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Bicycles: Safety

Volume 502: debated on Monday 7 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent steps his Department has taken to increase cycling safety. (302686)

The Department for Transport has taken a number of steps to increase the level of safety for cyclists. We are aware that safety concerns are a deterrent for many people to cycle more, or to allow their children to cycle, and so it is an important aspect of our cycling promotion work.

To this end we have:

Developed a new National Standard for Cycle Training suitable for children and adults. We provided grants to local authorities to enable an extra 500,000 children to take part in Bikeability training by 2012. (Our Bikeability training meets the National Standard.) This year, we are providing almost £10 million to train around 200,000 children.

Through Cycling England’s Links to Schools Programme, funded improvements to infrastructure which will include at least 250 safer routes to approximately 500 schools.

Launched a new THINK! education website with resources for primary school teachers, pupils and parents covering the themes of cycle training, wearing the correct clothes, cycle maintenance and using the Highway Code.

Proposed, in our consultation on a new road safety strategy, to provide greater encouragement for local authorities to introduce 20 mph limits and zones in streets which are primarily residential in nature.

Commissioned a two-year research project looking at a range of road safety and cycling issues including casualty data, infrastructure, attitudes and cycle helmets.

And finally

We have recently completed a study considering the safety aspects of a range of supplementary devices on large goods vehicles, including the Fresnel lens, in order to reduce blind spots which can be particularly dangerous to cyclists.