In response to this letter.
23rd February 2012
Thank you for contacting me recently regarding road safety for cyclists and the related Times “Cities Fit for Cycling” campaign.
I appreciate the importance of encouraging more people to cycle and to cycle safely and I agree that the Government and local authorities should consider ways to help improve cycle use and safety.
I welcome The Times’ “Cities fit for cycling” campaign which has been very effective in highlighting the importance of improving road safety for cyclists and I hope that MPs have an opportunity to debate the issue and The Times’ eight point manifesto in the House of Commons.
The previous Labour Government also looked very carefully at this issue and introduced a range of measures to improve cycle safety and cycle use including a national cycle strategy, the introduction of local cycling plans and dedicated funding and resources for cycle training and safety, especially among children. Indeed, in the last decade casualties have reduced by 17% while cycle use grew by 20%.
I agree, however, that more needs to be done to further improve safety for cyclists and I am concerned that this may be hindered by the Government’s decision to cut local authority funding by 27% over the next four years, as local authorities play a particularly important role in ensuring local road safety.
I welcome the “Cities Fit for Cycling” campaign and I can assure you that I will continue to press the Government to improve cycle safety and use.
I have therefore written to the Transport Minister Mike Penning MP to raise your concerns and to ask for further information on the Government’s plans in this area.
Thank you again for taking the time to write to me with your concerns. If you have any further concerns about this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me again.
[proper signature in pen]
Member of Parliament for West Ham