BBC: Transport Minister Keith Brown to chair talks on safer roads for cyclists

Cycle safety campaigners are meeting Transport Minister Keith Brown to discuss how Scotland’s roads can be made safer.

The meeting will hear proposals from groups including Road Safety Scotland, Paths for All, and Cycling Scotland.

There has been a 12% fall in the number of cyclist casualties across Scotland between 2000 and 2010.

However, the deaths of four cyclists in Edinburgh over the past 12 months has led to calls for better safety.

Cyclists are a smaller proportion of road casualties in Scotland compared to Britain as a whole but Mr Brown thinks “concern remains”.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone has called for a radical rethink of how the capital’s streets are designed following the fatalities.

She said: “Among other things, I think we need to have a review of urban speed limits, with top priority given to the interests of pedestrians and cyclists.

“I also want to see every Scottish school able to provide cycle training, and every council able to invest in better road design.

“The government could take the lead right now and identify the 50 worst junctions for cyclists in Scotland.”

School run

Last September, an additional £1.3m was allocated by Transport Scotland for cycling projects, including an educational campaign to raise awareness of cyclists among vehicle drivers.

It was especially aimed at motorists during school-run periods when more children are cycling.

A further commitment was to ensure that cyclists are considered by roads authorities when road design and maintenance schemes are being conceived.

This can range from creating new cycle paths to providing space for cyclists on shared roads.

Ministers are also encouraging local authorities to consider 20mph zones in all residential areas.

The emergency services will be attending the meeting, along with Lothian cycle campaign group “Spokes” which is demanding a shift of funding priorities within transport at central and local levels.

The group points to Edinburgh where the city council has allocated 5% of its transport budget to cycling investment.

It wants other councils to adopt similar strategies.

For the original article from the BBC please click here


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