Cyclists in a cycle lane

Councils given new powers to protect cyclists

Local authorities in England will be given new powers to make journeys safer for cyclists, announced by Cycling Minister Chris Heaton-Harris today (June 10).

From June 22nd, new laws will allow councils to use CCTV to issue penalty charge notices to drivers who illegally park or load in cycle lanes, posing a risk to cyclists.

The new civil parking enforcement powers will help local authorities to tackle illegally parked cars, minimising the need for cyclists to enter into the flow of traffic.

It comes on the same day Highways England announces that they have invested more than £85m into cycle routes across the country since 2015, with £169m put aside to benefit cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders over the next five years.

The push for active travel is part of the Government’s vision of a greener, healthier and more resilient transport network as we recover from Covid-19.

It coincides with National Bike Week (6-14 June), which will serve to encourage people to cycle as a form of transport to boost their fitness and protect their environment.

Cycling Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Across the country there has been a surge in the number of people dusting off their old bike from the back of the shed and cycling, or taking journeys on foot, to get from A to B.

“Giving local authorities more powers to stop cycle lanes from becoming blocked will make it safer for cyclists.

“These new measures also build on our recent £2 bn investment to create a green, healthier legacy and see more people travelling by bicycle or on foot.”

It is also hoped that as more people choose cycling and walking, pressure on public transport will be alleviated, ensuring those who have no choice but to use public transport are in contact with less people.

Look out for the next issue of PSE, which features an Active Travel section, as we hear from Transport for London, Transport Minister and Mayor Dan Jarvis on the topic.

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