12th September 2018
There is no doubt that every road user has a responsibility to behave safely and with consideration for others as set out in the Highway Code. A cycle safety review is examining ways in which responsible cycling can be better encouraged, alongside other measures to ensure motorists are reliable road users.
The DfT is working hard to double cycling activity by 2025 and each year reduce the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on English roads. That is why the DfT published its first statutory Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (which you can read here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uplo… ). It sets out a number of actions, alongside £1.2 billion of funding that is being invested in cycling and walking in England over the period to 2021.
The Highway Code clearly sets out rules for cyclists on equipment, clothing and the use of lanes and crossings. There are currently a range of offences available to deal with cyclists who cause harm to pedestrians or other road users. Sections 28-30 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 include dangerous or careless cycling and cycling while under the influence of drink or drugs, which carries a maximum penalty of £2,500. At the most serious end of the scale, manslaughter or wanton and furious driving can be charged.
While I am proud to say that the UK has some of the safest roads in the world, sadly there have been a number of tragic accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians, including locally in the Constituency and I am pleased that the Transport Minister Jesse Norman announced a consultation on the recommendations produced by the cycle safety review. This includes a proposal to introduce new offences of causing death or serious injury while cycling and other changes to some existing cycling offences, further work on guidance on cycling and walking infrastructure, and improvements to the Highway Code. This 12-week consultation will run until the 5 November 2018 and you can respond to it online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/new-cycling-offences-causin…
It is also important that all road users are responsible, including motorists. I support measures recently put forward by Transport Minister Jesse Norman to combat close passing, improve collision investigation, and provide £100 million in new investment through the Safer Roads Fund. The DfT also has plans for a £500,000 pilot scheme offering driving instructors training to put cyclists' safety at the forefront of their minds when teaching new drivers.