Government backs London construction lorry safety standard in new cycling and walking safety announcement

Government backs London construction lorry safety standard in new cycling and walking safety announcement

In a short sentence that’s easy to overlook the Government’s Cycling and Walking Safety Review response gives strong backing to the Construction Logistics and Community Safety Scheme (CLOCS) aimed at developers as called for by LCC. The Department for Transport says it will be “working to expand the scheme beyond London.” This affirmation will likely encourage more operators and cities to sign up to the scheme and hence incorporate CLOCS in their procurement and planning processes

The Department for Transport also says it is working with Transport for London in pressing for European Union adoption of new regulations on safer lorries with better Direct Vision that eliminates most blind spots. LCC has championed the cause of lorries with good Direct Vision at every opportunity including in correspondence with the Department of Transport (DfT) and the European Union.

The DfT list of actions covers a range of other safety issues. LCC welcomes in particular Government commitment to improve enforcement against parking in cycle lanes, and close passing by drivers (see our Stay Wider of the Rider campaign).  But while the Department for Transport ‘encourages’ councils to spend 15% of transport budgets on walking and cycling it stops short of creating any mechanism that will ensure  local authorities deliver the high grade cycle networks that will double cycling levels required to meet the Government target.  

Reacting to more than 14,000 responses to the review of the national Cycling and Walking Strategy (CWIS) Transport Minister Jesse Norman says he will appoint a new Cycling and Walking Champion. A similar move in London helped improve cycling conditions. LCC’s view is that to deliver on Government targets the new ‘champion’ must have access to funding streams, powers to intervene when quality standards are inadequate and full support from ministers.

Norman’s measures also reiterate guidance that says new developments ‘should’ ‘give priority first to pedestrian and cycle movements.’ This is welcome but such guidance is inconsistent with national Government moves to weaken restrictions on car parking provision rather than strengthen them.  In London, by contrast, the Mayor wants all new developments in inner London to be car-free.

The DfT says it will work with cycling and walking organisations to develop a behaviour change action plan that will encourage active travel.

LCC responded to both the original Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and the CWIS Review. We concluded that the key factor in making the CWIS  successful is ‘the political determination to act.’  Just as London’s Mayor has to press the London boroughs to deliver better cycling schemes so the Government must ensure, rather than just ‘encourage,’ local authorities to invest in, and deliver, high standard cycling and walking schemes.

The Government press release lists the following actions emerging from the CWIS review:

 

·        a review of guidance in the Highway Code to improve safety for vulnerable road users

·        new investment to support the police to improve enforcement by developing a national back office function to handle footage provided through dash-cam evidence

·        enforcement against parking in mandatory cycle lanes

·        the appointment of a new Cycling and Walking Champion to raise the profile of Active Travel

·        encouragement for local authorities to increase investment in cycling and walking infrastructure to 15 per cent of total transport infrastructure spending

·        work with key cycling and walking organisations to develop a behaviour change campaign alongside the action plan