Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Call for cyclist safety summit

A Parliamentary safety group has called for a cycling safety summit
A Parliamentary safety group has called for a cycling safety summit
File photo of a cyclist next to a lorry as MPs calls for a safety summit in the wake of a spate of deaths on London's roads.

A Parliamentary safety group is urging London Mayor Boris Johnson to hold a safety summit following the spate of cyclists' deaths in the capital.

There was "a need for urgent action", said the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (Pacts) which has written to Mr Johnson.

Pacts executive director David Davies said: "The boom in cycling in London has many benefits and we support it but the tragic events of the past few days show that there is a need for urgent action.

"We are therefore calling on the mayor to convene a cycling safety summit to see what can be done immediately to make cyclists safer.

"It is essential that actions are based on good evidence and well targeted. We must avoid knee-jerk reactions and measures that might be counterproductive."

Gordon Seabright, chief executive of CTC, the national cycling charity, has written to Transport Minister Robert Goodwill calling on him "to hold hauliers to account over cycling deaths".

In the letter, Mr Seabright said: "We know from the Freight Transport Association's disparagement of even modest efforts on behalf of cycle safety by your Department that hauliers refuse to take this issue seriously.

"Until they do, CTC urges you to call in the leaders of the haulage industry so they can be held to account by yourself and representatives of pedestrians and cyclists whenever a vulnerable road user is killed by a lorry."

He went on: "As minister, you have an opportunity open to nobody else; by dramatising the problem and causing personal discomfort to those responsible, you can focus their minds on making changes that are already available to them and already effective outside the UK.

"Cyclists' and pedestrians' deaths due to HGVs are entirely avoidable tragedies. CTC recommends a number of actions that could save lives and calls for further research into these. We would gladly work with your officials to develop policy accordingly, and we strongly believe that stricter regulation of this dangerous industry is needed."

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