Transport Minister Keith Brown will discuss what further steps can be taken to protect cyclists on Scotland’s roads when he attends a road safety meeting later this month.
Mr Brown will meet with road safety professionals and cycling stakeholder groups at the next meeting of the Road Safety Operational Partnership Group (OPG) on 21st March.
Following the death of a cyclist in Edinburgh on Monday, the Minister is keen to discuss what is being done to reduce the risks faced by cyclists.
He said: "My thoughts are with the families and friends of those whose lives have been lost in Edinburgh in recent months. For my part, I will continue to work to make sure that tragedies like these become a thing of the past.
“The rates of serious injuries and fatalities on our roads continue to fall but concern remains about vulnerable road users such as cyclists and we are looking closely at this issue.
“Cycling is a healthy, green, cost-effective way to travel and it is vital that we ensure those choosing to do so are protected. Campaigns such as Give Me Cycle Space, which encourages drivers to give cyclists adequate space on the road, are making a difference in increasing driver awareness and we are also promoting safety messages to our youngest cyclists by investing in on-road cycle training programmes for primary school children.
“When I meet with our Road Safety Operational Partnership Group in a couple of weeks time, the main item of business will be looking at how we can make Scotland's road safer, particularly for vulnerable users such as cyclists.”
On 15 June 2009, the Scottish Government published Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 - Go Safe on Scotland’s Roads it’s Everyone’s Responsibility.
The implementation and delivery of the Framework is overseen by Transport Scotland. This Framework sets out the first ever challenging national road safety targets set by Scottish Ministers for the next decade based on a 2004-2008 average which commenced on 1 January 2011.
These targets include a 30% reduction in people killed on Scotland’s roads by 2015 and a 40% reduction by 2020.
The Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2010 report (published 25th October 2011) found that between 2000 and 2010, fatal accidents on Scotland’s roads had fallen by 36 per cent and accidents (all severities) were down by 32 per cent.
Transport Scotland, with approval from the Road safety Framework Operational Partnership Group and the Road safety Framework Strategic Partnership Board, has recently provided £180,000 in funding to Sustrans to assist it in running a number of cycling related road safety projects:
1. Flashing Amber (Glasgow) £15k - Includes the installation of flashing amber lights as part of traffic control system to help accommodate cyclists. Will provide a safe and attractive route to commuting cyclists in and out of city centre.
2. Dores (Inverness) - £85k to create a quality, safe route to school and a much needed commuting link on and into Inverness. Link will give additional option for commuters to travel actively into city centre by cycling or walking.
3. Galatown (Kirkcaldy) - £80K to re-design a neighbourhood to Designing Streets standard and thus allow pedestrians and cyclists to avoid busy roads on their trips.