The government have defined a cycling and walking strategy to grow cycling as a mode for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey. They aim to double cycling activity by 2025 and each year reduce the rate of cyclists killed or seriously injured on English roads.
The government have called for ideas with supporting data where possible. This is my submission.
Safety could be markedly improved by improving visibility of cyclists.
28% of cycling fatalities occur at night.1
When the accident was assigned to the driver, ” failed to look(see) properly”, was attributed to 56% of serious injuries. 1
Currently bikes are required to include a front and rear reflector when sold.
Electric pedelecs cost from £500 upwards, with a realistic price north of £1000. They are not required to include lights. For me integrating the safety onto the bike would seem a sensible solution. The battery is already there and is reliably available. If bike manufacturers could integrate LED lights, then it is unlikely that maintenance would ever be required. The costs up front are probably small and the benefits look significant.
I note that the public bike share include lights and I think that these show the importance not just to safety, but will also encourage greater use through the day and throughout the year.
An idea to increase cycling as part of a longer journey is hubs. With more than 50% people commuting more than 5Km and more than 1/3 commuting more than 10Km2, cycling the whole way is not always viable. With the greatest congestion and pollution at the centre of cities during rush hours, it would seem prudent to promote options that get people out of cars and onto less polluting and more space efficient modes in the cities.
The goal should be to achieve a faster and cheaper commute. In two studies in Utrecht into the potential, between 20 and 50% of motorists said they would use Park and Bike, if the bike is faster and cheaper than the car. 3
1 Transport Research Laboratory. Collisions involving pedal cyclists on Britain’s roads: establishing the causes October 2009
2. ONS Commuting to work, Changes to Travel to Work Areas: 2001 to 2011
3. Park and Bike Frans de Kok, ANWB 2012