There is some good emerging from Scotland following a recent meeting over cycle safety in the country. Scottish Government Transport Minister Keith Brown has said his Government will support a range of pilot measures designed to protect cyclists on the roads to prevent future fatalities.
Following a meeting last week of Scotland’s Road Safety Operational Partnership Group (OPG) in Edinburgh, Mr Brown said that pilot plans would include special traffic lights (flashing amber lights as part of a traffic control system to help accommodate cyclists), 20mph zones in residential areas and cycle lanes on new roads.
A range of bodies including local authorities, the emergency services, motorists’ interest groups and cycling safety organisations attended the meeting. Mr Brown convened the (OPG) in Edinburgh after 40-year-old Bryan Simons became the fourth cycling fatality in the city in a year.
Pilot schemes planned for this year include:
Flashing Amber (Glasgow) £15k – Includes the installation of flashing amber lights as part of traffic control system to help accommodate cyclists. Will provide a safe and attractive route to commuting cyclists in and out of city centre.
Dores (Inverness) – £85k to create a quality, safe route to school and a much needed commuting link on and into Inverness. Link will give additional option for commuters to travel actively into city centre by cycling or walking.
Galatown (Kirkcaldy) – £80K to re-design a neighbourhood to Designing Streets standard and thus allow pedestrians and cyclists to avoid busy roads on their trips.
Delight at cycle safety focus
Sustrans Scotland director John Lauder, who was at the OPG meeting, said that he was delighted Keith Brown that had dedicated the meeting to cycle safety.
“While the number of people using bikes in Scotland grows there is still a widespread perception that roads are dangerous places for cyclists. Tackling this perception and getting more people cycling is of national importance as we strive to improve our health and reduce emissions; there are many good examples of sharing the roads through design, training and speed reduction and we must do more to share knowledge across Scotland.
“Fundamentally, however, we must change how we use our urban streets, particularly where people live, shop, work and go to school: streets are for people not thoroughfares for passing traffic. Once we dedicate our streets to the people who live in them we will get more people cycling.”
Pedal to Parliament
Scottish cyclists are planning a ride to the Scottish Parliament in the Holyrood area of Edinburgh on April 28 to keep the pressure on the Scottish Government to provide more cycling friendly and cycle safety polices. The “Pedal On Parliament” ride will see the cyclists present a cycling manifesto to the Scottish Government. There is also a Cycle Safety debate at the Scottish Parliament on March 29.
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