How to protect cyclists in UK
by FFE EU News staff
After a string of deaths related to cycling swept London in the past weeks, many are offering their solutions to end this trend. Here are 8 of the most radical solutions proposed so far:
Bicycle licenses and number plates
The idea to track and identify cyclists on camera was suggested to encourage them to ride safer or face being caught. Former London mayor Ken Livingstone raised this in 2006 and UK Independence Party picked it up in 2010.
However, this idea has strongly been countered by cycling groups. London Cycling Campaign said that most cyclist collisions are not the fault of the cyclist. Other critics added that the scheme would push cyclists back to cars or the public transport.
Ban vehicles from city centres
Some advocates have pushed to adopt a Parisian law that prohibits lorries from plying town centres during rush hour. But a stricter law that would outright ban motor vehicles in city centres was called for by former Transport minister Norman Baker.
Meanwhile, Pedestrianise London blog author Paul James said that London can benefit by adopting Netherlands’ road design and delivery routing systems that diverts heavy vehicles from inner city roads to outer roads.
Allow cyclists to jump red lights
Netherlands and Belgium cyclists can make a turn even when streetlights are flashing red. Paris is also considering adopting this measure. However, this is illegal in the UK.
London Cycling Campaign said that London still needs to gather data through trials to find out if relaxing laws on jumping the red light will indeed lead to safer roads for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
Cycle on pavements
Brits cycling on pavements will be fined because of the danger they pose to pedestrians. However, Danny Williams, a member of London mayor Boris Johnson’s road taskforce observed that the Japanese are able to do this on pavements that run alongside main roads.
He observed that cyclists in Japan move a different way and that their pace is much slower. This could work on large paths between village and towns in Britain, but will pose a problem in the city with its narrower pavements.