Please: Write to your elected representatives – national and local – to demand better…then take to the streets on your bicycle! This is important. Please do write to them whether you currently ride a bicycle or not – its about safety for all of us.
You can go further by attending your local town or parish council meeting and asking that you be given the opportunity to explain the reasons why things must change for the better. You can then encourage them to support recommendations and initiatives that move things in that direction.
If a council claims they are not the ones responsible for implementing some or all of the recommendations then just tell them that that doesn’t matter – it is a chance for them to show that they support the recommendations in principle.
Examples of local level changes
A resident in Whitchurch, Hampshire went to a town council meeting and came away with this result which he then followed up with this action with them. Nothing beats getting people on their bikes to see the issues first-hand! It cements in their minds why change is needed now.
Not long after that he was back again at a council meeting where they voted to support a 20mph scheme – just 1 of 10 in the entire county.
Another person took on the manager of a London park as to why they put up ‘no entry’ signs which stopped anyone cycling legally in the park. The lesson from his experience seems to be: don’t expect the change to happen quickly but don’t let that stop you being politely persistent.
His experience led him to conclude that “creating pleasant routes for cycling takes time” – but that does not need to be the case. Pressure is building on Governments to back up their excellent rhetoric with equally impressive actions. James Avery said it well in a recent article,
The airline industry constantly learns from its mistakes and changes as a result of one incident can be implemented globally within months.
Adding your voice – asking Government politely and persistently to act – will speed things up: especially when they recognise that the safety of all people, including children, are at stake.