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.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.