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23 July 2012

MPA Promotes Safe Cycling and Driving in Central Cambridge

On Sunday 22 July the Mineral Products Association (MPA), in partnership with Breedon Aggregates, held a Cycle Safe event on Midsummer Common in Cambridge to try to reduce road accidents.  The event formed part of MPA’s national Cycle Safe campaign which aims to prevent collisions between cyclists and Large Good Vehicles (LGVs) by raising awareness on both sides of how to cycle and drive as safely as possible. It took place at the end of the 60 mile Breakthrough Breast Cancer London to Cambridge Bike ride (organised by Bike Events).

The 6 hour Cycle Safe event, from 10.00 until 16.00, attracted many cyclists who were given the opportunity to sit in the cab of a lorry to understand the driver’s perspective, experience visibility issues and share their own road experiences. Free high visibility vests were given to those that got into the vehicle and Cycle Safe leaflets, highlighting ways to prevent potential dangers, were handed out.

Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge and Joint Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group visited MPA’s Cycle Safe stand to see the Association’s outreach work in action. He said:

 “Accidents between lorries and bikes can so often be deadly. That’s why MPA’s Cycle Safe campaign to increase awareness between lorry drivers and cyclists is so important. If we're to save lives it’s vital they're more aware of each other on the roads. 

“Giving cyclists the opportunity to see the road from the cab of a lorry is a perfect way to highlight a driver's blind spots. All we need to do now is get more lorry drivers out on bikes!”

Elizabeth Clements, spokesperson for MPA, said, “We are really glad that so many cyclists were able to visit us on Midsummer Common. With the high number of cyclists in Cambridge, it is a very important location to hold an event and we are planning to run another one during Cambridge University’s Freshers’ Fair.

“Our sector is committed to playing its part in minimising hazards and risks for all road users. We urge cyclists to be aware of the potential risks of undertaking Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) and getting too close to them at left-hand turns and roundabouts. The most dangerous situation is when cyclists are on the nearside of vehicles turning left.”

Graham Dack of Breedon Aggregates, said, “As a member of the Mineral Products Association the company fully backs their Cycle Safe campaign and the importance of highlighting the issues between LGVs and cyclists.”

The continuing growth in the number of cyclists, particularly in urban areas, is increasing the risks of collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles. Every year in the UK, hundreds of cyclists are injured or killed in accidents with motor vehicles, including lorries. In 2010, 20 cyclists were killed or seriously injured on Cambridge roads, making Cambridge the constituency with the third highest number of reported casualties outside London*. Cambridge City Council was one of the first to sign up to The Times newspaper’s Cities Fit for Cycling Campaign launched in February 2012.

Ends.

*Road Cycling: Statistics – 16 February 2012. House of Commons Library.

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