Make Scotland a cycle-friendly nation
Cycling should be the obvious solution to many of Scotland’s ills. It is cheap, healthy, democratic and convivial, benefits local economies and makes the streets a safer place for all. And yet bikes barely seem to be taken seriously as a mode of transport while the majority of Scots don’t cycle, simply because they feel it is too risky. Making Scotland safe for cycling and walking, and – more importantly – making it feel safe, could transform our cities and villages and the lives of the people who live in them.
On 28th April, 2012 we're calling on everyone: whether they cycle now, or would like to but just don't because of the conditions on the roads to join us in Edinburgh to Pedal on Parliament in support of our 8-point manifesto:
1. Proper funding for cycling.
2. Design cycling into Scotland’s roads.
3. Slower speeds where people live, work and play
4. Integrate cycling into local transport strategies
5. Improved road traffic law and enforcement
6. Reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians
7. A strategic and joined-up programme of road user training
8. Improved statistics supporting decision-making and policy
- Scottish MSPs and local councillors
We call on all Scotland’s politicians, of all parties, to sign up to the following eight point manifesto in order to make cycling a realistic choice for everyone, from eight to eighty – and show the rest of the UK that cycling doesn’t just belong on continental Europe, but in the country where it all began:
1) Proper funding for cycling.
2) Design cycling into Scotland’s roads.
3) Safer speeds where people live, work and play
4) Integrate cycling into local transport strategies
5) Sensible road traffic law and enforcement
6) Reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians
7) A strategic and joined-up programme of road user training
8) Solid research on cycling to support policy-making
1. Proper funding for cycling, with a high and rising share of the transport budget committed to cycling nationally, and locally.
We ask the Scottish government to commit 5% of transport revenue and capital budgets to cycling. Further, local authorities should also commit a share of their transport revenue and capital budgets to cycling at least in proportion with the percentage of people cycling to work or school in their area until in total, spending on cycling from all sources reaches a target of £25 per head per year.
2. Design cycling into all of Scotland’s roads with improved national design guidelines.
Improved provision for cycling must include a commitment to transforming Scotland’s roads and junctions. The existing design guidelines, Cycling by Design should be revised in line with best practice internationally and incorporated into national and local road design guidance, forming minimum national standards for any new road or any road being substantially maintained or upgraded, whether local or trunk road.
3. Safer speeds where people live, work and play.
In residential areas, the presumption should be that roads authorities should apply 20mph speed limits as the norm in these areas. Lower speed limits should also be considered for unclassified rural roads where all road traffic faces a completely unacceptable risk of accident.
4. Build increased cycling into local transport strategies.
Each local authority should be required produce its own local cycling action plan with clear targets to increase cycling levels in line with the national target of 10%, using the existing cycling levels as a guideline. Councils should plan the creation of a coherent joined up network including integration with public transport and take cyclists as well as motorists into account when drawing up their maintenance plans.
5. Improved road traffic law and enforcement.
Traffic law must do more to protect the most vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, children and older people. The CAPS already includes a commitment to investigate the feasibility of introducing ‘strict liability’ – we would reiterate that this must not be sidelined. Restrictions on parking in bike lanes and on pavements should be strictly enforced. Where 20mph zones have been brought in they should be properly policed and sentencing must be appropriate when drivers cause harm.
6. A comprehensive package to eliminate the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians.
The Scottish government should engage with the UK Department of Transport with a view to developing a comprehensive package of measures to reduce the risk to cyclists and pedestrians, based on up to date evidence of what works. In some cases these might include the complete redesign of junctions to remove conflict between bikes and lorries; in other circumstances they might include better training, mirrors, sensors and warnings, or limitations on movements of large freight vehicles during the morning and evening peaks.
7. A strategic and properly funded programme of road user training. to eliminate the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians.
All Scottish residents should have access to affordable cycle training, whether children, adult returning cyclists, and those in later life. Further, HGV drivers, bus drivers and other professional drivers should be required to take an on-bike qualification (or a theoretical module if physically unable to cycle) as part of their licensing requirement and be made aware of the needs of both pedestrians and cyclists, and the Scottish government should press the UK government to introduce these measures.
8. Solid research and statistics on cycling.
At a minimum counts should be carried out twice a year using standardised protocols for data collection and handling, taking into account cyclists using off-road facilities as well as those on the public highway. Where possible electronic counters with public displays should be used which count the number of cyclists passing through certain areas as these can provide both feedback and encouragement. These would become a talking point and a public reminder to cyclists that they are part of a growing band taking control of their health – and their freedom.
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