London is a big city with lots of traffic and very aggressive drivers: pedestrians and cyclists beware. With the huge growth in bicycling in the last few years, there have been increasing numbers of tragic accidents.
Now The Times, the UK's esteemed newspaper, has launched a campaign to "improve the safety of cycling in Britain's towns and cities." It comes after one of their journalists was involved in a serious accident.
Their manifesto is a strong and powerful acknowledgement of the perils of bicycling. Their proposals are applicable to every city and encourage the Government "to protect the lives of vulnerable road users and build cities that are fit for cycling."
Their manifesto, called "Cities fit for cycling":
1. Trucks entering a city centre should be required by law to fit sensors, audible truck-turning alarms, extra mirrors and safety bars to stop cyclists being thrown under the wheels.
2. The 500 most dangerous road junctions must be identified, redesigned or fitted with priority traffic lights for cyclists and Trixi mirrors that allow lorry drivers to see cyclists on their near-side
3. A national audit of cycling to find out how many people cycle in Britain and how cyclists are killed or injured should be held to underpin effective cycle safety.
4. Two per cent of the Highways Agency budget should be earmarked for next generation cycle routes, providing £100 million a year towards world-class cycling infrastructure. Each year cities should be graded on the quality of cycling provision.
5. The training of cyclists and drivers must improve and cycle safety should become a core part of the driving test.
6. Twenty mph should become the default speed limit in residential areas where there are no cycle lanes.
7. Businesses should be invited to sponsor cycleways and cycling super-highways, mirroring the Barclays-backed bicycle hire scheme in London.
8. Every city, even those without an elected mayor, should appoint a cycling commissioner to push home reforms.