Cycle for Change: safer cycling in the North of England
Northern Soul, the webzine dedicated to Northern life, culture and enterprise, believes that there is no cohesive, wide-ranging campaign working to address cycling safety in the North of England and press for change. Northern Soul wants to do something about that.
Helen Nugent, Founder and Editor of Northern Soul, said: “Our roads are never going to be 100 per cent safe but there are plenty of ways in which we can make them safer for all road users. So many cycling deaths and injuries could have been prevented and, at Northern Soul, we want to work as hard as possible to reduce the number of casualties.
“Unfortunately, I know the devastating consequences of cycling accidents only too well. Three years ago my best friend Mary was knocked off her bike and run over by a lorry driven by someone who wasn’t paying attention and didn’t have any useful safety measures on his vehicle. Mary will need round-the-clock care for the rest of her life. No-one should have to endure what this lovely girl has endured, and no-one should have to suffer like her family and friends have suffered. Together we can make our roads safer.”
Cycle for Change charter
Today, Northern Soul launches its Cycle for Change charter. This is a manifesto which, it is hoped, will increase in size and ambition as the campaign gathers pace. We are in the process of building a coalition of supporters and partners and we welcome organisations and individuals who would like to sign up.
- Cycling proficiency should be compulsory in schools.
- It should be mandatory for lorries entering cities to be equipped with basic safety measures including sensors and safety bars.
- The most dangerous junctions in the North must be identified and steps taken to improve them.
- There should be a dedicated, regular budget for cycling both at local and national level.
- Working groups should be set up at both local and national level to examine if the current laws are robust enough to deal with the offence of causing death or serious injury to cyclists.
Andy Groves, Northern Soul’s Cycling Correspondent and writer of Riding the North, the site’s column dedicated to cycling, said: “Cycle safety is the common theme in every piece I write for Northern Soul. The Cycle for Change campaign will change the debate and raise our game across the North.”
Support for Cycle for Change
Andrew Stephenson, Member of Parliament for Pendle, said, “I am delighted to support this campaign. Every person who gets on a bike, whether they are commuting to work, riding for pleasure, in the city, town or countryside, should be able to do so safely. We want to encourage people to use their bikes more for their own health and well-being and because of the major environmental benefits too. But the number of avoidable accidents, injuries and deaths must be addressed. This campaign will help to raise the issue of cycling safety across the North of England and beyond and if it saves one life, prevents one person from being injured or encourages people to wear a helmet or take other precautions, then it will have been a huge success.”
North West regional director of the charity Sustrans, Rosslyn Colderley, said: “Despite government assurances that our roads are getting safer, we still see too many cycling and walking deaths and serious injuries in the North of England.
“Worries about safety on the roads deter people from walking and cycling and promote a growing fear among parents that children are safer inside the car than out. This leads to ever increasing traffic, worsening air pollution and increasing obesity. That is why Sustrans is campaigning for dedicated funding to transform local walking and cycling routes and the introduction of lower traffic speeds, such as the 20 mph zones proposed in Manchester.
“I’m delighted to see Northern Soul launching its campaign for safer cycling and look forward to working with them.”
For further information and to find out how to get involved, please contact Helen Nugent, Founder and Editor of Northern Soul: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com; mobile: 07554 459 600
Twitter: @Northern_Soul_; @nugehelen
Cycle for Change logo: Paul Irwin at www.pointwellmade.co.uk