30/11/2012 - Permalink

Campaign to raise drivers’ awareness of cycle boxes in Ludlow

Related topics: Community

Cycle boxes in Ludlow are the focus of the latest cycling promotion initiative by Shropshire Council, in partnership with West Mercia Police. 

The initiative comes a few days after the launch of the Government’s THINK! Campaign on cycle safety, and in response to town cyclists’ concern that some motorists are entering the cycle boxes designed for their safety when the lights are on red. 

Cycle boxes can be found at junctions with traffic lights between Station Drive and Corve Street, and Station Drive and Upper Galedeford.  The poster titled “Motorists: stay out of the cycle box” explains why motorists should stay out of the cycle box:- 

  • Cycle boxes give cyclists space ahead of other traffic at traffic lights.  This improves their visibility and helps them move off safely when lights change from red to green.
  • The Highway Code requires that motorists stay out of the box when signals are red (or risk a fine and penalty points).  Motorists must keep out of the cycle box when lights are on red, even when cyclists aren’t there, so that cyclists can still filter into the box using the length of cycle lane joining the box.
  • Being respectful towards other road users makes Ludlow’s streets safer for all. 

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for road safety, said:

“With interest in cycling higher than ever, thanks to this year’s successful summer of cycling and Olympic success, Shropshire Council is supporting the growth of everyday cycling in Ludlow and, with campaigns such as this, wish to maintain the excellent safety record for cyclists in the town (three slight casualties reported in last three years).”  

Rosanna Taylor-Smith, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North, said:

“Ludlow has many cyclists, locals and visitors, and these dedicated cycle parking boxes should ensure that other road users give them space at these important junctions.” 

Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East, said:

“Anything that can be done to maximise cycle safety is vital and this campaign will help ensure motorists are aware of importance of these boxes for cyclists’ safety at junctions.” 

With the help of local cyclists, the posters will be issued around town in shops, the library, schools and college, the sports centre and issued to taxi firms, bus operators, garages, driving schools and Shropshire Council’s own fleet and sub-contractors. 

Further information 

Shropshire Sustainable Transport Project 

The Ludlow Sustainable Transport project is part of a wider Shropshire Sustainable Transport project benefiting from £5m grant funding from the Department for Transport (DfT), following a successful application by Shropshire Council. 

The money must be spent over the period 2011-15 on sustainable transport measures which meet the objectives of supporting and boosting the local economy, and cutting carbon emissions. 

The Shropshire Sustainable Transport Project is targeted on Ludlow, Oswestry and Shrewsbury, and includes packages of measures to bring about changes in travel behaviour and greater use of more sustainable travel, such as walking, cycling and public transport, and to better manage traffic. 

Cycling initiatives in Ludlow include child and adult cycle training, cycle maintenance classes, led family-friendly cycle rides, introduction of cycle parking and infrastructure improvements. 

Think Cyclists campaign 

This campaign says ‘let’s look out for each other’, as many cyclists are motorists and vice versa and are not from two different worlds.  http://think.direct.gov.uk/cycling.html  

As well as providing advice to motorists promoting driving safely and responsibly, cyclists are also requested to be safe road users.  For example they should avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles like lorries and buses where they might not be seen and should always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor.  Also wear light-coloured or reflective clothing during the day, and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark to increase visibility.