CTC launches ’Safety in Numbers’ research in Parliament

New evidence proves cycling is safest in cities where it is most popular

by Rebecca McIlhone   May 7, 2009  

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Cyclist, broadcaster and CTC president Jon Snow launches the cycling organisation's Safety in Numbers research in Parliament today.

The launch is the CTC’s chance to put forward hard facts to MPs and interested parties proving that more cycling means safer cycling.

The cycling organisation aims to win support for amendments to the recently released draft Road Safety Strategy, building on a commitment to make cycling safer for cyclists, by pledging to increase the amount of cycling over the ten year period covered by the strategy.

The CTC research shows York, Cambridgeshire and Hull are the places with the highest cycle use and are also the safest places in the country to cycle. Meanwhile in London, which regularly hits the headlines thanks to cycle-friendly initiatives such as the London cycle hire scheme, bike use has increased 91 per cent since 2000 and there has been a 33 per cent reduction in the number of cyclist casualties over the same period. All this is firm evidence, says the CTC, that the more cyclists there are, the safer cycling becomes.

Jon Snow says: “My own experiences as a regular cyclist tell me that London’s streets have started getting a lot safer, thanks to the growth in cycling over the past decade. We all know that more cycling is good, not just for our own health but also for our communities and the environment. I hope decision-makers throughout the country will now heed CTC’s message that more cycling will improve road safety too.”

 

Backed up by its research, the CTC is pushing for the new Road Safety Strategy to include a pledge to double cycle use over the next ten years. This, it believes, is the best way to achieve the pledge, already contained within the draft document, to halve the risks over the same time period.

The CTC is urging MPs, therefore, to sign a parliamentary motion backing its call for the Road Safety Strategy to aim for more as well as safer cycling.

Roger Geffen, CTC’s Campaigns and Policy Manager, said: “There is good evidence that cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are. Yet despite this, local councils are often reluctant to encourage cycling for fear that this would lead to more casualties – and some even think the best way to meet their safety targets is to scare people off cycling altogether!

"I’m delighted the Government has taken on board CTC’s suggestion that new targets for cycle safety should be measured in terms of the risk per mile cycled, not simple casualty numbers. We hope this will encourage local authorities to aim for ‘more’ as well as ‘safer’ cycling, in order to maximise cycling’s health and other benefits.”