It is day’s like today, when it’s sunny and there’s a slight breeze that it’s a great time to be a cyclist.
The reason I mention this is because I recently met Martin Gibbs to speak about Cycling. Martin is British Cycling's Policy and Legal Affairs Director. British Cycling has a membership of 50,000 strong, and their home is Manchester, which is a great tribute to the City. Manchester can be rightly proud of producing more than its fair share of Cycling Gold Medalist at World and Olympic games.
Martin wanted to meet me following my 10 minute rule bill on Road Safety, to raise concerns about proposals to allow larger Lorries to be built and put onto the U.K’s roads. One in five deaths of cyclists involve lorries.
He feels, and I agree, that the needs of cyclists are not being considered in this decision. There are proposals to increase the length of articulated lorries to by 2.05 metres, to a new maximum total length of 18.75m.
At that length, HGVs would be longer than bendy buses which are currently being phased out in cities around the UK after they were reported to be the cause of twice as many injuries as other buses.
Another cause for concern is the infrastructure assessment and the standards set in place by the Road Planning and Design Manual which doesn’t at any point clearly and in depth create enough procedures to take cyclists into account.
This is something that Martin is working on extremely hard with and I have offered him my support to help put cycling higher on the agenda across the board for things such as road design.
Cycling provides a lot of benefits to a lot of people throughout the UK and it is important that this is encouraged as not only a healthy and fun way of getting around, but also a safe mode of transport.
With people like Martin and British Cycling on their side, the safety of the British Cyclist is in good hands.
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