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Commons committee to consider cycling safety next month

Views invited via Twitter and online ahead of oral evidence session next month

A House of Commons committee is inviting written submissions ahead of an oral evidence session on cycling safety that will be held on Monday 2 December.

The Transport Select Committee previously considered the issue as part of a wider inquiry into road safety last year.

It is now holding a follow-up inquiry due to concerns over the risks cyclists face on the road following a series of high-profile fatalities this month.

So far in November, a dozen cyclists have lost their lives in road traffic collisions, all in England and half of those in the capital, London.

The committee’s chair, Labour MP Louise Ellman, said: “Six cyclists have been killed in London in the last two weeks: 14 have been killed so far this year, equalling the number killed in the whole of 2012.

"These are individual tragedies for the families involved, but they also draw attention to continuing concerns about the safety of cyclists on our roads.

“Many of these casualties involve large vehicles, especially HGVs, and there is now debate about whether they should be banned from city centres at peak times. This will have consequences for businesses which need to be assessed.

“There is also debate about the behaviour of drivers and cyclists and whether more can be done to promote compliance with the law.

"Concerns have also been expressed about whether vehicle and road infrastructure could be changed to protect cyclists and whether new developments, such as London’s cycle superhighways, are safe. We would like to stimulate debate on all of these matters.”

The oral evidence session will not be confined to concerns over cycling in London, with the committee inviting people to submit their views on issues including:

• Whether cycling is safe, particularly in towns and cities

• What central and local Government could do to improve cycling safety. Ideas could include better training and advice for drivers and cyclists, better enforcement of the law applying to drivers and cyclists, and better vehicle and road infrastructure.

• Whether it would be desirable and feasible to segregate cyclists from other road users, including, for example, by prohibiting HGVs from entering city centres at peak hours.

Twitter users can submit their views to @CommonsTrans using the hashtag, #cyclesafe, while written submissions can by made until next Tuesday 26 November via the Transport Select Committee’s website.

In its report published following last year’s road safety inquiry, the committee recommended that:

• The Government should consider how to encourage greater adoption of sensors and mirrors by HGVs.

• DfT should show how its efforts to work in partnership with departments such as DCLG and local authorities have been effective in encouraging the provision of cycle infrastructure and outline which problems in securing this joint-working have yet to be overcome.

• DfT should issue a formal response to each of the eight points in the Times cycling safety manifesto.

It also says “there was much work still to be done if the government wanted to demonstrate that it was showing leadership in improving cycling safety.”

Subsequently, the Get Britain Cycling report published by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) in April this year, made a number of recommendations including that leadership be shown on cycle safety from the highest levels of government.

However, the government’s response in August to that report left many accusing Prime Minister David Cameron and his cabinet that they lacked the political will to tackle the issue.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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