Ahead of a Westminster Hall debate on cycle safety later today the editor of The Times has written to every MP, urging them to attend the three-hour parliamentary debate. And in today’s newspaper The Times publishes a supplement on cycling and there’s also a hard-hitting editorial on why making cities safer for cycling is a safety benefit for everybody, not just cyclists.
The newspaper’s stance on safer cities has edged much closer to seeking safety for all road users – including pedestrians – as urged for on the BikeBiz.com feature, ‘The Times is wrong to focus on cyclists alone’.
An op-ed editorial suggests that "If this newspaper’s cycle safety campaign should result only in safer cycling, it must be considered a failure."
The prominent editorial goes on: "Motorist awareness, sensors on trucks, cyclist education, increased funding for cycle lanes – all of these things are indeed desirable. Yet The Times has a more ambitious vision that renders them all mere details of a much larger whole…It would be a fundamental change in the popular expectation of how British cities ought to look.
"We live today in cities built for horses, dominated by cars. Only in very few parts of the country is driving a pleasure, yet even the reluctant motorist rarely has a viable alternative…
"Our cities must be reimagined so that the cyclist has no hindrance to the motorist, and the motorist no danger in return. The weary driver, the sweaty train commuter, the pedestrian running late: all will benefit when more Britons get on their bikes.
"[This] is a campaign to change the way we live.
"Cycling is a pleasure and an aid to health. It must also be made safer."
The editorial was entitled ‘Backing the Chain Gang’ but stressed that "making cities fit for cycling" – something that will take "many years" – will "benefit everybody."