County council backs cycle safe scheme

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Northamptonshire County Council is backing a national campaign designed to increase safety for cyclists and encourage more people to travel by bike.

Called “Think! Cyclist”, the initiative aims to increase the understanding between people using pedal power and those who choose other transport.

Part of the campaign focuses on how cyclists and motorists should be aware of each other while using the highway, in order to help avoid accidents.

There is also an emphasis on how pedestrians and cyclists can show mutual respect on shared footways and cycle paths.

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection, said: “Cycling is becoming an increasingly popular mode of transport and is an enjoyable and healthy

activity for all ages. People use their bikes for both leisure and for commuting and this is great news for the county in terms of reducing pollution and congestion.

“However, cyclists can be very vulnerable when using the highway as obviously they are much smaller and lighter than cars and lorries in particular.

“This campaign intends to use a common-sense approach to ensure that everyone shows each other some awareness and respect so that accidents can be prevented.

“Showing each other courtesy and taking time to think about who else is on the road should hopefully make our highways and cycle routes safer for everyone.

“The council supports schemes which aim to promote safer bike travel on our roads, such as Bikeability which is aimed as school-aged cyclists.”

The campaign also reminds people that drivers and cyclists have more in common than is often realised. Around 80 per cent of cyclists hold a driving licence, and one in five drivers cycles at least once a month.

The county council is also launching the first edition of a quarterly cycling email newsletter, which will include tips on safer cycling and information on future cycling events around the county. More information can be found at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/cycling