09 May 2007

David Chaytor's response...

Below is a response from my MP about changes to the Highway code. It appears to me to be equating lines on green paint on busy roads to 'segregated bicycle lanes' of the kind one sees in Belgium or the Netherlands?


Dear Mr Solis,

Thank you for your email about the current consultation on the Highway Code. I agree with you completely with regard to the importance of promoting cycling for many reasons, including public health and the environment.

The present government has done more to encourage an increase in cycling, through a wide range of policies, than any British Government in living memory. A key part of this policy has been to build a large number of cycle lanes in most towns and cities as part of the process of building a national network of safe cycling routes. The purpose of this network, which has been constructed following pressure over many years from cyclists' organisations, is to segregate wherever possible cyclists from vehicles for the benefit of cyclists and in the interests of road safety.

It would be quite illogical now to reverse this policy. This does not mean, however, that cyclists are to be prevented from riding on the main highway. It simply means that fifty years' experience of traffic management in Britain , and elsewhere in Europe , has proved conclusively that one of the most effective ways of increasing the number of cyclists on the road is to build separate cycle lanes linked together in cycle routes.

Consequently, I am afraid that I do not feel it appropriate to make any representations opposing the presumption that cyclists should use the designated cycle lanes wherever possible. However, you may wish to respond directly to the current consultation if you still feel that you wish to make the case against the proposed text of the new Highway Code.

Thank you for writing to me on this matter. Please let me know if you would like to discuss this, or any other aspect of cycling policy, in more detail and I would be very happy to meet you at one of my regular advice surgeries in Bury or Ramsbottom.

Yours sincerely

David Chaytor

1 comment:

David Hembrow said...

I especially like this bit: "fifty years' experience of traffic management in Britain , and elsewhere in Europe", which really does seem to be an attempt to suggest that Britain has been doing much the same things as the rest of Europe.

It hasn't. Some places were transformed many years ago, and continue to improve, which for the most part Britain is still pursuing policies developed in the 1950s when car was king.