Cycle User Survey
Campaign member Stephen Watson would like to find out about who cycles in Loughborough, what problems they encounter, and what they would like to see changed. He has therefore set up an online survey that can be accessed at https://goo.gl/forms/GEmaI3KCuRCC0Oi03. He says “It would be great if you could:
- Fill it in!
- Give feedback on where it needs to be improved;
- Tell others to fill it in.
The Derby Cycle Network Quality Map
The Derby Cycling Group have produced a map, in the style of the London Tube Map, which shows schematically the links from one location to another. It gives a rating of quality of the current cycle links in Derby based on a 5 point scale (red=bad, blue=good).
The latest version of the map together with further details can be found on their website at goo.gl/9rJM1P .
If you are on Facebook you can now find our new Facebook Page at goo.gl/gtPvJv . Please take a look and give it a “Like”.
Road Works Website for Leicestershire
A website https://leicestershire.roadworks.org/ is now available showing details of roadworks in the county. Clicking on the scale buttons reveals more detail not shown at higher levels.
Leicestershire Police confirm close pass operation
Leicestershire Police are launching their own version of the close-pass operation first run by West Midlands Police (see goo.gl/ibq7Tx ). Undercover cycling officers equipped with body-worn cameras will film motorists who fail to allow enough space when overtaking and the culprits will be flagged down by colleagues. The force has also taken delivery of one of Cycling UK’s close pass mats to aid with driver education.
Any drivers who aren’t stopped at the scene will be traced from the vehicle's registration and any who are proven to persistently overtake too closely could face prosecution for dangerous driving.
Inspector Paul Crewe, who is overseeing the campaign, said: "We will be out on rural and urban roads but won't be announcing the locations beforehand”."The best outcome will be that we don't have to stop anybody because the motorists have left enough space – recommended at one and a half metres."
The force also says that it is currently considering the most effective way that members of the public can report incidents of dangerous driving or unsafe overtaking.
‘Car dooring' driver convicted
Based on an article on the Cycling UK website
Farook Yusuf Bhikhu was convicted of the offence of ‘car-dooring’ at Loughborough Magistrates Court on Monday, 5 June, bringing the end to criminal proceedings related to the death of cyclist Sam Boulton.
Mr Bhikhu was handed a £955 fine, broken down as £300 for the offence, a £30 victim surcharge and £625 court costs. This is to be paid in £20 weekly instalments.
Local school teacher Sam Boulton was cycling along London Road in Leicester on 27 July 2016. At around 1.20pm, Ms Chapple, the passenger in a private hire car, opened the door as her driver, Mr Bhikhu, parked on double yellow lines outside Leicester train station. The resulting collision knocked Sam from his bicycle and into a Citroen van being driven in the outside lane.
Sam sustained fatal injuries and tragically died later that day, on his 26th birthday.
While Ms Chapple pleaded guilty at the time of the initial hearing at Leicester Magistrates Court in March earlier this year, and was handed a £150 fine, Mr Bhikhu pleaded not guilty.
‘Car-dooring’ is a criminal offence for which both the person in charge of the vehicle at the time, and the person opening the door are potentially culpable. The offence is only punishable with a fine of up to £1,000.
Cycling UK wants to see more public awareness on the dangers of car-dooring. They could be significantly reduced through simple techniques such as the 'Dutch Reach'*.
Jeff Boulton, father of Sam, said:
"It's heartbreaking that an offence which has ended a life and caused untold trauma for my family be treated so lightly under current legislation. Car-dooring must be taken more seriously, and the only way to do that is to change the law. Only then will we see people taking the time to think before they act.
"Until we have an appropriate offence in law, I call on the Government to start investigating how they can better educate and train drivers about the dangers of car-dooring and the techniques that can prevent it from happening."
Cycling UK believes the current offence of ‘car-dooring’, which can have serious and life-changing consequences, is trivialised as a minor offence. In light of Sam Boulton's tragic death, the campaigning charity has continued to press Government to introduce a new offence of causing serious injury or death by car-dooring, with tougher penalties.
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Senior Road Safety and Legal Campaigns officer said:
“How many Sam Boultons have to die before Government takes note, and stops treating avoidable deaths as 'accidents'? A maximum £1,000 fine is derisory, and trivialises these preventable tragedies.
“Cycling UK wants to see Government introduce a new offence of causing serious injury or death by car-dooring, with tougher penalties. It is not right or just that tragic cases, such as Sam's, see inadequate penalties handed down.”
* The Dutch Reach is a method of opening a car door for a driver (or passenger) where you use your far hand rather than the near hand. In the UK, if you are the driver, you would look to open their door with your left hand, not your right. As you reach across your chest, your body naturally turns, making it easier not just to check your mirrors for oncoming traffic (including cyclists), but also places you in a position to actually see the traffic. If it’s safe to do so, you can then open your door, and as you’re reaching across your body, you can ensure the door only opens partially, and not to its full extent.
It’s taught in the Netherlands during your driving instruction, and has been helping to save lives over there for close to fifty years. A demonstration can be viewed at goo.gl/qaAuFc.