We must follow European model to ensure cyclist safety, claims Wimbledon Green candidate

London drivers have much to learn from our European cousins in improving the roads for SW19 cyclists, the Wimbledon Green Party candidate has claimed.

Charles Barraball is adamant that in order to combat climate change and rising fuel costs by getting on our bikes, cyclists must first feel safe travelling on two wheels.

Mr Barraball explained that bike-friendly measures such as ensuring drivers are bike aware, the introduction of more cycle-only lanes and secure docking bays would encourage people to leave their cars at home.

He said: “If anybody has ridden or driven in Europe, they will know it is a fantastic example for us to follow.

“Why should we not learn from what works so well in France and Holland among others?

“Drivers’ attitudes on the continent are completely different to what they are here.

“When I walked towards a pedestrian crossing in Portugal, vehicles would anticipate me and really slow down while here they just mow you down if they are in the way!”

The Wimbledon Greens are calling for pavement parking to be eliminated altogether and on-street parking spaces reallocated to pedestrians and cyclists along with secure cycle parking.

It’s suggested that £10 per head would be enough to improve cycling levels in the UK but the Green Party has announced they will triple this and spend £30 per head per year on walking and cycling to achieve their goals of safer roads for bicycles.

While ensuring cyclists are safe both on the roads and leaving their bikes, the wider plan is to improve transport infrastructure and help reduce pollution.

Mr Barraball said: “The plans for transport would again mirror what we would like to achieve in a country as a whole, seeking to advance walking and cycling over motorised transport.

“We all know pollution is a major factor affecting climate warming, fuel poverty and for a start we need to look at how much we pay for our fuel.”

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