A new Department for Transport proposal aims to make life safer on the roads for cyclists, including rewards for drivers who pass bike training schemes.
The plan, unveiled by transport minister Jesse Norman, suggests that drivers who complete the national ‘Bikeability’ cycle training system should be offered a cut to the price of their car insurance. The course would, the DfT says, make drivers more aware of cyclists on the roads.
The plan also includes other proposals aimed at keeping cyclists safe. A new ‘cycling and walking champion’ would be appointed, and local councils would be encouraged to spend 15 per cent of their transport budget on ‘active’ travel.
In addition, the proposals suggest enforcing a no parking rule in designated cycle lanes and funding a new portal to submit dashcam and helmet cam footage to police.
It comes on top of changes to the Highway Code, which are expected to give guidance on the ‘Dutch Reach’ technique for opening car doors – which sees drivers use their far hand to open their door and gives them a better view of cyclists, preventing them from being hit – as well as providing clearer guidance on overtaking distances and priority for cyclists and pedestrians at junctions.
Unveiling the plans, Norman said: “Greater road safety – and especially the protection of vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders – is essential. We want to improve air quality, encourage healthy exercise, reduce obesity and boost our high streets and economic productivity.
“That means more support for cycling and walking, and that’s why these new measures are designed to deliver.”
However, not all groups were so thrilled, with some expressing frustration that speed reduction wasn’t given more priority.
Cycling UK chief executive Paul Tuohy said: “Lowering vehicle speeds around people walking, cycling and horse riding doesn’t just reduce the danger to them but also their perception of the danger.
“While the DfT’s proposals for amendments to the Highway Code will help save lives, ignoring the threat and dangers of speeding is disappointing.”