Prime Minister David Cameron will today lead a Commons debate on further protection and increased safety measures for cyclists travelling on UK roads.
The debate was sparked after figures released last week showed the number of cyclists killed on the roads in the UK had risen by 7%. Further pressure for a debate on cyclist’s safety was heaped on MP’s when a 25,000-name petition was presented to Transport Minister, Norman Baker, by The Times newspaper. The petition also included 5,000 stories of cyclists’ bad experiences on the roads.
Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday, Prime Minister and keen cyclist, David Cameron said: “Anyone who’s got on a bicycle, particularly in one of our busier cities, knows you are taking your life into your hands every time you do so”.
Last night, cyclists staged a ‘ride out’ in central London in the hope of encouraging MP’s to attend the debate. Radical new safety measures including legislation are set to be discussed, in the hope of creating a safer environment for cyclists in the UK.
A number of experts from across Europe will speak at the debate to instruct MP’s on how best to improve safety for cyclists on the UK’s road network, including members of the Dutch government.
The Dutch government are seen as the front-runners in promoting and implementing increased safety measures for cyclists. In Amsterdam, there are more cyclists than car drivers on the roads and therefore increased safety for cyclists is imperative.
Such is the popularity of cycling in the Netherlands that cyclists now even have their own set of traffic lights at junctions. In major cities, there are more bike parks than there are car parks.
The outcome of the debate could yet have a profound impact on the highways industry as any health and safety regulations or legislation passed could directly affect suppliers of highways products such as Ritherdon & Co.
An increase in safety measures for cyclists could spark a rise in demand for passive safe, cyclist-friendly highways products such as the Ritherdon FlexiPole. The FlexiPole is designed to collapse on impact – reducing the chances of injury to cyclists in the case of a collision.
Once impacted, the FlexiPole then returns to its original up-right position eradicating the need for replacement. Currently on trial in Westminster and Kensington in Central London, the passive safe FlexiPole is also pedestrian-friendly and improves safety for drivers in the case of an RTA.
The debate will particularly hone in on the omnipresent threat dangerous driving poses to cyclists. Tougher measures are set to be introduced in a bid to change UK drivers’ perceptions of cyclists as genuine road-users. Many cyclists have even opted to utilise helmet-mounted camera’s to deter dangerous driver’s, catching any wrong-doing on film.