Disclaimer: Much of this content on this website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. As Parliament has been dissolved there are no MPs until after the election on 7 May 2015.
Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North, today launches a campaign for safer cycling in Norwich.
She reacts to complaints brought to her by constituents about spots on the ring road where cyclists often ride on the pavement, to the danger of pedestrians. In particular, she cites Salhouse Road/ring road near the Open Academy, and the ‘Brickmakers’ roundabout between Sprowston Road/ring road.
Cycling is an environmentally friendly, healthy and fun way to get around. Cycle safety has been in the recent news through the Times ‘Cities Fit For Cycling’ campaign, and Chloe seeks emphasis in Norwich on how cyclists and pedestrians alike can be safer.
She welcomes the new Norwich Area Cycle Network and has raised concerns about pavement cycling with the City Council and the police. She will continue to raise specific spots for constituents, and now seeks to raise awareness of safer cycling in general. She says:
1. Respect pedestrians
2. Demand respect from drivers
3. Get confident enough to be on the road and seek simple training if you need it
4. Wear a helmet
5. Use lights when it is dawn, dusk or dark
Chloe rides a bike in London to and from Parliament, and also rides for leisure in Norwich and Norfolk.
“This simple campaign is about community safety and enjoyment. Norwich is a good, safe place to ride a bike and we want it to stay that way.
“I love cycling myself, but cyclists shouldn’t be on the footpath. I ask people to call the problem when they see it – the pavement is for pedestrians, and cyclists should be confident enough to go on the road safely. Training is available and cycling can be safe for everyone.
“With the Olympics coming up and many people keener than ever on healthy activity, cycling is a great choice.”
Kevin House of Activating CiC comments:
“Activating CiC believes that safe, confident cycling is all about 2 things: Road position and awareness. It is really important to ride away from the kerb and take control of the road when needs be, ensuring your safety. Confident cyclists are very aware of other road users, therefore it is really important to look around regularly to anticipate situations and listen out for potential hazards. It’s important that cyclists can share the road with other users but they must abide by the laws of the road. So if there is a red light, it means stop! We promote wearing a well fitted helmet. Drivers will see you if you ride in the right position and communicate with them when necessary. Lights are essential when riding in the dark.
“There is a lot of fear spread about the dangers of cycling by people who do not cycle! For me, it is much more dangerous for the cyclist and the poor unsuspecting pedestrian when you are cycling on the path and not on the brilliant roads and cycle paths Norwich has to offer. We are keen on promoting the benefits of cycling such as better mental and physical health, more money in your pocket, more energy and freedom etc and not trying to control every motorist, which is impossible, but control what you can control, which for a cyclist is road position and awareness. Accidents do happen, but who wants to live their lives in fear of what might happen?! Confident drivers make good, safe drivers, confident cyclists make good safe cyclists. So, what are you waiting for? Get your bike back on the road!”
Cycles UK, local cycle retailer, says:
“Always wear a cycle helmet that meets a recognised safety standard, make sure it is correctly worn and fits properly. Never cycle on the pavement and use cyclepaths where possible. Use appropriate hand signals and never run red lights. Be vigilant with HGV and other large vehicles, keep your distance and make sure you can be seen in their mirrors. Make sure you are seen. Make sure your bike is in good condition and safe to ride on the roads.”