UK Government Launches £500k Drive To Make Roads Safer For Cyclists

Mon 2nd Jul 2018

The Department for Transport has unveiled a scheme which will make roads safer for cyclists for educating the nation’s driving instructors about cycle awareness.

The plans will see a £500k kitty spent on training for driving instructors, to “ensure cyclists’ safety is at the forefront of their minds when they teach new drivers.”

The safety of cyclists is at the top of many road safety agendas, with thousands of cases of bad drivers threatening cyclists safety recorded on helmet-cams every year. And now the UK’s police forces are being forced to impose strict £100 fines and three penalty points on any drivers caught within 1.5 metres of a cyclist.

“The benefits of cycling and walking are enormous,” said Transport Minister, Jesse Norman at the Cycle City Active City conference in Manchester. “For people, it means cheaper travel and better health. For businesses, it means increased productivity and increased footfall in shops, and for society as a whole it means lower congestion, better air quality, and vibrant, attractive places.

“But we will only achieve our ambitious aims if people feel safe when they walk and cycle.
“We shouldn’t only concentrate on catching and punishing drivers when they make a mistake, but try to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to drive safely alongside cyclists in all conditions.”

A recent poll, commissioned by Cycling UK revealed that 56% of UK adults were put off cycling by the threat of close passes.

Though there is no minimum distance stated in the Highway Code, it is advised in the guide ‘Sharing the Road Together: Drivers and Cyclists’ to give cyclists the same space as you would afford a car.

Undercover officers in Cambridge and the West Midlands have already launch a scheme to catch dangerous drivers and the project has halved reported near-misses and seen a 20% drop in cyclists being seriously hurt.