Teignbridge HATOC

At Teignbridge Highways and Traffic Orders Committee this week, The Teignbridge Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Policy (LCWIP, pronounced “El – see – whip”) was presented..

Evidence of cycling rates comes from the census. This is 10 years out of date since last year’s results are not available yet. So more up to date sources have been sought including strava. Interesting to realise that using this app might mean your journey is more readily evidenced.

A conservative member (Silvia Russell) asked if the traffic orders committee would lobby the government to introduce mandatory registration and insurance for cycles. This seemed odd partly because it wasn’t on the agenda, but more importantly because it is a ridiculous idea.

I was happy to inform the meeting that around 1500-2000 people are killed each year in the UK by motor vehicles which require registration and insurance, compared to something like one person in 10 years killed by bicycles.

I realise there can be issues in specific areas, she was talking about “trick” cycling on Teignmouth seafront. I asked for confirmation that footpaths, shared paths and cycle paths would all be labeled clearly under the LCWIP plans, so that all users could be aware of other groups they need to share the space with. I also commented on the need for better quality segregated paths, rather than white lines on the edge of the road and shared paths in busy areas. This minimises frustration between groups as well as fatalities from motor vehicles. The LCWIP seems to be moderately good on that front.

Surprisingly she spoke again making the exact same request, saying cars require registration and insurance, “what’s the difference”. So I responded again, explaining that the difference over a 10 year period is one person killed by cycles, and fourteen thousand nine hundred and ninety nine more than that killed by motor vehicles.

If this arises again, I will suggest compulsory registration and insurance for lawn mowers (700 times more deadly than bicycles) cows (50 times more deadly than bicycles) and the sweet spot for illustrating this issue, Ladders, which kill more than 100 times more people than bicycles, and more than 100 times less than motor vehicles.

Compulsory Cycle Insurance is a “Daily mail” policy with no grounding in reality. It has no place in an informed debate about transport infrastructure.