Cycling: Safety

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 1 February 2016.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department's press release of 13 January 2016, entitled Transport sector all geared up for winter weather, what plans his Department has to ensure safety of cyclists in the event of bad weather.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

We would advise all road users including cyclists to take extra care when cycling in wet or icy conditions. In particular when it is icy, cyclists should to stick to treated roads wherever possible.

The responsibility for the treatment and maintenance of the road network rests with the relevant highway authority. Section 41a of the Transport Act 1980 as amended, places highway authorities “under a duty to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow and ice”.

In this respect, in October last year I wrote to the leaders of all local highway authorities reminding them of their responsibilities regarding preparation for winter and the need for robust contingency plans in place to mitigate against any significant weather we may encounter over the winter period.

The Department for Transport (DfT) also continues to play its part to ensure we stay through the 2015/16 winter season well prepared. This includes continuing to maintain a substantial national emergency salt reserve, first set up by the Coalition government, and having a robust distribution process in place, if for any reason this salt of last resort is needed to be allocated.

The Department has also published a small amount of additional guidance for highway authorities in Local Transport Note 1/12 “Shared Use Routes for Cyclists and Pedestrians”.

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