More than 100 cyclists and motorcyclists are killed or seriously injured on UK roads every day.
In 2016, there were over 37,000 cyclist and motorcyclist casualties. These accounted for over a third of all incidents for the entire year. Significantly reducing these figures is paramount, and the way to do this is through education, raising awareness and changing attitudes.
This November, between the 19th and 25th, it is Road Safety Week coordinated by the charity Brake. An awareness campaign designed to educate road users and encourage everyone to be Bike Smart.
For drivers, Bike Smart means being on the lookout for those on two wheels, driving safely and slowly whilst giving bike riders plenty of space. For cyclists and motorcyclists, it means practicing safe-riding behaviours and obtaining appropriate training and equipment.
The campaign this year focuses on imploring policy-makers to implement a safe systems approach, mandating life-saving technology and prioritising cycle friendly infrastructure.
We want to encourage further cycle and motorcycle use. Not hinder it. It is a cleaner and cheaper form of transport. Long-term, it is excellent for the environment.
In European cities, such as Amsterdam, infrastructure for cycling is exceptional. Multiple bicycle-racks on every street, integrated bicycle and bus lanes across the city as well as mass availability for the renting, purchasing and repairing of bicycles. This must be our aim. A truly holistic approach.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for the design of towns and cities to include safe and attractive walking spaces whilst implementing the recommendations of the Get Britain Cycling report. This report advises that cyclists’ and pedestrians’ needs be fully considered in all new developments and road schemes, introducing measures to increase road safety, and developing a coherent political leadership on this issue.
Wera Hobhouse said: “When I’m in Bath, I use my electric bicycle as much as possible. Cyclists have to be smart to keep themselves out of danger, as our city is not designed with the bike in mind. Often those in motorised vehicles don't know how much space they need to give cyclists, and this can be very dangerous. I've almost been knocked off multiple times. We need to improve infrastructure for bicycles, motorists need to respect cyclists, and cyclists need to know how to ride on the road."