Whether it’s for getting around, or simply for fun, cycling has many benefits. In the current economic climate people are forced to seek cheaper, alternative forms of transport – like cycling. But on the plus side, cycling can help you stay fit and it’s good for the environment. Not to mention two-wheeled transport is also a good way to beat the morning traffic!
In this two-part article Watermans Solicitors discuss the good, the bad and the ugly about cycling in Scottish cities.
The downside to cycling in cities
Unfortunately, cycling in Scottish cities can prove dangerous, mainly due to a lack of cycle lanes and inhospitable environments – two factors that can result in serious road traffic accidents.
So how can these be addressed in order to make cycling safer and prevent bike accidents? Road traffic accidents involving cyclists can be deterred in two ways – with the help of the Government and with the vigilance of all road users.
The Government’s role
The Scottish Government is aiming for 10% of Scottish journeys to be made by bike by 2020. But what could the Government be doing in the meantime to help ensure that an increase in the number of cyclists doesn’t result in a rise in the number of cycling accidents?
Last year, 32 local authorities were developing their own local cycling strategies as part of the refreshed Cycling Action Plan for Scotland 2013. CAPS 2013 reinforces “the shared vision that 10% of all journeys to be made by bike by 2020 and encourages all stakeholders to play their part in promoting cycling and active travel”.
Of course, bike lanes are one solution that the Government could invest money in. Bike lanes in Scottish cities would make cycling safer. It would also increase driver awareness of the presence of cyclists, something that we have previously covered. Unfortunately, the problem with this lies in funding.
To reach its target of 10% of all trips to be by bike by 2020, the Scottish Government should now be investing £20 per person per year, not the current £4. However, they state that they’re currently short on funds.
Additional funding that could be used for cycling infrastructure could help reduce the number of accidents involving cyclists. An accident involving a cyclist can result in serious injuries, losses and damages. If you have had this experience, you want to make sure you’re well looked after, as accidents can really affect a person. Watermans have expert claims advisors ready to offer expert advice on making a personal injury claim for any non-fault bike accident.
Play your part
It’s not just the Government’s duty to help cyclists stay safe – it’s the responsibility of all road users. Through training and by following safety advice, you can help make cycling in Scotland safer.
Cycling training and insurance
Whether you’re looking for some training, or your child wants to learn how to ride a bike, there are many courses available in the Scottish capital and beyond. This will ensure you both are fully equipped with safety knowledge before you cycle.
Naturally, after a long period of not cycling, some adults might feel nervous about cycling in cities. You can attend cycling courses that will prepare you for cycling in cities. For more information on these courses visit http://www.cyclingscotland.org/our-projects/training-courses/cycle-training-for-adults
And onto another issue…
Tensions between cyclists and drivers can cause serious conflicts. Find out how to avoid these, as well as some top tips on staying safe while cycling in the second part of this article.