MPs from the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group met the Prime Minister earlier today (15th July) to discuss cycling safety as a result of the recent deaths of cyclists. David Cameron had agreed to meet the group following a question in Parliament by Ben Bradshaw MP triggered by the death of a cyclist by a construction vehicle in central London.
MPs Ruth Cadbury (Lab, Brentford and Isleworth), Alex Chalk (Con, Cheltenham), Dr. Sarah Wollaston (Con, Totnes) and Ben Bradshaw (Lab, Exeter) had a 20 minute exchange with the Prime Minister who expressed his concern and agreed to ask the Secretary of State for Transport to look further at measures to make roads safer for cyclists. These included looking at the evidence from other world cities which have some form of lorry ban, to staggered light phasing at junctions, design improvements for construction trade vehicles, improved enforcement of mandatory lorry safety features and improvements to roads and junctions to make them safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
Bradshaw said, "I was delighted the PM agreed to meet us so soon after I raised the issue in Parliament. Our major cities have a lamentable record both for levels of cycling and for cycle safety compared to those of our European neighbours, and it would take very little public investment to make a big improvement in the climate for cycling. Following our meeting today, we will be meeting with the Transport Secretary to discuss the issues in more detail."
Cadbury said: “The Prime Minister shared our concerns over the number of cyclists that have been killed and seriously injured by HGVs mainly from the construction industry and I feel that he will now encourage ministers to seriously explore measures to reduce these incidents.”
Chalk said: “This was a very constructive meeting. The Prime Minister’s personal interest in cycling, and the safety of cyclists, was obvious and very welcome. I look forward to taking our safety agenda forward with the Transport Secretary."
Wollaston, who also chairs the Health Select Committee, said: "6 out of 7 of the deaths in London have been women killed by construction lorries at junctions. It’s so important that women are not deterred from cycling on safety grounds and there is far more that can be done to reduce the risks. We hope that the Government will implement and fully fund the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy which the All Party Cycling Group successfully lobbied for inclusion in the Infrastructure Bill in the last Parliament."