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Evening Standard comment: Police action can help make cycling safer

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Old July 30th 20, 05:44 PM posted to uk.rec.cycling
Simon Mason[_6_]
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Default Evening Standard comment: Police action can help make cycling safer

The promise today by the Met of concerted action to tackle dangerous motorists, who put cyclists at risk by overly aggressive or careless driving, is welcome and will form an essential part of the necessary move towards making this city better for bikes.

That’s because survey after survey has shown that worries about safety are a deterrent to a significant number of people who might otherwise be tempted to improve the environment and their fitness by using two wheels to get around.

In response, the Met has told this newspaper that it is stepping up its enforcement action against speeders, including on local 20mph roads that cyclists often use, and it is looking to prosecute, fine or give “words of advice” to other motorists who put lives of cyclists at risk by passing too close, driving aggressively, or overtaking in unsuitable places..

It also wants the public to help by submitting headcam or dashcam footage whenever reckless driving is spotted.

The most obvious reason is to help police identify more culprits. But, perhaps more importantly still, the Met hopes too that the public’s assistance can generate an enhanced fear of detection, and encourage behavioural change among the minority of drivers who might otherwise be tempted to jeopardise the safety of cyclists and others through their conduct behind the wheel.

We urge people to respond and come forward with footage as requested.

All this is positive, but as the Evening Standard pointed out earlier this week when the Prime Minister unveiled government plans to boost cycling, far more will be needed if London is to become the green, cycle-friendly city that it should be.

Our roads are already busy with vehicles after the brief, traffic-free interlude of lockdown, and neither limited initiatives,— such as the £50 repair voucher and other funding announced by the Prime Minister — nor the 23 miles of new cycle routes promised by Mayor Sadiq Khan are anywhere near enough.

Much bolder action is essential, including a proper network of segregated cycle lanes

Instead, much bolder action is essential, including more road closures, car-free days and, in particular, the linking up of significantly extended segregated cycle lanes to create a proper network across the capital.

There also needs to be genuine political leadership and vision to drive change, not just window-dressing policies to boost green credentials for electoral gain.

Lockdown gave a vision of a less polluted, more pleasant city that a cycling revolution can help to preserve.

It must be delivered.


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