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Cyclists (Road Safety)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th December 1980.

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Photo of Mr Tristan Garel-Jones Mr Tristan Garel-Jones , Watford 12:00 am, 10th December 1980

asked the Minister of Transport if he is planning to introduce measures that will improve road safety for cyclists.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

We have been taking a fresh look at the whole subject of cycling in order to decide how best to improve facilities and safety for cyclists, and we shall be publishing a consultation paper soon. Meanwhile, we have just carried out a pilot publicity compaign on cycling safety in East Anglia.

Photo of Mr Tristan Garel-Jones Mr Tristan Garel-Jones , Watford

I am grateful to my hon. and learned Friend for that reply, but does he recognise the importance of encouraging cycling and cyclists, given the need for energy conservation? Will he tell us more precisely when we can expect to see the consultation paper?

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

For the reason that my hon. Friend has given, we recognise the importance of encouraging people to cycle. We are trying to produce some specific proposals to be included in the consultation paper. We hope that the consultation paper will be published some time in the new year.

Photo of Mr Leslie Spriggs Mr Leslie Spriggs , St Helens

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that just as cyclists in other countries are helped, something should be done for cyclists in Britain? Does not the hon. and learned Gentleman agree that there should be proper cycle tracks by the side of every major road? Is he aware that thousands of cyclists use footpaths and endanger the lives and limbs of pedestrians because the Government have failed to give cyclists proper protection?

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

This Government have taken more interest in cyclists than have any other Government for as long as anyone can remember. We are considering our proposals and we shall produce a paper. There is some limit to resources. Meanwhile, we are pressing on with the financing of experimental schemes in a number of cities. At present we are planning schemes in Bedford, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Chichester and York. Schemes are already in existence in Peterborough, Middlesbrough and Stevenage, which have been assisted by the Department.

Photo of Mr Colin Shepherd Mr Colin Shepherd , Hereford

At the same time, will my hon. and learned Friend consider the need for improvements in safety for riders on horseback?

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

That is a serious question. I am glad to say that I am in frequent correspondence with those who know more about horses than I. I intend to take note of their advice.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

That point is as much related to this question as it is to the next.