Driving and riding skills will be vital says IAM RoadSmart as a new era for cycling and walking is hailed

Posted on 10/05/20 |

Cars and motorcycles will still be many people’s first choice of transport outside our main urban areas IAM RoadSmart has warned, as the Government signals the need for walking, cycling and even e-scooters to be part of an integrated transport network when the current lockdown rules are eased.

And with cars and motorcycles having been virtually mothballed by many since late March, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, believes that refreshing driver and rider behaviour and skills will be essential to ensure all road users can play their part in ensuring that Britain gets moving again safely, when that time comes.

The UK’s largest independent road safety charity welcomes the proposals for extra capacity for pop up cycle lanes, wider pavements and bicycle and bus-only streets, as this is the safest  way to integrate vulnerable road users with motorised traffic.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart’s Research and Policy Director, said: “We don’t really know what the new normal for transport will look like and many surveys suggest drivers can’t wait to get back into their cars. Outside London, the car dominates travel to work and leisure journeys as the transport mode of choice.

“With the anticipated limitations on public transport use and the need to avoid overcrowding to minimise the risk of a second spike of Coronavirus infections, clearly there will be a need to consider alternative forms of transport. Our concern is that it seems a little premature to plan the future of transport when everything is still closed and demand is unknown.”

Neil added: “Undoubtedly there will be more cyclists on the roads and, in some places, new road layouts. Observation and anticipation by drivers and riders will be more important than ever.

“While e-scooters are prominent in the new normal for urban transport, the role of motorcycling appears to have been overlooked yet again. Safe motorcycling starts with good training, something IAM RoadSmart has over 60 years experience in providing.  Motorcycling comes with built in PPE and will also benefit from fewer cars being around since most urban collisions involve drivers failing to see riders.

“More highly skilled and confident drivers and riders will not only make the changes to our road network and transport choices safer, it will also help to minimise the risk of overloading the NHS and other emergency services.  It is also essential that the role and value of training is not forgotten and the government roadmap includes a dialogue on how we can share our expertise safely in the new normal.”