TTC backs new cycling safety laws

Press release | June 2020

TTC backs new cycling safety laws but calls for more responsibility from all stakeholders

TTC Group has backed the new cycling safety laws which came into force on 22 June but has called for organisations, individuals, and suppliers alike to adopt even greater responsibility for cyclist safety.

The call comes as TTC released an interview with leading behavioural change expert Dr Fiona Fylan detailing a study with Australia's Queensland University of Technology which explored biomotion and its importance to vulnerable road user safety. The safety recommendations of the study were delivered to cycling apparel manufacturers and end users.

As a result of the interview, TTC Group has highlighted how greater responsibility amongst all stakeholders could provide another shot in the arm for cycling safety.

(Picture:Oliver Raisbeck, Commercial Director TTC Group)

Oliver Raisbeck

‘The problem is people do not feel safe,’ said Dr Fylan. ‘Fears about safety puts an awful lot of people off cycling but we are looking at how to make them safer and increase visibility.’

A key focus of the study was biomotion – the idea that moving objects are much more visible and can be seen far earlier. As such the research looked at reflective strips positioned on the moveable joints – the wrists, ankles, knees, and elbows.

‘They are much, much more visible at night. In fact, motorists can spot vulnerable road users two to three times the distance than if they were just wearing reflective strips or lights,’ explained Dr Fylan. ‘It’s really important we can bring that to cyclists’ awareness and get them to increase or change the strategies they are using.’

The study has delivered recommendations to manufacturers about what they should be doing to change the apparel that they sell to help make cyclists safer.

TTC Group commercial director and head of cycling division, Oliver Raisbeck, said, ‘The government has recently been doing a fantastic job of promoting cycling throughout the UK. However, with more people cycling as part of their daily exercise and commute, safety continues to be a major challenge.

‘The work that Dr Fylan and the team at Queensland University of Technology have done is another step forward in the ongoing development of safety awareness for cyclists and other road users.’

Announced on 10 June 2020 by Cycling Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, new laws being backed by TTC give local authorities in England powers to use CCTV to issue penalty charge notices to drivers who park or load illegally in mandatory cycle lanes.

It follows the Transport Secretary’s announcement of a £2bn package for cycling and walking which included £225m 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. The public are also able to benefit from the new bicycle repair scheme, where up to half a million £50 vouchers will be issued to people in England to help get neglected bikes back on the road.

Its further significant development in what Cycling UK has classed as a ‘golden opportunity’ to encourage people to ride, however safety concerns continue to hinder uptake.

Although Covid-19 movement restrictions have seen a boon in cycling uptake, the latest government survey data prior to lockdown, showed three in five people (61%) thought cycling on the road was too dangerous.  

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