A new initiative proposed by Government may see cyclists win priority over a host of city roads across the UK. The initiative proposes a 15mph speed limit on designated streets with a £100 fine and three penalty points to a driver who is caught overtaking a cyclist.
Approximately 19,000 injuries are suffered by cyclists each year in the UK and it is hoped that the introduction of these ‘cycle streets’ will reduce that dramatically. The scheme which is being championed by the roads minister Robert Goodwill, will more than likely be rolled out in Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Oxford and London initially.
The proposal is one of many changes and improvements suggested in a Department for Transport consultation document on making streets safer, through measures including reformed traffic regulations and signage.
The ‘cycle streets’ are described within the document as: "a bold initiative, which is being considered by some of the Cycle Cities and London, possibly including a ban on overtaking on lightly trafficked roads where cycle flows are high. Subject to any scheme trial, this prohibition could be accompanied by an advisory speed limit of 15mph."
‘Cycle streets’ are already widely used in the Netherland and Germany. But in the Netherlands, this policy is only enforced on streets where there is a 2:1 ratio of cyclists to road users. A stat that simply does not exist in the UK.