Road Safety/New Cycling Offences

Thank you for contacting me about road safety.

While the UK has some of the safest roads in the world, the Department for Transport (DfT) rightly looks at ways to make them safer and that is why the Transport Minister Jesse Norman announced a consultation on the recommendations produced by the cycle safety review.

More broadly, the DfT is working 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 last year. It sets out a number of actions, alongside £1.2 billion of funding that may be invested in cycling and walking in England over the period to 2021.

A major programme of technical support to help 44 local authorities in England develop their Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans has also begun. Furthermore, I am glad that £7 million of government funding has been made available for new schemes aimed at improving road safety and creating more bike-friendly areas. There have been 7 successful Cycle Ambition City bids for this funding, one of them from Cambridge.

Cycling and walking infrastructure is important, but it is also crucial that all road users are responsible, including motorists. I am pleased therefore that 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.

I am well aware of the devastation dangerous driving can cause and have been campaigning for new sentencing guidelines. New recommendations are expected to come before the House when the parliamentary calendar allows. There is much more to be done to improve road safety, and you are right to highlight the need for a fuller review of road traffic offences.

That being said, every road user has a responsibility to ensure they behave safely at all times.  While most cyclists are considerate road users, I do feel it is important to review and update relevant road safety laws as the bicycle becomes an ever more popular mode of transport.

I am glad to hear that you intend to respond to the consultation and I would encourage all cyclists in South Cambridgeshire to do the same and make their views heard: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/new-cycling-offences-causing-death-or-serious-injury-when-cycling