Transport Committee urges Government to make it easier for councils to bring in lower speed limits to make roads safer - and boost cycling spending

The report urges the Government to reach a cycling budget of £10 per head of population by 2020

The Government needs to make it “easier and cheaper” for councils to bring in lower speed limits to reduce the number of cyclists killed Britain’s road, an influential group of MPs has said.

The call for more 20mph speed limits by the Transport Select Committee was accompanied by a demand for a five-fold increase in cycling infrastructure spending to cut casualties.

The policy recommendations come in a major new report into cycling safety released today. It argues for a “cultural change” to ease the tensions between motorists and cyclists and calls for the appointment of a “cycling tsar” to coordinate policy across government.

The report “urges” the Government to reach a cycling budget of £10 per head of population by 2020, compared to the current figure of £2 per head.

“Cycling needs to be seen as an essential part of transport policy and there needs to be a long-term sustainable budget to go with this,” Louise Ellman MP, chair of the committee, told The Independent.

“This means there also needs to be someone in government that has a remit looking at cycling policy across departments.”

She added: “This is not just a problem of a few roundabouts in London. This is a national issue and I urge the Government to take action.”

According to Ms Ellman, any “cycling tsar” needs to be a “Government Minister with clout” who can look at “road design, training, speed limits, education, health policy and HGV regulation”.

Video: Cyclists need to take adequate precautions

Last year 109 cyclists were killed on roads in England, Scotland and Wales, with more than 3,000 serious injuries. The number of deaths was an 8 per cent fall on 2012, but campaigners warned that total cyclist casualties were up 18 per cent compared to the average for 2005 to 2009.

Worryingly for campaigners, today’s report also stated that there is only “limited evidence of a widespread culture that is supportive of cyclists as road users”. This is despite Prime Minister David Cameron calling for a “cycling revolution” following the widespread success of the sport during the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Tour de France.

The report’s major policy recommendation is that Government should support local authorities to make it “easier and cheaper for them to introduce 20mph speed limits in high-risk areas”.

Ms Ellman said: “We see clear information that where 20mph zones are implemented we see fewer accidents, the pace of travel is slowed and therefore road users are more aware of each other.”

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow, who is president of the national cycling charity CTC, said: “The positive recommendations made by the select committee are good news.

"But we need out Government to go one step further and make the commitment to at least £10 per head funding to make safe cycling in the UK with immediate effect, not six years from now.”

A spokesperson for the AA told The Independent: “We have no problem with 20mph speed limits in residential areas as long as residents are happy with them.”

Despite the report being broadly welcomed by safety campaigners, Hugh Bladon, a founder of the Alliance of British Drivers, told The Independent: “Quite simply 20mph speed limits will increase the number of accidents.

"It’s a nonsensical policy as police cannot enforce it and you would need a million cameras if you want people to drive at 20mph, which nobody does. What you need is to get a grip on cyclist wearing things in their ears, ignoring the road behind them and listening to what they call music.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas