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Bournemouth “leading the way” for safer cycling, says councillor
BOURNEMOUTH is ‘leading the way’ in promoting safe cycling and shedding its reputation as a danger hotspot, it is claimed.
The Government recently announced a series of measures to Get Britain Cycling, including providing extra funding and introducing tougher penalties for motorists who kill cyclists and pedestrians.
The Department for Transport also said it expected local councils to ‘up their game’ and take cyclists into account when designing roads.
But Cllr Michael Filer, cabinet member for transport, pictured inset, said: “I would say we are ahead of the Government on this.
“Over the recent years Bournemouth as a town has put the emphasis on cycling.
“We’ve already opened up stretches of additional cycle lanes and there are more planned for the future.
“I applaud what the Government are doing, they are following our example.
“We have opened our own velodrome, which is almost unique in this country, and we recently published a plan showing exactly what roads have cycle lanes and where new ones are planned.
“We recognise the importance of promoting alternative means of transport – if we don’t unclog our roads then within about 20 years we are going to have almost double the amount of congestion.”
Dorset Police statistics show that the number of collisions involving cyclists has decreased slightly year on year.
Between January 1 and April 30 this year there were 86 collisions, compared to 93 the year before.
Jason Falconer, Sustrans’ schools and Bike It officer for Bournemouth and Poole, was seriously injured following a collision with a car last summer.
He said education was the key to encouraging more people to cycle. “Cycle training and education is more important than trying to push segregation and create separate facilities for cyclists,” he said. “You can’t have separate infrastructure everywhere, we have to learn to share the roads safely.”
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