Today, Portsmouth City Council will consider a motion to plan a network of safe cycling routes.
The motion proposes that the council devise a strategy to implement the ‘A City To Share’ report that the Portsmouth Cycle Forum was commissioned to produce back in 2014. It recommends the council consider allocate five per cent of Local Transport Plan capital funds to cycling, increasing infrastructure through a network of cycle superhighways and thereby creating a cycling friendly city.
Cycling is popular in Portsmouth but it is also one of the most dangerous places to cycle in the UK. According to the BBC in an article from June 15th, Portsmouth rates highest for deaths or injuries among cyclists in the UK outside of London.
In June this year, Tim Atkins, 48, was killed in a crash with another cyclist and a van while cycling along the Eastern Road. Everyone involved in the collision was operating within the law. The collision occurred as Tim and another cyclist were travelling opposite ways around a corner on a shared use path, which was too narrow and therefore not fit for purpose. They crashed into each other, and Atkins fell into the road – which has a 50 mph speed limit – and was hit by a van.
His death was a direct result of poor infrastructure and has been a tragedy for Atkins’ family and the van driver. Cycling UK and the Portsmouth Cycle Forum are calling for support of this motion to aid better and safer cycling in Portsmouth.
Cycling UK has made it easier for local residents to contact their local councillors by setting up an easy to use online tool which can be found here.
Chair of the Portsmouth Cycle Forum Ian Saunders said: “Portsmouth Cycle Forum was asked to submit a strategy for improving cycling in Portsmouth by the Council in the autumn of 2014. Three years on, despite it being warmly welcomed at the time, there is still no formal approval or commitment to implement or fund ‘A City To Share’. We welcome the motion to be discussed today. The strategic planning, development and installation of a network of safe cycle routes to make our city fit for purpose for everyday cycling does need a proper level of funding.”