In January 2012, All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) began taking evidence for an inquiry entitled: “Get Britain Cycling”. The aim was to compile comprehensive evidence to propose a strategy, which would enable more people across the UK to take up cycling more often and more safely. By the year end, the cyclist death toll on UK roads had reached a five-year high of 122 with an inevitable impact upon bicycle accident claims.
Between 2001 and 2011, it has been estimated that the number of commuters who make the daily round trip to work increased by 14 per cent to 762,334. The Government has said it wants to increase cycling traffic on UK roads over the next decade by at least 10 per cent. Currently, around 2 per cent of journeys are made by bike compared to Copenhagen where 33 per of all journeys are driven by pedal power.
“Get Britain Cycling” debate
On the 2nd of September 2013, a parliamentary debate on cycling, based on the “Get Britain Cycling” report is due to be held by the Parliamentary Cycling Group. However, some cycling groups and organisations claim that government investment proposals for improving road cycling infrastructure will be inadequate and fall significantly short of European counterpart spending.
According to their estimates, the recent announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron that the £77 million road cycling investment will bring spending to £10 per head in eight key UK cities (Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Leeds, Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge and Norwich). However, across the national average, the spend only equates to just under 95p per person, once again, unfavourably comparing to around the 35 Euros ( equivalent to £21) per head spent Copenhagen and Amsterdam.
Demand for cycling in place
There are now nearly a third more cyclists on UK roads than in 2012 and serious cycling injuries have risen by nearly 5 per cent to more than 3,220 for the eighth consecutive year. According to the National Transport Survey 2012, riding by bicycle in the UK has increased, on average, by 12 per cent in the last 10 years, although also accompanied by a 50 per cent rise in cyclist injuries.
The simple reality is that the demand for cycling is already in place. The only real way to “get Britain cycling” is to show the British public that cycling on the road will be absolutely safe in the future – and that means a reduction in biking accidents and bike accident claims.