Government announce new tool for councils to ensure safety of cyclists
Cycling Minister Chris Heaton-Harris announced earlier this week that, as of the 22 June 2020, cyclists will have safer journeys thanks to new laws.
Cars parking on cycle lanes put cyclists at risk of serious accident, often forcing them to pull out into the flow of traffic. As of this month, however, local authorities throughout the country will be able to use CCTV to issue penalty charge notices to drivers who are found to be parking or loading their cars illegally on designated cycle lanes.
The hope is that with approved camera devices, it will be easier for local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to take action against cars illegally parked on mandatory cycle lanes, allowing cyclists to complete their journeys without having to pull out of cycle lanes.
Mr Heaton-Harris said: "Across the country there has been a surge in the number of people dusting off their old bike from the back of the shed and cycling, or taking journeys on foot, to get from A to B.
"Giving local authorities more powers to stop cycle lanes from becoming blocked will make it safer for cyclists. These new measures also build on our recent £2 billion investment to create a green, healthier legacy and see more people travelling by bicycle or on foot."
The government also hope that the new laws will encourage more people to cycle on the road by giving individuals the confidence to use their bikes more and help alleviate the growing pressure on public transport infrastructure in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest announcement also follows last month's announcement from the Transport Secretary, in which he pledged a £2 billion package for cycling and walking to help create a greener transport network, including:
- £225 million to create pop up cycle lanes, which comprise protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and bike and bus-only corridors.
- A 'bicycle repair scheme' which will see up to half a million £50 vouchers issused to people in England to help fix up neglected bikes.
Good news for cyclists! Local authorities in England will have new powers to use CCTV to issue penalty charge notices to drivers who park or load illegally in mandatory cycle lanes, putting cyclists at risk of a serious accident. Let’s hope they exercise those powers to help keep cyclists safe.
Jeremy is a senior personal injury solicitor with Potter Rees Dolan. Should you have any queries about the issues raised in this article, or personal injury, and wish to speak with Jeremy or any other member of the team please contact us on 0161 237 5888. Alternatively, contact Jeremy directly here.