Dawn of new golden age for cycling or just another empty promise?
Over the weekend the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, pledged £2bn towards plans to double the number of cyclists and walkers by 2025 while also telling local authorities to make “significant changes” to give them more space. There were even hints of changes to the law so that motor vehicles would be automatically at fault if they hit a cyclist unless they can prove otherwise.
There is certainly the stirring of something radical here: of money and political will unlocking doors campaigners thought would remain welded for ever. Of Britain – dare one say it – becoming more like our European neighbours.
But it is only a start. Much more needs to be done – not simply when it comes to investment and infrastructure but attitudes, too. Dr Rachel Aldred has calculated that per hour spent cycling, cyclists in England are around four times more likely to be killed than in the Netherlands. No wonder many potential converts feel afraid. It doesn’t help when many bike journeys involve at least one close encounter of the four-wheeled kind. Or when influential groups, such as the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, attack cycling campaigners wanting safer roads as the “Isis of London”.
What positive changes do you hope for here in the US?