Cycle Path Blocked
Local cyclists were surprised to come across this barrier across the access from the Blackbrook cycle path to that alongside the A6 to Hathern at Dishley. Initial enquiries evoked the response that the trunks had been placed there to prevent access by “Travellers”. This begs the question, why was it necessary to prevent access by cyclists and wheelchair users? Leicestershire County Council is investigating.
RoSPA produces Cycling Policy Paper
This policy paper recommends “a comprehensive range of measures to reduce cyclist casualties and help people who want to cycle, but are deterred from doing so because they think it is not safe enough.” It includes a supportive section on the ‘safety in numbers’ argument, i.e. that more people cycling, accompanied by measures to improve conditions, leads to fewer casualties and does not call for compulsory helmet wearing.
It also emphasises the benefits of cycling rather than the hazards :
Lack of physical activity is one of the most important risk factors for coronary heart disease, with a physically inactive lifestyle doubling the risk compared to an active lifestyle. Regular exercise is central to improving the nation’s health, with cycling being an excellent method of building regular exercise into people’s daily lives.
In summary, regular physical activity:
In addition to these health benefits, there are also environmental benefits from cycling rather than driving, as cycling generates minimal CO2 .
The Department for Transport estimates that it’s possible to achieve a 50% CO2 reduction in the UK’s domestic transport sector by 2030, but only with real and early change in travel behaviour. Car Travel is the single biggest source of household and individual CO2 emissions in the UK. More than half of all trips are 5 miles or less and account for 21% of CO2 emissions. If all drivers reduced their driving by 5 miles a week, 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved per annum.
To quote from the report's conclusion:
RoSPA strongly supports measures which encourage healthy and sustainable travel, and believes that the key to increasing cycling (and so gaining all the health and environmental benefits that result from cycling) is to create a safe on- and off-road cycling environment, improve driver and cyclist attitudes and behaviour towards each other, and to produce safer vehicles that reduce the risk to cyclists.