Solutions to cycling fears

WHY IS pavement cycling popular and how can we tackle this before someone gets really badly injured?

A three-pronged solution is needed: Firstly, for many new to cycling, the fear of riding in traffic is a major disincentive.

We need to improve the actual and perceived safety at major road junctions, where identified by Bespoke Cycling Campaign Group.

The typical bicycle journey will not be from one building on a high-quality cycle way to another such building.

Journeys will be undertaken on a roadway with other increasingly congested traffic.

Bespoke has identified a complete network of cycle corridor schemes linking to the town centre which have also been proposed and are now available on a map.

This redesigns the use of space to make cycling the easiest and fastest way to move along this corridor.

Secondly, driver training should include instruction to all drivers as to how to interact safely with bicycles on the road.

Similarly cycle training should be available for all new road using cyclists and wearing a properly fitted cycle helmet should be mandatory.

Thirdly, speed restrictions are needed. Cars have been made progressively safer with seat belts, air bags, anti-lock braking, etc. When they collide, the car’s kinetic energy is transferred to the bicycle.

Kinetic energy is proportional to the square of the car’s speed, for example: a car has four times as much kinetic energy travelling at 40 mph as at 20 mph.

To reduce the severity of collisions between cars and bicycles, blanket 20 mph speed limits should be introduced in areas where there is insufficient space to provide a high quality cycle lane; also in residential areas, where children play.

Implementing 20mph zones in residential areas throughout Eastbourne will make little difference to a driver’s overall journey. This is because only the edges of the journey would be affected – the rest of it would remain as 30 mph sections.

These actions would make walking and cycling hugely more attractive and cyclists would not want to be on pavements.

David Fraser

Boston Close