build increased cycling into local transport strategies
Local councils are best placed to know how cycling and active travel can be improved in its own area. Each local authority should be required produce its own local cycling action plan with clear targets to increase cycling levels in line with the national target of 10%, using the existing cycling levels as a guideline. Funding to support this should be ring-fenced and councils required to report against their progress every year. As well as working towards a coherent joined up network (see point 2), plans should include integration with public transport, including buses and trains, making cycling a seamless and practical part of even longer journeys. Local authorities should take cyclists into account when drawing up their maintenance plans, with a duty to give equal consideration to off-road tracks and infrastructure when planning gritting, road cleaning and repairs. Resurfacing roads and fixing potholes should take cyclists’ needs into consideration as well as motorists.
Again a simple 'joined-up thinking' approach. Consideration, integration and infrastructure. Not a hotch-potch approach that leads to gaps that gape in the network in the country's towns and cities.
improved road traffic law and enforcement
While acknowledging that road traffic law is effectively reserved to the UK Government, traffic law must do more to protect the most vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, children and older people. The CAPS already includes a commitment to investigate the feasibility of introducing ‘strict liability’ – we would reiterate that this must not be sidelined. Restrictions on parking in bike lanes and on pavements should be strictly enforced and, given a lack of police action on these issues, those local authorities that have not requested decriminalisation of parking enforcement should be encouraged to do so. Where 20mph zones have been brought in they should be properly policed and sentencing must be appropriate when drivers cause harm.
Let's get this straight, look at how seriously road traffic offences are taken, right down to derisory sentences for deaths caused by driving in a reckless manner, and you'll realise the 'war on the motorist' is the thing of myth and legend. It's often said, if you want to murder someone run them over in a car then claim you were blinded by the sun. This is sadly not too far away form being true.
a comprehensive package to eliminate the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians
This is a pressing problem. Heavy lorries are associated with a disproportionately high risk of death or very serious injury to cyclists and pedestrians. Despite being just 6% of road traffic, lorries are involved in around 20% of all cyclists’ fatalities. CAPS already has targets for reducing cycling casualties but the onus must not just be on the cyclists to keep themselves safe. The Scottish government should engage with the UK Department of Transport with a view to developing a comprehensive package of measures to reduce the risk to cyclists and pedestrians, based on up to date evidence of what works. These might include better training, mirrors, sensors and warnings, or limitations on movements of large freight vehicles during the morning and evening peaks. Equally they might include complete redesign of junctions to remove conflict between bikes and lorries.
There's a recognition that there are things that cyclists can do here to keep themselves safe, but the difference in fatality rates for trucks compared to normal traffic cannot (and is not) solely be down to the actions of cyclists. There must be a recognition that if we're going to elt large vehicles right into the centres of our towns (something which in a lot of European cities doesn't happenduring the day incidentally) then we need to make those vehicles as safe as possible, for everyone's sake.