Call to pros­e­cute driv­ers who risk lives of cy­clists Mayor also de­mands more cash to ex­pand city cy­cle routes

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Neil Elkes Lo­cal Govern­ment Cor­re­spon­dent

WEST Mid­lands Mayor Andy Street is de­mand­ing greater pow­ers to pros­e­cute mo­torists who park dan­ger­ously putting cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans at risk.

As well as hand­ing over beefed-up park­ing en­force­ment pow­ers he has also called on the De­part­ment for Trans­port to step up fund­ing for cy­cle routes and schemes to an av­er­age of £10 per head by 2023.

His call came as the Govern­ment is con­sult­ing on a new £1 bil­lion na­tional cy­cling and walking strat­egy to en­cour­age al­ter­na­tives to the car. It wants cy­cling to be an obvious nat­u­ral choice for shorter jour­neys.

Cur­rently two ma­jor cy­cle high­ways are be­ing built un­der the Birm­ing­ham Cy­cle Revo­lu­tion project, which has in­vested £24 mil­lion in fa­cil­i­ties and bikes over the last four years.

The high­ways, along the A34 Wal­sall Road from Birm­ing­ham City Cen­tre to Perry Barr and along the A38 Bris­tol Road from Edg­bas­ton to Selly Oak are due to open early next year. Last year doc­tor Suzanna Bull died af­ter her bike col­lided with a lorry on Per­shore Road.

A new bike share scheme be­ing launched this sum­mer.

But Mr Street wants to go much fur­ther and en­sure that by 2023 at least five per cent of all jour­neys in the West Mid­lands are by bike.

A huge bar­rier is safety, with al­most 80 per cent of Brum­mies is also be­liev­ing the city’s roads are not safe for cy­clists.

In a let­ter to road safety min­is­ter Jesse Nor­man he has asked the De­part­ment of Trans­port to sup­port the West Mid­lands in in­creas­ing in­vest­ment on cy­cling to £10 per head by 2023.

He has also asked that traf­fic en­force­ment pow­ers be de­volved di­rectly to the West Mid­lands, mak­ing it eas­ier to pros­e­cute peo­ple who park reck­lessly and en­dan­ger cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans, for ex­am­ple. Cy­cle cam­paign­ers have ar­gued that cuts to po­lice has led to a re­duc­tion in re­sources for park­ing and cy­cle safety en­force­ment – mean­ing the roads are less safe.

Mr Street said: “We have made some sig­nif­i­cant progress in the West Mid­lands over the last 12 months in terms of im­prove­ments in the cy­cling in­fra­struc­ture and pro­mot­ing walking and cy­cling. The most obvious ex­am­ples are the progress be­ing made by Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil on the su­per­high­way routes on the Bris­tol Road and Wal­sall Road, as well as the bike­share scheme which will give peo­ple across the West Mid­lands the chance to hire bikes.

“But we need to be look­ing to the next stage, to mak­ing sure these su­per­high­ways be­come part of a net­work, not pieces of stand­alone in­fra­struc­ture.

“And we need to make sure that the peo­ple who hire the bikes are able to use safe in­fra­struc­ture.”

> Andy Street wants tougher park­ing en­force­ment pow­ers handed to coun­cils. Inset: Dr Suzanna Bull who was killed

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.