Minister for Cycling Agrees to Consider Call for ‘National Cycling & Highways Agency’
Ahead of today’s (June 11th) All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) bike ride, the co-founders of Stop Killing Cyclists Steven Routley and Donnachadh McCarthy, met with the Minister for Cycling Robert Goodwill MP on Monday.
He agreed to consider amendments to the new Infrastructure Bill that would ensure cycling was included in the remit of the proposed re-structured Highways Agency.
Donnachadh McCarthy said,
“We welcome the Minister’s commitment to considering such an amendment from MPs. It is crucial that a National Cycling & Highways Agency takes the lead for funding and overseeing the creation of a National Cycling Infrastructure.”
Steven Routley said,
“Cycling must be included in the title and remit of the reformed Highway’s Agency.
For too long cycling provision has been the invisible Cinderella of Britain’s transport investments despite its enormous potential to reduce epidemic levels of diabetes, lung and heart diseases from traffic pollution and obesity, improve economic competitiveness through congestion reduction, making our roads safer for pedestrians and other road users and reducing carbon emissions.”
Other items discussed during the Stop Killing Cyclists meeting with the Minister for Cycling were:
1. The creation of a national version of TfL’s Mini-Holland cycle funding scheme for councils across the country.
2. The introduction of improved national standards for truck safety equipment on existing trucks.
3. Raising the penalties for texting and speaking on a mobile phone whilst driving, to the same severity as drink driving.
4. Increasing UK cycling funding levels to modern Dutch levels.
Note to editors:
1. Stop Killing Cyclists is the direct action protest group set up after the recent spate of cyclist killings in London. They arranged the mass Die-In at TfL HQ where 1,500 cyclists laid down in the road in protest at lack of safety investment in London.
2. The new Infrastructure Bill proposes to turn the Highways Agency into an arms-length government-owned company.
3. A study by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) found that a driver’s reaction times slowed by 46% when he or she was making a call on a hand-held mobile, by 37% when texting while driving and by 27% during hands-free calls. For those on the drink-drive limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, reaction times were reduced by 13%. For those who had used cannabis it was 21%.
4. Britain currently spends a tiny £2.20 per person on cycling infrastructure annually compared to the Dutch £24. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/article3789794.ece
5. Link to pictures and press coverage of Stop Killing Cyclists Direct-Actions: http://stopkillingcyclists.org/