) by up to £5,000 for cars and £8,000 for vans, making them more affordable for the public and businesses.
Between July and September 2014, over 5,000 grants were provided, more than double the number than in the previous 3 months and almost a third of all grants since the scheme was launched in 2010. There are now over 17,000 grant funded ULEVs on the UK’s roads.
Transport minister Baroness Kramer said: “It is not surprising that people want these vehicles – they are a pleasure to drive and incredibly cheap to run, as well as beneficial to the environment. “The government is breaking down barriers that may have put people off in the past.
“All new vehicles will have some kind of ULEV element by 2040. “There has been a steady rise in the number of people taking up low emission vehicles, as more models become available and the nationwide network of charging points continues to expand. “Driving costs are as low as 2p per mile.”
The plug-in car grant is one of a range of Department for Transport measures in place to encourage uptake with a further £500 million to be invested by government in the industry between 2015 and 2020, say the DfT.
“The Go Ultra Low campaign website, which is supported by government and industry, provides advice and information on ULEVs, including a guide that matches those using the site with the vehicle that most closely matches their needs” the DfT added. (Source: DfT press release)