MPA Runs York Cycle Safe Event to Launch CFOA UK Road Safety Week
On Monday 9 June, MPA ran a successful Cycle Safe event in Parliament Square in York, with support from its member, Lafarge Tarmac, who provided the Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) and assistance. MPA was invited to run the event by North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service to launch the Chief Fire Officer Association’s (CFOA) UK Road Safety Week, which ran from the 9th-15th June 2014. The event took place with about a month to go before York becomes the Grand Départ city for Stage 2 of the Tour de France. Transport Minister, Robert Goodwill MP, attended, as did Dave Etheridge, Road Safety Lead for CFOA, and Honor Byford, Chair of Road Safety GB.
Several cyclists and members of the public stopped to talk about their experiences on the road and sat in the driver’s cab to gain this perspective of the road and learn about where to position themselves safely when cycling in relation to lorries. MPA gave out safety leaflets and free high visibility vests to participants. The event supported MPA’s Cycle Safe campaign launched in 2011, to prevent collisions between cyclists and lorries.
The event also featured 95 Alive; the York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership; CFOA; City of York Council; North Yorkshire County Council; North Yorkshire Police, who were carrying out security bike markings; and York Cycleworks cycling shop, who were offering bike safety checks.
Hilary Arrowsmith, Communications Manager MPA, said, “MPA jumped at the chance to run a Cycle Safe event in York to launch UK Road Safety Week. We have run events in a number of towns and cities across the country and are keen to roll the campaign out to the regions. Several people were welcomed into the driver’s cab to find out about the driver’s perspective and the potential dangers of undertaking lorries and getting too close to them at junctions. Being on the nearside of a lorry turning left is a highly risky position, due to visibility issues, and one that cyclists need to avoid.
“With York as the Grand Départ city for Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 and the interest this is generating in cycling in the area, we felt it was a key location for a Cycle Safe event. It was an added bonus that we were able to tie this into the launch of CFOA’s UK Road Safety Week, a very worthwhile and valuable initiative.
“MPA has recently extended its vulnerable road user safety policy for its members, to correspond to the construction industry’s Construction Logistics & Cycle Safety (CLOCS) Standard, but it is only by all parties (drivers, companies, cyclists, police and regulators) working together that securing the safety of vulnerable road users, including cyclists, can most effectively be pursued and achieved.”
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Andy Trowsdale, from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “We are happy to support the Chief Fire Officer Association’s UK Road Safety Week and help to raise awareness of road safety issues, including cycling safety. With the Tour de France Grand Depart taking place over the summer, more people are likely to be taking to two wheels, and we want to ensure they take reasonable precautions and are aware of the measures they can take to keep themselves safe on the road, such as being aware of drivers’ blind spots and wearing a helmet.
“We would also ask drivers to be aware of other road users, simple measures like checking your mirrors before you turn and giving as much room as practically possible when over-taking a cyclist can reduce the chances of an accident happening.”
Honor Byford, Chair of Road Safety GB said: “This event sees the start of a major national week of events with Fire and Rescue Services, Local Authority Road Safety teams and Police Officers all working together alongside commercial companies and charities to focus everyone’s mind on respecting each other on the roads.
“All those of us who travel in cars, vans and lorries need to look out for cyclists and pedestrians who are more vulnerable than us to being hurt. We have worked in partnership here in York and North Yorkshire for over a decade now and this event shows how we make better use of our shared resources by working together to make our roads safer for all our communities.”
Image caption: Robert Goodwill MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Transport, and Jamie Sharp, elite cyclist, attended MPA’s Cycle Safe event at the launch of CFOA UK Road Safety Week.