Here at Asgard we love cycling and everything bikes, with many of the staff commuting into our head office by bike. Cyclist deaths and accidents have been at the forefront of the news over the last 2 weeks. Cyclists all over the UK want better infrastructure and safety on Britain’s roads. Take a look at these radical suggestions, to help improve cycle safety.
Bike licenses and number plates
It has been suggested that cyclists should sign up to a national register and display something on their bikes, equivalent to a number plate. This idea had been previously suggested by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone in 2006. A scheme like this, would make it possible to track and identify cyclists on camera, which would encourage better cycling and law abiding.
It has been argued by the London Cycling Campaign, that this would do nothing to reduce fatalities as evidence shows that only 2% of cyclist collisions are caused by those who break the law.
HGV ban from city centres
Many cyclists want HGV’s banned from city centres during rush hour, as most cyclist deaths are caused by HGV’s or buses. Paris has already taken this step and it is thought a ban like this would massively improve safety.
Allow cyclists to jump red lights
In the UK it is illegal for cyclists to jump red lights. However in other areas of Europe, such as the Netherlands and Belgium, cyclists can turn right at a red light as standard. Legal red light jumping has also been trialled in Paris, authorities say the trial has been successful and they are currently in discussion about extending this to other areas of the city.
Cycle on pavements
Although you will see the odd cyclist riding along the pavement, this is an offence currently punishable by an on the spot fine. In places such as Japan, cyclists and pedestrians share the pavement. However many find it difficult to see how this will work in busy London streets.
London Mayor Boris Johnson has called for a ban on cyclists wearing headphones as they ride. Boris raises the point that cycling with any of ones senses wilfully impaired seems inherently more dangerous and putting an end to this practice would increase cyclist’s safety. However cyclists are in uproar about this statement from the Mayor, they want to know what evidence the mayor has linking cycling deaths to the use of headphones.
The cycling helmet and debate has been going backward and forwards for as long as we can remember. Unbelievably, a team of Canadian doctors have gone as far to suggest that some cyclists should wear body armour. This proposal came after study found that almost a half of cyclist injuries were to the chest or abdomen. However with the majority of cyclist deaths occur with a HGV, even if you are wearing a chest plate this will not protect you from the weight of a 32tonne lorry.
Elevated cycle routes
This extreme method of separating cyclists from other traffic is a fantastic idea, however the sheer cost of such a project makes it unlikely. This type of infrastructure would be popular with both cyclists and motorists, as cyclists are kept safe and motorists won’t have to lose any road space. Elevated cycle routes would be built above existing roads and railways.
Hopefully the TFL will come up with a cost effective and say way for cyclists to use the roads, which can then be implanted throughout major cities in the UK.