A new report from the Bikeability Trust has found that cycle training that meets the National Standards for Cycle Training (NSCT) can reduce the risk of a cyclist being killed or injured on England’s roads.
And this Road Safety Week (19-25 November), the charity is calling on the Government to ensure that all cycle training funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Active Travel England (ATE) is delivered to those national standards in order to reduce the number of cycling injuries and fatalities.
The report, “Mapping the National Standard for Cycle Training against KSI Statistics”, also looks at the common causes of road accidents involving cyclists, and how cyclists and other road users can best prepare in order to reduce these.
‘Driver or rider failed to look properly’ is the biggest cause of accidents in which cyclists are killed or seriously injured on roads, followed by ‘driver or rider failed to judge other person’s speed or path’ and ‘driver or rider careless, reckless or in a hurry.’
‘Driver or rider failed to look properly’ was a contributory factor to more than 11,000 fatal or serious collisions in which a pedal cyclist was killed or seriously injured (KSI) over a five-year period between 2015 and 2020.
This is particularly prevalent when at or approaching a junction, as 25% of cyclist fatalities (and 41% of serious injuries) occur at junctions.
The skills to reduce the risks which are embedded in Bikeability cycle training are making good and frequent observations, communicating intentions clearly to other road users, and choosing and maintaining the most suitable riding positions particularly at junctions.
Bikeability cycle training teaches riders to apply these core skills throughout all its training and encourages them to use them in everyday riding.
The NSCT is a statement of competent cycling and cycling instruction, which sets out the skills and understanding needed to cycle safely and responsibly and to enable others to cycle.
The Bikeability programme is the only approved form of the NSCT and enables participants of all ages to develop the skills and confidence required to cycle confidently, consistently, and competently on all roads.
The charity is keen to ensure only registered cycle training instructors deliver Government funded cycle training in order to maintain quality.
Currently the Bikeability Trust only looks after funding for children’s cycle training but maintains the register of approved cycle training instructors.
The Bikeability Trust is calling on the Government to make greater investment in awareness campaigns to help all road users develop greater awareness of the NSCT and changes to the Highway Code so everyone can share the road more responsibly.
Emily Cherry, CEO of the Bikeability Trust, said: “It sounds like common sense to say that high quality cycle training saves lives, but our report highlights that it can make a difference to the number of people who are killed or injured on our roads.
“It’s important that all cycle training meets the highest standards, which is why we think – as guardians of the NSCT – that all cycle training funded by Government must be channelled through our registered Bikeability Instructors, who are the best placed to make sure people are as well prepared as possible to cycle on all roads.
“Keeping our roads safe for all is a job for all of us, whether we are a pedestrian, cyclist or user of another vehicle. By making sure all road users understand why others take the decisions they do on our streets, we should be able to create a more empathetic road space for everyone.”
The full report can be viewed online.