Headlines: June 30th, 2008

Cycling campaigners are calling for changes to road rules to reduce the risks for riders. They want more 20mph. speed limits and suggest one-way streets should be made two-way for cyclists. The national cyclists’ organisation, CTC, said bike users should not break the law even if current regulations failed to make roads safe.

The CTC said that instead of forcing councils to pay for expensive and unpopular speed bumps or having to install more signs that local people often thought of as an eyesore, the law should be changed so drivers had to assume a 20 mph limit was in place unless a sign indicated otherwise.

CTC campaigns and policy manager Roger Geffen said some cyclists broke the law because they believed it was safer to do so, but their behaviour was still wrong. “Where the rules are putting cyclists’ safety at risk the law has got to change,” he said. In some cases changes could be made without amendments to legislation. For example, residential streets that had been made one-way to stop ‘rat running’ could safely be made two-way for cyclists.

Mr. Geffen said all residential streets should have 20mph. speed limits to make them safer. The limits could be enforced using cameras to record a car’s speed on entering and leaving the zone. “This would be good for road safety and would encourage people to walk and cycle more. It would be good for quality of life,” he added. Mr. Geffen accepted that a minority of people would complain about this being an infringement of motorists’ rights but said the current system was an infringement of the rights of cyclists and pedestrians. Some areas, including Portsmouth, were already embracing the use of 20mph. zones as the norm, and it will be among the suggestions the CTC will make to the road safety minister, Jim Fitzpatrick, in consulation later this year on a new 10 year