It should be made legal for cyclists to run red lights, says Green Party

The controlled measure is being introduced in Paris to cut collisions

Jon Stone
Friday 14 August 2015 11:54 BST
London commuters cycle into work
London commuters cycle into work (Getty )

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It should be made legal for people riding bikes to go through red lights if there is no oncoming traffic and the way is clear, the Green Party has said.

Caroline Russell, the party’s transport spokesperson, said the UK should follow the example of Paris, which has recently implemented new rules giving cyclists more flexibility.

“It's great to see Paris so clearly ambitious to get more people travelling by bike. The new rules for cyclists, allowing people to go straight ahead at T junctions or turn right (left in UK) on a red light, if the way is clear and no pedestrians are crossing, will make Paris more bike-friendly,” Ms Russell said.

Under the rules people riding bikes treat red signals as a give-way sign.

The Islington councillor however argued that Britain first-and-foremost needed to invest in safe infrastructure like segregated cycle lanes.

“This is not an alternative to redesigning our streets with safe cycle lanes, but it's a great interim measure that can be implemented quickly and so long as everyone is considerate of others, especially those walking, it could make a real difference.

There are plans for new cycling infrastructure in London
There are plans for new cycling infrastructure in London

“British cities should follow suit. There are huge benefits to public health from encouraging more journeys by bike. Not only does this reduce congestion, road danger, physical inactivity and air pollution but it also makes our cities better places to live and work.”

The rule is a longstanding feature of the traffic laws of the US stats of Idaho, where it is known as the “Iadho Stop”.

Studies have suggested that the measure has increased cycling take-up by making it easier and safety by giving people riding bikes more flexibility about moving away from danger.

The measure has not been adopted elsewhere in the United States, however.

Similar tests carried out in Paris in 2012 suggested that allowing cyclists more freedom would improve the flow of traffic and cut the number of collisions, especially those involving a car’s blind spot. A network of new traffic lights will be installed at cycle-height specifically for people riding bikes.

In Britain a series of high profile deaths of people riding bikes, especially in London. has led to protests calling for action on better infrastructure.

In a recent protest in June hundreds of campaigners stage a so-called “die-in” at a junction in south London where a woman was killed on her way to work. Other protests have numbered in the thousands.

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