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Volume 128: debated on Thursday 25 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give details of steps his Department is taking and has taken to make cycling safer; and if he will make a statement.

Pedal cyclists are one of the vulnerable road user groups. Progress on cycling safety can be made in steps.Some 90 per cent. of cycle casualties are on local authority roads. They have the responsibility to provide cycle facilities. The Department provides technical advice and guidance to local authorities on the design and construction of cycle facilities based on research and application studies conducted by the traffic advisory unit and the TRRL. Current work includes 24 innovatory schemes, funded by the Department, and five large-scale urban cycle route projects.The new "Highway Code" includes advice to cyclists on safer riding techniques and to motorists on the need to be aware of cyclists. As part of our current road safety publicity programme we are distributing relevant material to local authority road safety officers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has about the number of people who travel by bicycle and the distances of journeys made by bicycle.

About 3½ million people in Great Britain use a pedal cycle in an average week. The average length of a bicycle journey is about 1¾ miles. Cycling accounts for about 2¾ billion miles a year on Great Britain's public roads.