CTC, the national cyclists’ organisation, is urging people in England and Wales to take part in a new campaign to lobby their Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to make road safety a priority.
The organisation says that of the 42 PCCs elected last November, only one made a manifesto pledge to make road safety a priority, despite the latest full-year casualty statistics from the Department for Transport showing the first rise in eight years in the number of people killed on Britain’s roads, up 3 per cent to 1,901 in 2011.
During the same year, there was a 12 per cent rise in the number of pedestrians killed, while the number of cyclists seriously injured was up 16 per cent.
As CTC points out, road casualty figures are particularly alarming when compared to those for violent crime – the number of people who lost their lives on the roads in 2011 is four times as many as were murdered that year, while 6,000 more casualties of road traffic incidents than victims of assault were admitted to hospital for treatment.
The PCCs elected in November are required to draw up a policing plan by the end of March and CTC says that more people that write to it to urge that road safety be made a priority, the more likely they are to realise the scale of public concern and to take action accordingly.
Filling in a form on the CTC website will take users to a standard letter to be sent to their local PCC – the latter's identity worked out automatically through the postcode concerned.
Residents of Scotland, Northern Ireland or Greater London should not fill out the form since those areas do not have PCCs.
Cambridgeshire’s PCC has caused controversy among local cyclists following his election by focusing on a high-profile campaign against anti-social cycling such as riding on the pavement or through traffic lights.
However, as Cambridge Cycling Campaigns says, “Enforcement of the rules is important for all road users,” pointing out that “the consequences of transgressions by motorists are likely to be far more serious than those by cyclists.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.