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Updated: New Powers for Councils to Keep Cyclists Safe

Published on: 10 Jun, 2020
Updated on: 12 Jun, 2020

Cyclists will have safer journeys thanks to new laws coming into force from June 22 the “cycling minister”, Chris Heaton-Harris has claimed today (June 10).

Update: see Cllr Furniss’s comment below.

Local authorities in England will have new powers to use CCTV to issue penalty charge notices to drivers who park or load illegally in mandatory cycle lanes, putting cyclists at risk of a serious accident.

With approved camera devices, it will be easier for those local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to take action against cars illegally parked on mandatory cycle lanes, allowing cyclists to complete their journeys without deviating from their path and being forced into traffic.

Today’s announcement is the latest measure from the government to develop what they say will be a greener, healthier and more resilient transport network in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The move comes as part of Bike Week (June 6-14), which will see a range of organisations – led by Cycling UK – encourage everyone to get pedalling to boost their fitness and protect the environment.

Chris Heaton-Harris

Minister Heaton-Harris said: “Across the country there has been a surge in the number of people dusting off their old bike from the back of the shed and cycling, or taking journeys on foot, to get from A to B.

“Giving local authorities more powers to stop cycle lanes from becoming blocked will make it safer for cyclists.

“These new measures also build on our recent £2 billion investment to create a green, healthier legacy and see more people travelling by bicycle or on foot.”

This measure is intended to help get more cyclists on the road and alleviate pressure on public transport infrastructure, giving people the confidence to use their bike for more journeys – perhaps for the first time.

The £2 billion package for cycling and walking last month included £225 million for local authorities in England to create “pop up” cycle lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and bike and bus-only corridors.

A GBC Spokesperson commented: “As a borough council we welcome this as another positive move for active and sustainable travel, and look forward to working with our colleagues at Surrey County Council. Our existing town centre plans focus on encouraging people out of their cars to improve safety and accessibility.

“We particularly hope to build on the progress already made by our Sustainable Movement Corridor project and our proposed Bike Share Scheme, on which are collaborating with the Guildford Bike User Group (G-BUG) and University of Surrey.

“We are also investigating the creation of Neighbourhood Zone-style urban areas with a 20mph speed limit to encourage healthier communities and safer driving.”

Cllr Matt Furniss

Matt Furniss, cabinet member for transport at SCC said: “As we emerge from the lockdown, we’re exploring ways to encourage people to cycle more as it is good for mental and physical health, improves the environment and air quality, and helps to reduce congestion.

“We will take a close look at these new powers as we try to make our roads as safe and welcoming for cyclists as possible. We welcome any additional measures which help to encourage “Active Travel” including cycling and to make it easier for people to cycle safely on our network.

“We’ve also submitted plans which would make full use of the £1.96 million we’ve been allocated by the government for new emergency measures to encourage residents to walk and cycle.

“We have put additional investment into our Bikeability programme as we train to about 16,000 young people in Surrey’s schools. Our aim is to get more people cycling in Surrey.

See also: Emergency Investment Planned to Improve Cycling and Pedestrian Infrastructure

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Responses to Updated: New Powers for Councils to Keep Cyclists Safe

  1. John Lomas Reply

    June 10, 2020 at 8:12 am

    Mandatory cycle lanes are separated from the main carriageway by a solid white line, not a broken one such as
    the one shown in the picture.

    I wonder how many mandatory cycle lanes there are, the only ones I have seen where I live are limited to rush hour only.

  2. Bill Stokoe Reply

    June 10, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Welcome as the package is, let’s not forget pedestrians in all this. Wider pedestrianisation of our town centre would be a good thing, with investment in pavement repairs and better walking surfaces. That’s a healthy investment as well, and for the benefit of a larger percentage of the population.

    Bill Stokoe is the chairman of the Guildford Vision Group.

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