Idea forms part of government plan to protect cyclists and other vulnerable road users
Thu 22 Nov 2018
Drivers could be given cheaper insurance if they take cycle training, while police will make it easier for people to submit video clips showing dangerous driving, under a new plan to protect vulnerable road users announced by the government.
The two-year scheme will also see a new “cycling and walking champion” appointed, with councils encouraged to spend 15% of their transport budget on active travel.
The plan, unveiled by the transport minister Jesse Norman, was broadly welcomed by a coalition of walking and cycling groups. However, they said they were disappointed the plans did not place more stress on enforcing lower vehicle speeds, saying this was the primary danger faced by people on bikes, walking or riding horses.
Under the Department for Transport proposals, part of wider efforts to boost active travel, officials will look into the possibility of insurance companies offering discounts to drivers or motorbike riders who pass the national cycle training system, Bikeability, which helps make them more aware of vulnerable road users.
Another proposal would be to encourage courier companies to incentivise drivers who take training in road safety connected to cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.
The government will also appoint a cycling and walking champion, to promote policies encouraging these modes of transport, and fund a new system for police to analyse bike and dashcam footage of driver infractions sent in by the public.
Other ideas include new powers for councils to tackle parking in cycle lanes, and encouraging local authorities to spend 15% of their local transport infrastructure funding on walking and cycling.
Norman said: “Greater road safety – and especially the protection of vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders – is essential. We want to improve air quality, encourage healthy exercise, reduce obesity and boost our high streets and economic productivity.
“That means more support for cycling and walking, and that’s why these new measures are designed to deliver.”
Paul Tuohy, chief executive of Cycling UK, said: “Lowering vehicle speeds around people walking, cycling and horse riding doesn’t just reduce the danger to them, but also their perception of the danger.
“If we want more people cycling and walking in England, and enjoying the consequential health, environmental and economic benefits, it’s clear the Department for Transport needs support from across Whitehall. Other departments – health, justice, local communities and government all need to start mucking in and working with the DfT.
“Every department will share in the benefits of more people cycling and walking, so it’s only right that they should actively support the DfT, financially and administratively, to help to make this happen.”